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2000 Kia Sephia Review
A Korean vehicle with Japanese styling.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 2000 Kia Sephia has to live with the stigma created by other Korean car brands. For many years, Korean-built cars have been known as unreliable rides. However, Kia has been supplying the U.S. market with reliable vehicles marketed by its partner American car manufacturer.
The Kia Sephia packs an attitude. Step on the throttle from a full stop and you might just be surprised how it leaves tread marks on the road.
Engines: 1.8-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Kia Sephia, Kia Sephia LS
The 2000 Kia Sephia has been strengthened this year to tame the vibrations of the engine and minimize the noise coming into the cabin. The Sephia comes with better fabric for its seats, a new audio system, and two new body finishes.
The Sephia gets assembled at the Kia production plant in South Korea. The styling elements for its interior and exterior undergo scrutiny from its design studio in California. This process results in a Sephia that has a format and shape to fit in on U.S. roads. It blends well with other compact vehicles on the market. The designers do well in sculpting a shapely body that somehow has an upscale twist.
When walking in front of the vehicle, future buyers see that the 2000 Kia Sephia has a humble grille with a body-colored bumper under it. The car features clear-lens headlamps that often show up on more expensive vehicles.
The hood gets marked with notched creases that follow the contours of the narrow grille. The liens continue rearward to the vehicle’s A-pillars until they blend into the shoulders of the doors. The sides look a bit flat and only interrupted by the curves of the wheel wells. The side mirrors, protective moldings, and door handles follow the color of the body for the Sephia LS. The optional Power Package on the LS upgrades to power door locks, power windows, and power side mirrors.
The rear end of the vehicle features a trunk deck that bluntly descends to the rear bumper. Buyers have an option to get a deck lid spoiler to make the ride look sportier, but it actually might contradict the understated design of the Sephia.
The 2000 Kia Sephia’s interior depends on which model you get. The base model provides the bargain edition while the Sephia LS comes with tilt adjustment for the steering column, tilt adjustment for the seat cushion of the driver, a split-back seat in the rear, a vanity mirror for the front passenger, and a day/night rear-view mirror.
Consumers also get the Power Package option for the Sephia LS. This includes a better audio system with tweeter speakers on the door and cruise control.
The arrangement of the interior prioritizes personal space for the occupants. The Sephia boasts legroom, headroom, and shoulder room that competes with the leaders of its class. The front passenger enjoys the comfort offered by a bucket seat, while the seatback of the rear bench of the LS folds to give way for cargo space.
The Sephia also offers perks that often remain unavailable in vehicles with the same price tag. The driver has a footrest on the lower left. The anchors of the seat belt adjust vertically on the B-pillars for comfort.
The buttons of the audio system seem well-placed and look big enough, so drivers can easily adjust them without getting distracted from the road.
The entry-level trim has nice fabric seat covers and door panels. Basic amenities include map pockets, cup holders, and sun visors.
Performance & Handling
The Kia Sephia has a good acceleration and good road manners. Drivers can make the most of the four-cylinder engine that links with either a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic gearbox.
The good equipment of the Sephia results from a collaboration between Kia and other well-known brands. The Korean carmaker teams with Lotus Engineering to give it a very stable independent suspension setup. Getrag of Germany handles the configuration of the manual gearbox while Kelsey-Hayes claims responsibility for the anti-lock brake system. Bosch LH Motronic engineers the fuel system.
The 2000 Kia Sephia goes all out on safety features. It matches the segment leaders as it boasts airbags and three-point seat belts. The chassis of the vehicle has crumple zones on the rear and front ends, steel braces for the sides, a collapsible steering column, restraint anchors for infant seats, and childproof door locks.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Low price
- Roomy interior
- Good build quality
You Won't Like
- Interior could be better
- Unrefined drivetrain
A Korean vehicle with Japanese styling.
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