2001 Sephia New Car Test Drive
Kia Sephia delivers a reasonable ride for not a lot of money. It's a basic car without a lot of luxuries, but with a base price of just over $10,000. An entry-level buyer can expect a twin-cam four-cylinder engine producing 125 horsepower, four-wheel independent suspension, intermittent windshield wipers, and an AM/FM stereo with cassette player.
What buyers of entry-level cars don't expect, however, is the type of warranty that Kia is now offering for its 2001 models. Coverage includes 10 years/100,000 miles on the powertrain (the engine and transmission), a five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, five years of unlimited roadside assistance, and rust protection up to 100,000 miles.
With good gear ratios in the manual transmission and engine torque slanted to excel at lower speeds, the Sephia more than holds its own in commuter traffic. Factor in the spark of Sephia's energetic powerplant and a price several thousand dollars below Japanese competitors like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, and this Kia shines in a crowded field of compacts.
Prices for the Sephia start at $10,845 for the base model. Air conditioning is optional ($900) for the base trim line.
The more upscale LS model bumps the price to $12,195, but adds air conditioning, cruise control, and power mirrors, windows and door locks as standard equipment.
All Sephias use the same 125-horsepower four-cylinder engine. A five-speed manual gearbox is standard; a four-speed electronically controlled transmission is a $975 option.