Kia is Korea's major playing for car manufacturing. Helping to produce reliable compact cars like the Ford Festiva, Kia offers the Sephia as a competitive choice for small, reliable cars. While it lack in safety ratings, it has a selling price that is reasonable and enough options to make this commuter a good decision for the budget conscious driver. While Kia doesn't have a hugely extended dealership and maintenance network, it's slowly building a reputation for well-built, low-maintenance vehicles throughout North America.
Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 1.8-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Kia Sephia, Kia Sephia LS
The 1999 Kia Sephia is nearly identical to the 1998 Kia Sephia. The only major difference is the offering of the Sephia LS, which includes power steering, rear heat ducts, and few other bells and whistles. Overall, there is nothing impressively different.
The 1999 Kia Sephia comes with eight factory colors for the exterior paint job. Three of these are red, but for a car priced to sell, paint probably isn't one of the major selling points. It comes standard with 14-inch wheels and tinted glass. Height is 55.5 inches while length is 174.4 inches. The wheelbase measures 100.8 inches. The Sephia has rounded edges, but the overall design is not especially charming as much as it is practical. Another standard feature is the remote trunk release. Options include rear spoiler and alloy wheels.
Kia offers the 1999 Sephia in two trim colors: beige and gray. Other standard interior features include cloth bucket seats in the front and folding seats in the rear. Options include air-conditioning, AM/FM/CD stereo system, and power steering. The Sephia LS includes many optional luxuries as well as a passenger-side vanity mirror.
Performance & Handling
The 1999 Kia Sephia's 125-hp 1.8-liter engine is a front-drive vehicle, and while there isn't a ton of power under the hood, the car can definitely accelerate and maintain reasonable speeds. Reliable is a keyword with this car's performance. With the optional power steering, and the standard compact size, the Kia Sephia is easy to navigate, takes turns extremely well, and provides enough speed for decent interstate and city travel alike. This will never win a race, but it will almost always get to its destination.
The 1999 Kia Sephia comes standard with passenger and driver's side airbags. One of the only other standard safety features are the child safe door locks. The Sephia lacks even optional safety features that could be easily implemented. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the Sephia an overall ""poor"" rating during its injury testing. The IIHS rated the injury resistant of the chest area ""good,"" but every other area of the crash tests show very unpleasing results. The structure, head restraint, and leg injury tests were all rated ""marginal"" by the IIHS, and the head and neck were rated ""poor."" Sometimes great price and reliability means sacrificing safety.
EPA Fuel Economy
Kia Sephia: 21/28 mpg city/highway
- Good standard equipment
You Won't Like
- Small dealer network
- Poor safety features
Inexpensive and reliable compact car.
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