Bought in 1997 with only 14 miles on it
By My little Kia, Sophie on Sunday, November 20, 2011
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000
overall rating 6 of 10rating details
- Overall Rating
Pros: "good gas mileage; good little commuter car"
Cons: "In some instances, parts were hard to find for it."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"My little 1997 Kia Sephia was brand new when I bought it with just 14 miles on it. It is an automatic transmission with manual windows, manual locks, and had a tape deck in it. The stereo broke and the drive belts needed replaced the first year, but after that it ran and ran and ran. I used it primarily as an in town commuter car and got really good gas mileage, so much so that now I cringe as I am shopping for a new car. It was perfect for my single, pre-child, college years. I did fairly routine oil, lube, and filter changes, battery replacement,and had new tires put on it every now and then. About the time it hit 100,000 miles I started having more mechanical issues with it, like oil leaks, radiator leaks, water pump hose leaks, broken gaskets, battery corrosion eating at my connect, the muffler needed replaced,the dash cracked and peeled up, the interior light door sensor stopped working, and the "open door" light got stuck on (I think I slammed the seat belt into the door and broke the sensor)...Unfortunatley, now it is the transmission that needs replaced. All of those issues probably could have been avoided, or at least significantly delayed had I had routine engine tune-ups done on it like I should have.
This past year, I had a baby and though the trunk is deceptively deep, and the carseat does fit, it only passed inspection at the fire station after putting a foam roll under the base to get the correct angle, and the 1997 Kia doesn't have the key-fit lock bolts for the carseat. I mostly need more room. That coupled with the cost of the new transmission ($1621 parts and labor quoted from the dealership), I decided it was time for a new car. I pinky-swear that I will do better with my maintenance on my next car.
All-in-all, I am surprisingly sad to see it go. It served me well for 14 years.
I would completely recommend a new Kia (in fact, I really want a Sorento), but I don't know that I would recommend a 1997 Kia Sephia unless it is very low miles. I also think this year of this model might have poor safety ratings."
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