2003 Kia Spectra Base 1.8L


Nice and dependable


Nothing has gone wrong with the car. I now have 34k on it with not a single problem with the car itself.

Only thing that has happened is that my CD occasionally gets stuck in the CD player!

General Comments:

Very dependable and reliable.

My biggest complaint is with the warranty. You get a 100,000 mile warranty, but what they don't tell you is that it costs a fortune to keep the warranty intact. My 30k warranty service cost $600. The next one at 40k will cost nearly $800 as they are going to replace the timing belt as a standard procedure! So, I nixed the warranty service as in the long run it will be cheaper for me to just pay for problems if/when they occur.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 3rd October, 2005

2003 Kia Spectra


If you value your life, don't buy a KIA Spectra!


When I bought the KIA Spectra, I was told it had a safety frame. The first week I had it, I got into an accident (not my fault) and when I got word from my insurance company as to how much damage was actually done, it totaled to nearly $5,000.00. about 1/3 what I paid for the car, and it was new. The man who caused the accident, only had $250 dollars of damage from his bumper.

It turns out that this safety feature has a major flaw. when you are Hit head on or dead on from the side, the frame should keep your car from folding, but when you are hit at a angle, the frame tweaks. This is what happened to me.

To paint a better picture, I was going no faster than 30 MPH when we hit. He may have been going 15. with such a slow collision, it should not have cost me $5000.00.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th March, 2005

18th Oct 2005, 08:29

I don't see how life-threatening this might be!!

29th Aug 2007, 14:43

I only want to note that my Toyota Corolla was totaled in a similar accident (only I was going slower). This has nothing to do with KIA, it's just how many modern cars are made. In an accident their goal is to save your life, not your money.

12th Dec 2007, 21:32

I have a 2003 Kia Spectra, it is a bit out of ordinary in that it only has 28K miles on it, and that's only cause I've started driving it more the past 6 months. In May '07 it had 18K.

I have owned it since new and have to say it is a great car. It's got great brakes and good steering. Obviously a bit of rolling tin can effect and lots of road noise, but a very good car for daily driving and long distance day trips.

No issues at all thus far, for the price if it lasts to 100k, it'll have been well worth it.

29th Oct 2008, 17:03

To the person who wrote the review.

If the frame warped, buckled, deformed... anything, and I walked out of the accident (no matter how slow/fast the two cars were going) I'd be a happy man!

Count your blessings you weren't in a small car!

2003 Kia Spectra Base 1.8 Liter 4 cylinder


An awesome car , at an awesome price!


The ECM went out at 20000 miles... it was replaced under the warranty.

The factory Kumho tires are crap.

The dealership that I bought it from (Dick Hannah Toyota in Kelso, WA.) tried to rip me off... and the Dick Hannah KIA dealership in Hazel Dell, WA. has a horrible service department.

General Comments:

I love this car. Despite the dealership trying to take me for $2700, I've gotten over it. It takes off quickly, and is an extremely quiet car. The ride is awesome as well. Despite the lack of Air Conditioning, summers aren't too bad in this car. The factory CD player with 4 speakers is awesome. I also love the color, cranberry.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th December, 2004

28th Dec 2004, 12:38

And to the commentee above.. you are obviously a senior citizen or thereabout because you haven't seen the strides KIA has made in previous years. Very closeminded...

7th Mar 2005, 00:46

I'm a very satisfied 2005 KIA spectra owner and I will purchase another one. "KIA JOB WELL DONE AWESOME CAR" I rate it at 5 STARS!!!

25th Jun 2007, 23:38

Actually, I'm not a senior citizen. I bought the car when I was eighteen and it's still going strong three years and 83,000 miles later... thank god my mom bought it from me.

16th Dec 2008, 00:46

Update: I wrote this review several years ago, and we still have the car. It has 135000 miles on it and just keeps going. It seems destined to land in the hands of my little sister.