Kia Shuma: All you need to know

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Photo Credit: autodude

I am blogging about this car to fill a gap I see about it. Kia Motors website has nothing on this car (It was made in Germany) and I owned this car so, I am telling you from experience. Kia Shuma is a hatchback made by Korean automaker, Kia Motors.

Kia Shuma is produced between 1997-2003, replacing Kia Mentor and succeeded by Kia Cerato. Kia Motors give different names to the same cars in different worldwide markets. There are two types of Kia Shuma – Prefacelift or Shuma “I” and facelift or Shuma “II”

kia shuma rear

kia shuma 1 rear

kia shuma 1 rear


kia shuma 2 rear (US)

kia shuma 2 rear (US)


Kia Shuma is a modern car. The timing and injection are computer (ECU) controlled, so, it does not use a distributor. They come in 1.5L, 1.6L and 1.8L engines. Their engines are interference engines (if the timing belt snaps and cam stop turning, the valves may bend), but don’t worry as most cars like Nissans and so on have this type of engine. Just change the belts at 50,000KM on the odometer.

Fuel Economy: The fuel economy of this car is good, especially in manual drives (you should know that you get more mpg and power from manual drives) but gets better from 1.8 through 1.6L and 1.5L engines. For example, while the 1.8L engine has a combined mpg (that is the economy u get driving through highway and city-hold ups included) of 9.1L per 100km; the 1.5L uses on 7.9L of petrol per 100km.

Power: The higher the displacement of a car, the more the power and the relative higher fuel consumption (exceptions in flex fuel, hybrid, eV’s). For example, while the powerful 1.8 engines produce 82KW of power and can accelerate from 0-100km/h in just 10.5 seconds, the 1.5L has power of just 65KW and can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 13.8seconds.

Security: the basic security in this car is that it has Immobiliser and the key has a sensor without which the car will not start. Some also have car remote control for central lock. If you lose your key, it will cost you money to buy a new one and reprogram it. Trust me, Kia Motors Nigeria does not have it. OR, you can convert the engine to carburetor; removing the injectors, ECU (Brain box), oxygen sensors and so one and replacing vital electric components with relays – a good mechanic and car electrician can do this. My advice: do not lose your key!

Gear Boxes: Gear changes in this vehicle is not always smooth, especially in manual drives. This is one of the cons of this car. They come in 4-5speed gears. Advice: buy automatic drive.

Equipment: This car come in CD, chilling A/C, ABS, power antenna, Driver and front passenger airbags, cup holders, child lock, power windows, sunroof(optional) and 6 speakers.

Some parts, however is made with poor materials. For example, the gear shift covering area. Generally, the interior is not as beautiful as the exterior. The seats are also low, so a short driver will have poor visibility (but you can add a pillow on your seat.

Suspension: the front suspension uses a Kia hub, bearing, shock absorber and kia “sephia II” ball joint (never pulls). A mazda model F will fit but use kia. etc. The back bearing is kia and looks like that of 1992 toyota corrolla.

MAINTENANCE: This car is relatively cheap to maintain and rarely gives problems.

a. Engine: As I said earlier, they are of different types and models. Just do regular oil servicing, change timing belt around 50000km on the odometer. The price ranges (as at 15th July, 2015, 1$ exchanged at N199.047) from 45,000 Naira ($226) to 120,000 Naira (My research in Aba and Onitsha markets, Nigeria); depending on the type, and model.

b. Gearbox: This is priced between N20k – N40k, again, depending of the criteria above. Always check the transmission oil at intervals (Some use condemned oil – naija style).

c. Suspension: the Kia hub cost between 4k and 6k, the bearing about 2k (not DPI, fake are everywhere), Ball joint N1,500, shock 4k, bearing for back wheels N3500.

However, some parts are expensive and/or scarce, for example, if you break your headlight, you get another one for 6k (12k for two), some model of Shuma Engine go for 120k.

If you have any question, like engine swap etc, comment here.

8 thoughts on “Kia Shuma: All you need to know

  1. hi, am in south africa, have kia shuma automatic, struggling to find gearbox, please what other car takes same engine and gearbox, thanks


    • A lot could be the cause. Check if the fuel filters clogged(one understand the tank, acceded under the car via passenger back seat door), check the fuel nozzles. Did you change fuel pump? Check if the fuel pump is failing or the intake doesn’t touch the bottom of the tank. I had that car for years so, I can tell you. If these didn’t help, come back and comment and I shall reply you.


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