Used 1998 Kia Sephia

1998 Kia Sephia
List price range
1998 Kia Sephia

Pros

  • Cheap price, and newly-improved powertrain and chassis

Cons

  • Build quality, limited dealership network

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

The new Kia Sephia is bigger, stronger and more enticing than ever before. Two trim levels are now offered instead of the three last year, simplifying everything, but adding standard equipment in the process. Most notable is the new Kia-built engine, a 1.8-liter that delivers 125 horsepower to the front wheels. That engine powers both trim levels. The old RS designation is dropped, the LS becomes the top-of-the-line model and the old GS trim accessories are available as the Power Package option on the LS.

Based on the 1990-1994 generation platform of the Mazda Protege, and utilizing many Mazda components and technologies, the Kia Sephia is truly a compact sedan bargain. Kia is a new name to many Americans, but Kias have actually been cruising the highways of North America since mid-1987, when the Ford Festiva was introduced to showrooms on the West Coast. Also based on a Mazda design, the Festiva was assembled at Kia's assembly plant near Seoul, South Korea, and has proved to be a reliable, inexpensive set of wheels. Currently, Kia produces the Ford Aspire.

The Sephia is a Korean product, but unfairly suffers the stigma attached to all autos from that country, depicting Korean cars as unreliable garbage. Thank Hyundai for that image, the first Korean automaker on U.S. soil and Daewoo, who in 1988 unleashed a reliability nightmare called the Pontiac LeMans on the American public. The crummy Hyundais are history and the LeMans died at the end of 1993. Meanwhile, Kia has been sending us small Fords, which consistently rank among the most reliable subcompact cars available.

We've determined that Kias are a step above other Korean cars; now the reasons you should consider one. Base equipment levels are rather impressive; front and rear stabilizer bars, dual exterior mirrors, theft-deterrent system, remote trunk release, rear defogger, split-folding rear seat and fabric upholstery come standard. Dual airbags, a powerful engine, suspension work and styling tweaks make it look far more expensive than a car of this price has a right to. With base prices starting at less than $10,000, the Sephia offers better value than the Chevy Cavalier, Ford Escort, Chevy Prizm, Mercury Tracer and Toyota Tercel, among others.

Those of you on the eastern side of the country have probably been wondering what the heck a Kia is. You'll be getting them soon. The company is expanding slowly, taking a lesson from the massive expansion that Hyundai embarked upon in the late '80s, only to see sales and quality suffer in the early '90s. Kia doesn't want to have a poor image to overcome, so they are taking their time. Take yours too, and then test drive a Sephia. We think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

1998 Highlights

The Sephia is totally redesigned for 1998.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1998 Kia Sephia.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Not Too Shabby!
ken1,12/31/2009
Owned since new--11.5 years now. Only lightly used, but fun and peppy engine with manual (Mazda made I think.) Had brake recall and exhaust repair made under warranty. Other than that, only had to replace old battery. Some of the interior fittings are a bit too cheaply made, but if you take care of it, it will take care of you. Very inexpensive to own; costs almost nothing to insure. I have read that due to relatively high HP to weight ratio (125 HP vs 2400 lbs.) some convert this model to rally car. You could not find a less expensive platform than this one!
Served me well
Eric,01/27/2007
I have owned my 98 Kia Sephia basically since new, I got it with about 5,000 miles on it and now it has over 115,000 on it. Parts can be expensive, but the motor has lasted great with no problems. The car shows no signs of quiting anytime soon, has been very reliable over the years, had a few parts break, but that is to be expected when you start putting miles on your car.
fantastic car
Dareba,08/13/2009
Had this car for only a year, tranny went but that was my fault. Left the e brake up. It's got a lot of power and it'll go forever if you take good care of it.
My Favorite Car
Maggie,10/17/2009
I love this car. It was four years old when I bought it used with 30,000 miles on it. It is now nearly 12 years old with over 75,000 miles on it and with regular maintenace has never given me any trouble. Very reliable, parked outside and always starts on cold winter mornings. Have definately gotten my moneys worth out of it, if they still made them I would buy one new!
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Features & Specs

MPG
21 city / 28 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
125 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
21 city / 28 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
125 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 1998 Kia Sephia features & specs

Safety

IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Poor

More about the 1998 Kia Sephia
Used 1998 Kia Sephia Overview

The Used 1998 Kia Sephia is offered in the following submodels: Sephia Sedan. Available styles include LS 4dr Sedan, and 4dr Sedan.

What's a good price on a Used 1998 Kia Sephia?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1998 Kia Sephias are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1998 Kia Sephia for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1998 Kia Sephia.

Can't find a used 1998 Kia Sephias you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Kia Sephia for sale - 1 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $19,801.

Find a used Kia for sale - 1 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $22,162.

Find a used certified pre-owned Kia Sephia for sale - 7 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $13,106.

Find a used certified pre-owned Kia for sale - 4 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $9,092.

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Should I lease or buy a 1998 Kia Sephia?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Kia lease specials
Check out Kia Sephia lease specials