Monday, April 25, 2016

Used Car Review - Kia Pride (1990-2003)

This summer, treat yourself to a cheap car courtesy of Myk Belmonte.

1990-2003 Kia Pride

You are in for a shocker, the Kia Pride is basically a licensed built Ford, itself designed by Mazda under the request of the Blue Oval company. You know the story that Ford took an interest stake in Mazda which led to some vehicles sharing platforms and the latter company designing and building Fords for the Asia-Pacific region, which includes the likes of the Laser and Telstar. While Kia took in two generation models of the Festiva, it was replaced by the Kia Rio which they personally developed in 2000. The last of the Festiva was sold in 2003, whose third generation model was basically a rebadged Mazda Demio sold under the Festiva Mini Wagon name in Japan although a licensed version from SAIPA of the Pride still exists until today.

In 1986, Kia was granted production of the Ford Festiva under the Kia Pride badge with production starting the same year. The Korean firm was also responsible for exports towards North America throughout selling life and this one had an advantage: low prices due to its cheap labor when compared to its peers in Europe and Japan plus it aligned Kia's strategy, filling the void at the bottom scale whereas the Japanese counterparts pushed expensive vehicles with higher profit margins. It was first launched as an export vehicle using the Ford badge until its home market release in 1987.

Columbian Autocar Corporation brought in the Kia Pride in 1990, years after the Ceres was introduced in the market. Unlike the Daihatsu Charade whose assembly line shares with, this vehicle was immensely popular and became Kia's cash cow until the financial crisis hit the country in the late 90s. The hatchback was first marketed and stayed until 2003 and the sedan was offered from 1992 until 2000. Available variants for the 5 door hatch was the CD-5 with the Spree and Ecco models were added (and replaced the sole CD-5) later on. Going for the sedan will either give you a basic LX or a nicely equipped GTX added in 1996.

Value and Costs
During selling life, this vehicle used to have a selling price of P190,000, and this does not include optional equipment like seatbelts, AM/FM stereo system, and alloy wheels. As time went by, prices increased to the P300,000 level during the early 2000s. If you plan to own a car in a tight budget, rather than getting a motorcycle a second hand Kia Pride will set you back with the cheapest model setting you P30,000 while later ones are priced at P120,000. Yes, it is cheap in terms of monetary value but a car is much safer than a motorcycle, right? Besides, if you don't dig cheap cars there are other reviews in my site to read on.

Similar to the Big Body Corolla of the same period, Kia Pride parts are widely available and the best thing is, they are dirt cheap. However, the oldest example being close 25 years now may exhibit extreme wear and tear so have a keen eye when inspecting a unit. Common problems (age is one factor) that owners complain about include the suspension system, the underchassis, and the engine since it runs on a carburetor.

Exterior and Interior
While the Pride was available in a myriad of body styles, only the four door sedan and five door hatchback reached our shores. Its exterior styling wouldn't be a topic of discussion, but the main mission of this vehicle is to transport you from point A to Z in minimal fuss. Most models get steel wheels although the last of the hatchback models have hubcaps and the GTX sedan comes with alloys as standard. Black bumpers are standard across the range except for the later hatchbacks and the GTX.

Inside, there is adequate space for average sized people and anything above five isn't an encouraging thing. Interior quality, so to say for its price point back then, is what you paid for but will do its job without drama. If you are considering a GTX, do take note that the switches for the power windows (front only, rear occupants have to manually roll down) are situated in the center console.

Both Mazda derived engines are standard here, given the fact it was developed by the Hiroshima based car company here. Standard among Prides is a B1 1.1 having 62hp at 6,000rpm and 103Nm at 3,500rpm and unique to the GTX is a B3 1.3 which comes with 64hp at 5,200rpm and 102Nm at 3,200rpm. The two engines aren't great for neck snapping acceleration, but rather for just pure and unadulterated driving. Choosing the GTX gives you an option for an automatic transmission but forget it, since this one has three (yes you read it, three) forward gears that affects fuel consumption.

Driving Impressions
Nothing special if we will describe its handling but thanks to its small size, parking and weaving through traffic is a breeze. Ride quality is decent, too.

We all know that between a car and a motorcycle, the one inside the former will have larger chances of survival in a crash. A second hand Kia Pride would cost you similar to a brand new smart phone but if you take care of it, it will run long and provide you a much better option than taking public transportation or a motorcycle. Just do not expect too much, as they say you get what you paid for.

The Good:
  • Cheap to maintain
  • Fuel friendly with the manual
  • Parts available
The Bad:
  • Power sapping automatic
  • Not so stellar reliability
  • Its old
The Pick: Any, avoid ex-taxi units and automatics

Engines: 1,138cc B1 and 1,324cc B3 I4 gasoline
Power: 62hp @ 6,000rpm (1.1), 64hp @ 5,200rpm (1.3, GTX)
Torque: 103Nm @ 3,500rpm (1.1), 102Nm @ 3,200rpm (1.3)
Fuel Consumption: 9-11km/L (city), 12-14km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed manual, 3-speed automatic
Suspension: Front McPherson strut, rear torsion beam

Price (New): P190,000-P300,000 (throughout selling life)
Price (Now): P30,000-P120,000
Rivals: Daihatsu Charade, Fiat Uno, Daewoo Racer, Mitsubishi Lancer EL, Nissan Sentra JX/LEC, Toyota Corolla XL
On Sale: 1990-2003 (hatchback), 1992-2000 (sedan)


  1. this blog makes me well inform about the kia pride specification.thumbs up for this..

  2. thanks for the review

  3. I thought of swapping my kia HB 2003 to Toyota Lovelife 2000 by adding some cash, but, had this second thought now... I will keep my BLUEWAVE for good :-) salamat po sa REVIEW nyo :-) thumbs up ng madami :-)