Used 2001 Kia Sephia

2001 Kia Sephia
List price range
2001 Kia Sephia


  • Low price, impressive build quality, roomy interior, incredible warranty.


  • Unrefined drivetrain, weak tires, cheap interior materials.
Kia Sephia years

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The Sephia will never be called a great sedan, but for some, it might prove to be a good bargain.

vehicle overview

The Kia Sephia is proving itself a contender in the compact sedan market, greatly aided by its extreme affordability. Two trim levels are offered and both come equipped with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 125 horsepower to the front wheels through a standard five-speed manual transmission. A responsive four-speed automatic is optional.

Base equipment on the Sephia includes power steering, four-wheel independent suspension with front and rear stabilizer bars, wheel covers, dual exterior mirrors, theft-deterrent system, rear defogger, cassette stereo, 60/40 split-folding rear seat and fabric upholstery. The upgraded LS adds air conditioning, power windows and door locks, bodyside moldings, tilt steering wheel and a driver's seat cushion tilt feature. Buyers can add wood grain dash appliques, a rear spoiler and floor mats to any Sephia, but goodies like cruise control, alloy wheels, power mirrors and ABS are limited to the more expensive LS.

Upscale styling tweaks make Sephia appear more expensive than a car this cheap has a right to look. Even build quality ranks high for a vehicle in this class, based upon our experience. Slam any one of the four doors and you will be rewarded with an impressive "thunk" usually reserved for Hondas and Toyotas. Oddly, however, Kia often scores well below average in terms of initial quality according to J.D. Power and Associates, as reported by owners of the car.

The Sephia is certainly not a performance car, despite its optional rear spoiler, but the motor makes a decent 108 ft-lbs. of torque. This allows the 2,500-pound Sephia to scoot away from stoplights with authority, but the engine doesn't generate much passing thrust at higher rpms where the engine makes more racket than power.

Boasting a capable, Lotus-tuned suspension, Sephia is severely hampered by cheap original equipment tires, which are noisy and make for sloppy handling in the twisties. The front disc/rear drum brakes, available with ABS on LS models, won't help in this regard, proving weak and generally ineffective with lousy pedal feel.

Perhaps the Sephia's greatest strength, aside from a low price and extensive warranty package, lies in its roomy interior, which, according to Kia, is larger than the 2000 Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, among others. With a truly useable rear seat, four adults can fit with a minimum of contortion.

Sephia offers better up front, out-of-pocket value than many competitors. The new Kia Long Haul Warranty Program helps this value equation. It consists of a 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, a five-year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty, a five-year/100,000-mile anti-perforation warranty (which protects against holes in the body caused by rust) and a five-year, unlimited mileage roadside assistance plan.

But, is that enough to sway buyers? Unimpressive mechanicals and a bad rep for quality will, for some penny-pinching consumers, be offset by the low price and great warranty. The Sephia would never be called a great car, but for some, it might prove to be a good bargain.

2001 Highlights

The 2001 Sephia features new safety items such as child seat anchors, front seatbelt pre-tensioners and an emergency internal trunk release. Changes for the 2001 model year also include dual visor vanity mirrors, a coin tray and a gas-cap tether.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2001 Kia Sephia.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

2001 kia sephia 225000 and still running tough
i have a 2001 kia sephia ive been the only owner it has been by far the best car ive ever bought i have done routine oil changes and tune ups on it and ive done the timeing and water pump every 60000 on it and she just keeps running like a champ and i get 30 mpgs out of it and im am very happy with it..
My Kia
I knew that I was not buying a luxury car, so I didn't expect it to be comfortable. But I did expect that for 20,000 (with interest) my 2001 Kia Sephia would be reliable. My car has failed on me 10 times in the past two years, all ten times the problem being my battery...dead, no matter the weather or how long my car was sitting. My dash lights also go out on occasion which really sucks because it's usually nice to know how fast you are going. My Kia stinks.
No Problems Yet!
For an economy car -- paid $10,600 brand new (standard w/ AC), this has been a faithful car. Four years and 60,000 miles later, I have no complaints, although the older I get, the more uncomfortable the sparse interior gets. One great plus -- we live in a bad neighborhood, and our car is tough to break into. We see marks where people have attempted it, but so far no one has gotten into it (it took the tech 1/2 hour to do it once when I locked my keys into my car!). This car has taken us clear across the US (coast to coast) at least 3 times, and this summer, we took it all the way to LABRADOR, Canada (from Chicago) with 2 kids and camping gear. We've definitely gotten our money's worth out of it!
Keep in Perspective
I bought this car used for $800 with over 200k miles on the odometer, a wreck in the near past and work to be done in the near future. I knew it wasn't a great car, but I needed a car—I was broke. Well over a year later, this little thing is coming up on 250k miles and until today I had no major work done on it. I replaced an alternator belt a couple months ago and that was it. The bill today was $660—a price I would normally never consider on a car I bought for $800. But this car just takes a beating and keeps on going! I'm awful about maintaining my vehicles and I hate to spend money on them, and yet this little car has never faltered. As long as you know it's not a BMW, you'll be happy!
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Features & Specs

19 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
125 hp @ 6000 rpm
19 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
125 hp @ 6000 rpm
22 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
125 hp @ 6000 rpm
22 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
125 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 2001 Kia Sephia features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
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
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2001 Kia Sephia
Used 2001 Kia Sephia Overview

The Used 2001 Kia Sephia is offered in the following submodels: Sephia Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A), LS 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A), 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M), and LS 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 2001 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 2001 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) 2001 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 2001 Kia Sephia.

Can't find a used 2001 Kia Sephias you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Kia Sephia for sale - 4 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $23,752.

Find a used Kia for sale - 10 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $13,024.

Find a used certified pre-owned Kia Sephia for sale - 11 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $25,011.

Find a used certified pre-owned Kia for sale - 12 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $15,830.

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Should I lease or buy a 2001 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