2003 Kia Spectra GSX 1.8 litre gasoline


Reliable and replete with value


Very minor problems; a water seal around a headlight, a burned out light on a window switch, and the door lock switch is being replaced as a preventive matter.

General Comments:

This car has been excellent, reliable transportation for my family. It is heavy for its class, so there is a small fuel penalty, but the ride is comfortable on the highway and handling around town is great. Our local dealer has been excellent and has treated us like royalty.

I put approximately 500 km a week on the car, and it has never stranded me. I will probably get a second set of tires for the winter, as the set it comes with have been fine through its first four seasons, but I felt the grip occasionally sliding a bit towards the end of the past winter. Otherwise, it sticks to the pavement like glue.

The hatchback carries a huge amount of stuff, and my teenager is comfortable in the back seat. The front seats are comfortable, even on a long trip, and entry and exit is easy.

This has been a great little car. I only wish Kia offered a diesel engine option in this country.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd July, 2004

2003 Kia Spectra LS 1.8 DOHC


A very cheap, unreliable vehicle


Had a fuel pump replaced at 250 miles.

Had the engine computer reprogramed at 1,050 miles.

Had work done to the serpentine belt at 1, 085 miles.

Transmission and the fuel pump are currently going bad.

Still encountering problems with the serpentine belt.

The engine dies when the vehicle is first started up, usually in the morning.

The vehicle itself consumes quite a bit of gasoline, refuels are required at least 3 times per week.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th June, 2004

1st Nov 2004, 18:22

I own a 2003 kia spectra. there is no serpitine belt under the hood. it has two belts and a timing belt. your problem is in your head.

11th Jun 2005, 01:10

He is probably talking about the timing belt which is a serpentine belt...

2003 Kia Spectra Base 1.8


A great value


Nothing has gone wrong with this car.

General Comments:

Great car. This is my second Kia. My first was a2003 Kia Rio. I traded up for more room and an automatic transmission. The fit and finish of the interior of the car is the is excellent. Very roomy. Gauge layout is easy to read.I have the automatic. Shifts very well. Plenty of leg room and head room and I am 6'1 inches tall.

Very good manners at highway speed. Very good A/C.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th May, 2004

2003 Kia Spectra


Outstanding value


Nothing. Everything works fine at this time.

General Comments:

This is my second Kia. My first being a Rio. Great little car. I traded up for more room.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th May, 2004

2003 Kia Spectra


Yet to be determined..

General Comments:

I live in Massachusetts. I have noticed that my car is extremely warm and sometimes very uncomfortably hot now that the weather is improving.

My car is sitting outside today on a 68 degree day and when I got in it, it's like it's 180 degrees inside. And it doesn't cool down very quickly either - the dashboard retains a lot of heat and is almost impossible to lay your hand on for more than a few seconds.

I have never experienced anything like this in any other car, but it's almost like the roof of my car lacks insulation. I keep my sunglasses in the sunglass holder and some days I can't put them on my face because they are burning hot. I have a black car with black/gray interior, but this is really bad heat and it's only May. What happens in July or August?

Anyone else experiencing this?

No other car ever that I've owned or been in has been this uncomfortably hot. Anyone have any ideas?

Thanks in advance...

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

Review Date: 12th May, 2004

9th Jan 2005, 04:13

May I suggest leaving all your door windows down half an inch as it makes a huge difference to the cabin temperature on a hot day. Also for your next car don't buy black as it is the hottest color by far. White while a bit boring is the coolest color choice. Silver is also fairly cool and looks good too. I hope this helps you. kind regards Mark from Australia.

16th Mar 2005, 19:24

This is a black car. I can guarantee that is why it is so hot inside. Black paint does absorbs all the energy produced by the sun, while other colors tend to reflect some of them.

23rd Jul 2005, 09:26

My car is not black, but it does retain a lot of heat, any time of the year. Another complaint is how loud the interior is even with windows up. I can't hardly hear my kids when they want to talk while I am driving. I have to be at a stop light to hear them. I have many complaints about my Kia and I will never again buy one! I feel very unsafe in it.

29th Dec 2006, 07:57

I own two Kia Spectras now, I have never had a problem with engine or road noise and not being able to hear people in my car. I suggest driving at higher gears if you have that much of an issue with it. I bought a 2006 Kia Spectra and just bought a 2003 Kia Spectra GSX Hatchback which I love almost even more than the 2006.