The Sephia, Kia's initial entry, was based on Mazda technology (just as Hyundai is based on Mitsubishi's). It first went on sale on February 3, 1994, and was a soundly thought-out if unexciting transportation device designed to be competitive with the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla since the late '80s. Kia was usually the third or fourth brand at a dealership. This usually meant poorer service and resale value, as well as less dealer stability. Kia dealerships were slowly spreading east from an initial West Coast beachhead.
The original 1994 Kia Sephia was only available as a 4-door sedan in GS, LS and RS models.
The 1995 Sephia was much the same as the 1994, but an updated 1995.5 model was available since Spring 1995, adding dual airbags in place of the current passive belts, optional ABS and a pair of dohc engines of 1.6 and 1.8 liters with "considerably" higher horsepower and torque than the 88-hp sohc engine. Presumably the new engines were still Mazda-based, at 122 horsepower for the GS and LS. The updated car also carried new front sheetmetal.
The GS and RS were no longer available after this model year.
The Kia Sephia was redesigned, and was sold as a base or LS sedan, with no further changes for 1999.
As of January 7, 1994:
- $8,495 (1994 Kia Sephia RS)
- $9,295 (1994 Kia Sephia LS)
- $10,195 (1994 Kia Sephia GS)
As of September 12, 1994:
- $9,495 (1994 Kia Sephia LS)
- $10,395 (1994 Kia Sephia GS)
As of early 1995:
- $8,895 (1995.5 Kia Sephia RS)
- $10,195 (1995.5 Kia Sephia LS)
- $11,095 (1995.5 Kia Sephia GS)
As of November 28, 1995:
- $9,495 (1996 Kia Sephia RS)
- $10,695 (1996 Kia Sephia LS)
- $11,595 (1996 Kia Sephia GS)
|Model year||Trim level||Transmission||Cylinders||Engine Size||Drive||MPG||Horsepower|
|1994||RS||5-speed manual||4-cylinder||1.6L||FWD||27 City/33 Highway||88|
|1994||LS||5-speed manual||4-cylinder||1.6L||FWD||27 City/33 Highway||88|
|1994||GS||5-speed manual||4-cylinder||1.6L||FWD||27 City/33 Highway||88|