I bought the Kia used at 18,000 miles, and then drove it for almost 150,000 without a problem. Gas mileage was about 33 mpg highway, and it was rock solid. Sure, the sheet metal is so thin that you could dent the car just by breathing on it, and the rear defroster was useless, but the car was a real trooper. Hatchback was very useful, too, I could load all kinds of things in there. The only mistake I made was not changing the timing belt, and it broke at 145k miles, ruining the engine. At 145k miles, the CV joints needed replacing, and so did the struts, but it was a great car.
Great gas mileage, very reliable, useful hatchback.
I have had it time in and time out with this car. I have had to replace the complete make up of the rear brakes, the battery, the rear break lights several times (not because i leave lights on) compressor, starter, plugs, the right axle. Yes when i go up a hill i have to turn air conditioner off. haha Very loud when I'm trying to go fast, people think I'm angry, when I'm in a hurry. The dash board has completed folded because of the sun! WONDERFUL!!
I bought mine new in 2001 and I've put a little over 70,000 miles on it. It's paid off and now I'm really getting my money out of it. It's still running great and drives as good as 2 other new cars I've recently test driven. I have done all the recommended maintenance and it's still running like a top. I had only minor warranty repairs done and have no complaints. I've been looking for a used higher end KIA like the optima to purchase but I think everyone knows how great these cars are they aren't trading them in so there are none available in my area. Can you say watch out Honda someones coming up quickly behind you and their price is better?
Other than normal wear parts like brake pads, I've had problems with the motor mounts (4 of them) and the upper power steering hose. It has good fuel economy, about 22 mpg city and very good handling, especially when you upgrade the wheels to 15" and sport tires.
Good exterior looks, nice handling, excellent A/C, nice interior space.
Better materials for dashboard (warped) and stronger cloth for upholstery.