2001 Kia Spectra GS 1.8L from North America


Exceeded all of our expectations


Electrical short (fixed under warranty).

Exhaust leak at 30,000 miles (fixed under warranty).

Doors won't close properly in very cold weather - greasing the latch mechanism fixes the problem.

Hatchback interior release lever broke.

Struts replaced at 70,000 miles - not covered by warranty and cost $800 to replace.

Factory stereo went out at 74,000 miles.

General Comments:

We bought this car new because we wanted an inexpensive car that was versatile and good on gas. The car has delivered - 32mpg and we have hauled just about everything in it, including a tree, a full-sized treadmill, paving stones (I think that contributed to the struts going bad), and 4 adult males that averaged 290lbs each. The hatchback make this car as useful as a station wagon, but better looking.

The Spectra is also fun to drive. Decent acceleration with the manual tranny, although the air conditioning saps a lot of power. Handling is terrific, if you invest in decent tires (Lotus tuned suspension). Car tends to hunker down at high speeds.

The car is comfortable enough on long drives - seats are adequate. However road and engine noise become wearisome after extended travel.

Interior components look and feel cheap at times, but overall have lasted okay.

We have been very pleased with this car and are handing it down to our 16 year old daughter who has loved the car for 5 years already.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th May, 2006

2001 Kia Spectra from North America


It's a decent, non-impressive car -- but don't buy one if you can't get an extended warranty


Transmission repair -- twice, right after I bought it. I bought it used from a jeep dealer who didn't check the transmission before selling it; they didn't even know that the fluid in not checkable by user. I almost ruined the car before I found that out!

Door handle and lighter plug.

Remote hatchback latch broke off.

Rear defogger doesn't seem to work all over.

Armrest and its compartment it poorly designed.

General Comments:

I bought this because it was the cheapest non-junker car I could find on which an extended warranty was available. Also, I have a friend who's gotten about 90K on a 98 Sephia, which is very similar.

I'm not crazy about it, but it'll do. There's nothing really wrong with it. I'll probably keep it 'til it's ready for the junkyard, like most of my previous cars.

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

Review Date: 26th July, 2005

2001 Kia Spectra GS 1.8 DOHC gas from North America


Good cheap Corolla alternative


The remote hatch release broke and was taken care of by dealer without argument. I got blamed for it by primary driver, though.

Fuel economy is somewhat disappointing.

General Comments:

I love the feel of that big honkin' twin cam engine!

It took five and a half big people, and all of their luggage from Savannah to DC, averaging 90 mph and 26 mpg. (500 miles or 800 km.) Not as comfortable as a big minivan, but not bad either.

Pretty interior.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th April, 2005

9th Apr 2005, 11:13

No offense, but I don't see how anyone could try and replace a Corolla with a Korean made Kia.. see how you like that beast in a few years.

30th Nov 2007, 16:34

Don't tell your life insurance agent you're driving a Spectra at 90 mph. 90 in a Spectra is suicide.

2001 Kia Spectra GSX 1.4 from North America


I am scared to have my 5year old in the car with me.


Faulty back hatch.

Spark plugs fail every 5000 miles.

Engine light turns back on within 30 miles of the repairing dealership.

Power supply weakens.

Paint chips easily.

Emission system problems (apparently cannot be identified)

General Comments:

This car is a financial wreck.

The car has wiped out my savings just on repairs not covered (but what is covered?)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th March, 2005

2nd Jun 2006, 08:12

I have not had such a bad experience with my Spectra as this person. I have driven the car now beyond 80,000 and have just today lost a spark plug on one cylinder. Other than routine maintenance I have experienced no serious issues with the vehicle. The worst of my experience has been that the rubber trim has a tendency to get out of place.