Kia For 1998
By Carey Russ
Kia is a small but ambitious company. It has been making cars for other manufacturers for some time now, and selling small cars and sport-utilities under its own name since 1993. The Kia lineup has some major changes for the 1998 model year, with a new version of the Sephia sedan and important updates to the Sportage SUV.
This year sees the second generation of the Sephia sedan. It has new styling and is larger than the previous model. A new 1.8-liter twincam 4-cylinder engine provides power, and the standard 5-speed manual transmission has been redesigned.
The 4-door Sportage sport-utility has a new look inside and out for 1998. The bumpers, grille, headlights, taillights, and spare tire carrier are new. Inside is a new instrument panel with dual air bags, and a redesigned console. The 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine is familiar, and, as before, the Sportage will be offered in 2- and 4-wheel drive form.
Sportage 2-Door Convertible
A short-wheelbase, 2-door, semi-hardtop version of the Sportage is planned for spring introduction. It will use the same powertrain as the 4-door Sportage, and feature hard top front roof panel and a removable soft top from the B-pillar back.