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1997 Sephia

Consumer Reviews

1997 Kia Sephia

1997 Kia Sephia

Review Score

2.5 out of 5 stars


2 Reviews
50% of drivers recommend this car
Score Breakdown
1.5 out of 5 stars Comfort
3 out of 5 stars Value for the Money
3 out of 5 stars Interior Design
2.5 out of 5 stars Reliability
2.5 out of 5 stars Performance
2.5 out of 5 stars Exterior Styling

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What Drivers Are Saying

1 - 2 of 2 reviews

3 out of 5 stars

Cheapest car to own and drive

by Tired of buying gas from PA on Tue Sep 02 2008

You're not going to impress anyone by driving this car but it is cheap to buy and drive and it holds up well. The positive notes are the price point, reliability, and fuel economy. Mine has 180,000 miles on it now. It went about 170,000 on the original engine before it required replacement. I believe this car shares it's powerplant with several other vehicles in it's class like the Ford Escort, making replacement parts cheap and easy to find when needed. The only repairs I've done are the engine/clutch (didn't need the clutch but the one I got with the engine looked newer so I threw it in), brakes, tires, OEM stlye cat back exhaust, O2 sensor, throttle position sensor, and a new upper dash. I have managed to squeeze 41 MPG out of it a road trip where I stay on the highway and keep it between 65 and 70MPH. The car turns about 3,500 rpm at 75MPH which scares me a little so I usually don't go more than about 70. I've also noticed this car gets about 2.5 to 3 MPG better when running premium fuel which actually makes it cheaper to run than the cheap gas. I've been averaging about 34 MPG this summer running the A/C about 25% of the time and rarely driving on the highway with it. The original A/C hasn't required any service and cools the car effectively. The downside to this vehicle is what it lacks in creature comforts. I only took one long road trip in this car out of necessity when my VW let me down and I already had a trip planned. The model I own does not have cruise control or power windows and the wind noise is downright bad at highway speeds. Also I am 6' tall and between the seats and footwell area, it is not comfortable for much more than a quick trip to run some local errands or going back and forth on my 15 minute commute through town and some back roads. I don't think it's the size as much as it is the low cost appointments and lack of power options. For comparison, a 3-series BMW is the same size within fractions of an inch in most categories but yet is far more comfortable. All in all, if you don't have alot of money or even if you do but you don't like spending it on gas and vehicle depreciation, this is an OK choice. Would be a great starter car except with the car being so small and lightweight I would worry about the crash protection for the occupants.

2 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
3 out of 5 starsPerformance
2 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

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2 out of 5 stars

most reliable car i know is 87 to 93 mustang v8

by mustang89 from bell california on Thu Mar 15 2007

i own a 97 sephia .the only reason i bought this car is to save gas because i only drive mustangs but with gas prices i had to get a go to work car.i got it with 60kmiles.this car gave me problems from the beginning.first the timimg belt broke.2 months after the alternater broke.about 6 months later the trans started to slip and i had to install a new one.ive had electric shorts ,starter whent out ,and some other minor problems.this car never stops braking down .this brand of vehicles is ver very horribly bad its what my mechanic told me .im selling it now .ford mustangs from 87 to 93 is the most reliable cars ive ever had whith the v8 5.0 engine.this is not a good review but its the truth ,poeple dont ever buy this brand of vehicles .kias

1 out of 5 starsComfort
2 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
1 out of 5 starsReliability
2 out of 5 starsPerformance
3 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does not recommend this car!!

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Our Take on the 1997 Kia Sephia

Basic can be good, if it's understood to be basic. South Korea's Kia Motors Corp. understands as much, and therein lies the danger for Japanese and U.S. car companies.

I've said it before: It's a mistake to treat South Korean automakers as ciphers in the global auto business. These folks are serious. They want market share. They rapidly are improving product quality, while continuing to beat rivals on price.

The 1997 Kia Sephia is a case in point. It's an ordinary economy car sold at base prices ranging from $9,795 to $12,830. That's inexpensive. But it's not cheap.

The difference is in the notion of value for the dollar. The Sephia offers good value, especially as a commuter. It's well-made... Read More