2002 Kia Spectra GS 1.8 liter DOHC 4 cylinder. 16v from North America


Sporty, comfy, and affordable


I have yet to experience anything bad with my KIA. The only thing that I'm am dissatisfied with is the accessory unavailability. I've tried to find foglights for the GS (the GSX comes with these), and I have had no luck.

General Comments:

I have read some very bad reviews about KIA's in general, and I have to disagree. This is my first new car, and I am very pleased with my purchase.

The car has a lot of pep (get the manual transmission). It looks really sweet. It runs great all of the time.

The warranty is the best, and I have yet to use it after 9200 miles.

The anti-theft device can be a bit of a pain, but it's nice to know that there is something protecting your car. It's cheap, and it works.

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

Review Date: 28th August, 2002

29th Mar 2004, 12:34

I just bought mine and it has 27,000 miles on it and it runs like champ. My heater works better than any other car I have ever been in, so maybe you just got a little bad luck?

2002 Kia Spectra LS 1.8L 4 cylinder DOHC from North America


I wouldn't donate this car to Osama bin Laden


Two hours after driving this car off of the lot, the Check Engine light came on. After returning to the dealer with the problem, was told that it most likely the gasoline cap. After retuning a week later, tests were run, the result was getting an error code that was unknown to the service department. Three weeks and a new transmission later, I finally get the car back.

Now when pressing the gas pedal, there is a two-second delay before the car gets going.

Also, now the car fails to start intermittently unless the gear shift is cycled between neutral and park.

The car is only 4 months old, has been in the shop for over three weeks, and we are now looking forward to some more time in there.

General Comments:

While the 10 year/100,000 mile warranty is tempting, having to use it every few months does wonders for any sort of resale.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st August, 2002

11th Sep 2002, 15:04

Sounds to me like you bought a lemon (you should be able to force a buy- back from KIA). Happens to any and all car makes; my dad bought a brand new ’93 Camry, at 11,643 miles his motor seized up (probably a over-torqued oil drain plug that stripped out while he was going down the highway). The AC compressor went at 54,000, after the warranty expired…He wanted to give it to me when it reached 110,000 (family heirloom), but I bought a Spectra instead. Kia is capable of building a reliable car- look how many Ford Festivas are still running around (built in Korea by Kia).

2002 Kia Spectra LS 1.8L from North America


Economical reliable and attractive!


Occasionally the check engine light will come on for no reason. I was told by the dealership that the gas cap had to be clicked three times when closing it or this could happen. I "over" click it several times above 3 to make sure it is in fact closed and the problem seems to go away. But returns intermittently. There must be an odd problem with the seal on the gascap. I've inspected it very closely and see no visible abnormalities.

Also when starting up the car I have to plug in a "stargard" security module or it won't start. I see several lights on the dash emit including the "check engine" light, and "air bag" light. The check engine light and air bag lights are both intermittently coming on and off at times, this is very odd to me.

Other than the two previously mentioned items, the car seems to run well and strong and quiet. It has pretty good pep on the freeway and doesn't emit any strange noises while idling. I find the ride both comfortable and enjoyable as well.

General Comments:

The car gets very good gas mileage and was an inexpensive buy especially with the $2000 rebate. The warranty was one of the main things that attracted me as a buyer. I hope I'll not be using it for some time. This is by the way my first new car. I've always bought used cars and have always regretted it. Here's too many thousand problem free miles... I hope.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th June, 2002

2nd Apr 2005, 08:59

***just some advice regarding the gas cap issue with the engine light coming on. I had to get the e-check this year and my car failed, (gas cap) the person at the e- check station said all the Kia's have the same problem failing because of the gas cap, just needs replaced with a new gas cap. I went to the auto parts store bought a cheap $8.00 gas cap, put it on the car and went right back to e-check station and it passed. No problem with the engine lights since I replaced the gas cap.