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What Car? says

2 out of 5 stars

For Small-hatch space for supermini money; good safety equipment

Against Lots of body roll, a sloppy gearchange, and a cheap feel to the interior

Verdict It's roomy, practical and cheap, but it's neither nice to sit in nor pleasant to drive

Go for… 1.8-litre petrol

Avoid… 1.6-litre petrol

Kia Shuma Hatchback
  • 1. It’s important to check that the manual gearbox still changes gear smoothly, without any resistance or grinding
  • 2. If you're buying a 1.8 LX, check that the air-con works all the time, and not just when the car is stationary
  • 3. The interior doesn't feel terribly robust. Loose and flimsy trim may be a problem as the miles mount
  • 4. All the controls feel flimsy, and the dashboard looks cheap and nasty
  • 5. Rear passengers are well catered for, too, and even three adults can fit in the back at a pinch
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Kia Shuma Hatchback full review with expert trade views

The Shuma II is not a bad-looking car. From some angles, it actually looks more like a saloon than a hatchback, but there's only one five-door hatchback body style.

Sadly, there’s nothing special about the inside. All the controls feel flimsy, while the dashboard looks cheap and nasty. The seats are not uncomfortable, though, and because the driver’s chair adjusts for height and the steering column for rake, there is a good range of driving positions.

Rear passengers have plenty of space, too, and even three adults can fit in the back at a pinch. Boot space is impressive as well, and all models get a split-folding rear seat.

Compared with its predecessor, this Shuma II rides reasonably well, but it suffers badly once the surface deteriorates, and the chassis is plagued by body roll. Once you're on the move, there’s excessive road and engine noise, and the gearchange feels decidedly substandard.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Good value hatch but no image and rougher than a badger's rear

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

There are only two engines to choose from in the range, and both are petrol. The 1.6-litre offers some financial advantages, but nevertheless we prefer the 1.8.

It may only have a 13bhp advantage over the 1.6-litre unit on paper, but you can really feel the difference on the road. And, it’s not just the extra acceleration - 0-60mph in 9.7sec compared with 11.5sec - that makes the difference. The crucial benefit is how much quieter and more refined the 1.8 is on the motorway.

Safety is good across the range, with every model getting twin airbags, anti-lock brakes and electronic brake distribution. Happily, the 1.6 L isn’t as poorly equipped as it sounds, getting four electric windows, power-steering and remote central locking. Our favourite, the 1.8 LX, is perfectly adequate, with air-con and rear parking sensors included, while the 1.8 SE has full leather, a CD player and alloy wheels.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Not that popular, cheap 1.6L makes sense especially Ice Ltd Ed

James Ruppert
Used car guru

You certainly won’t have to take out a second mortgage to buy a Shuma. When it was introduced in February 2002, it didn’t exactly hold onto its value with an iron grip, so in terms of interior space per pound, the car offers good value.

Unfortunately, whichever engine you choose, fantastic fuel economy isn’t going to be on the cards. The 1.6 claims 35mpg and the 1.8-litre just 31mpg, and it will be even worse if you end up with a car with the optional four-speed automatic gearbox.

Insurance is pricier for the 1.8, too - group 9 as opposed to group 7 for the 1.6. Major service intervals are set at 10,000 miles, which is reasonable. And, although Kia dealers charge the lowest hourly rate of any franchise, average repair costs can still be pricier than most rivals'.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Good value hatch but no image and rougher than a badger's rear

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

Mechanically, the Shuma has a fairly sound reliability record, but the same can't be said of the interior. Loose and flimsy trim may well be a problem as the miles mount.

If you're buying a 1.8 LX, check that the air-con is in good working order, and don’t just do it when the car is stationary. Find a steep hill and turn the air-con unit on and off as you drive up the hill to check for any loss of power from the engine. You can, of course, expect a small drop-off, but we have had reports of engines struggling with the air-con running. If it does, just forget the car.

You should also check the gearbox, as the slack gearchange may have led previous owners failing to select gear correctly. It’s important that the manual 'box is still swapping ratios smoothly and sweetly, without any resistance or graunching.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Not that popular, cheap 1.6L makes sense especially Ice Ltd Ed

James Ruppert
Used car guru
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