1994 Kia Sephia

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1994 Kia Sephia

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Available in 3 styles:  Sephia 4dr Sedan GS shown
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Estimated MPG

27 city / 33 hwy


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chicagotribune.com
Just what a country with excess production capacity needs is yet another import, this one the Sephia (Seh-fee-uh) from Kia of South Korea, the same company that builds the mini Aspire for Ford Motor Co. Sephia is not a version of Aspire.

Kia draws a close comparison with South Korean automaker Hyundai, which brought the Excel to this country on a limited basis by first offering it on the West Coast, then expanding sales nationwide as dealers were added. Kia will follow the same pattern with the Sephia sedan and Sportage sport utility vehicle. You probably won't see either in the Midwest until late in 1995, Kia says.

That's good, because it will give Kia time to update and upgrade the tad crude Sephia. It's not that Sephia is a Model T. You get a fuel-injected 1.6-liter, 88 horsepower, 16-valve, 4-cylinder engine and AM/FM radio and power windows/door locks/mirrors and rear-window defogger. But there are no air bags and no antilock brakes, and neither will be offered until 1995.

Sephia is billed as a low-cost alternative to anything else on the market. Like the Excel, Sephia is promoted as a new car at the same or lower price than many used cars. The three Sephia models-RS, LS, GS-start at $8,495, $9,295 and $10,195, respectively.

With such common options as automatic transmission ($750), air conditioning($850), power steering ($256 on RS, standard on LS/GS), radio/cassette ($154 RS, $256 LS, $103 GS), cruise control ($205) and alloy wheels ($328), those respective stickers move up to $10,505, $11,151 and $12,431. Add $385 for freight. That's still about $1,000 less than a Dodge or Plymouth Neon, but without benefit of dual air bags or antilock brakes. And when Sephia adds those items, its prices will go up.

So consider our test-drive of the '94 Kia Sephia GS a word of warning: If afriend tells you of a little low-priced car you can get your hands on if you choose to travel to California, Phoenix or New Mexico to pick one up, don't pack a bag until Kia packs one or two of its own.




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