2002 Kia Spectra Reviews - Page 3 of 11

2002 Kia Spectra 4 cylinder from North America

Model year2002
Year of manufacture2001
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 4 cylinder Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Dealer Service marks 2 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.8 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance106000 miles
Previous carKia Sephia




At 105,000 miles - brake distribution block failed, brakes still leaking fluid. Dealer wants 1200$ for the part! I will not pay that much.

Seats worn badly.

Plastic P-R-N-D-2-1 fell from beside the gearshift and is no longer visible.

Cigarette Lighter never worked.

General Comments:

We put general maintenance ever 3000 miles on this car and it has been almost flawless. We've changed the tires twice and replaced the brakes only 1 time.

It is NOT comfortable to drive for long distances.

I was shocked that a 2002 kia would come out with a cassette player and not a CD player.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th July, 2007

2002 Kia Spectra LS 1.8 I-4 from North America

Model year2002
Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 1.8 I-4 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.8 / 10
Distance when acquired93 miles
Most recent distance96500 miles
Previous carNissan Sentra


Dependable... Cheap... Comfortable... Good warranty


Air conditioner quit working @ 12,000 miles - it was a faulty switch... been working great since.

Silly check engine light comes on periodically - mostly because of the gas cap, I assume.

At about 70,000 miles, I had to replace my rear wheel cylinders - as they were slowly leaking brake fluid.

Currently (96,000 miles) I am getting a full rear brake job (drums, cylinders, and shoes) - because the shop I used, replaced my leaking cylinders with RECONDITIONED ones, and they began leaking again - thus soaking my shoes with brake fluid, and also ruining my drums.

General Comments:

My KIA has been QUITE dependable.

I have a few complaints about small squeaks and rattles - and the service departments I've visited are typically awful.

The unlimited roadside assistance is awesome... I've used it 6 times.

If I knew then, what I know now - I would have gone with a manual transmission, as the automatic really hinders this little car's acceleration.

The interior is very comfortable, but I quickly replaced the factory sound system with my own... though I did keep the factory tweeters!

All in all - I've taken great care of this car. I've ONLY had my oil changed with FULLY synthetic oil - and that, about every 8,000-10,000 miles. I've had my tires rotated and balanced, approximately every 10000 miles. I've replaced the air filter a few times.

At 35,000 miles I had my spark plugs changed, and again at 92,000 miles.

I had my timing belt changed at *gasp* 75,000 miles (as opposed to the recommended 60000). I also had my transmission flushed at 75,000 miles.

I love this car! The only reason I would never (unless something changes) buy another Kia - is the UN-godly depreciation. I usually trade every 2-3 years, but I have not been able to trade out of this thing - as I owe so much more than it is "worth".

I am looking to replace tires in another 10,000 miles or so... (this will be the second time I've put tires on it.) I will drive it until the proverbial wheels fall off!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 2nd August, 2006

2002 Kia Spectra GS 1.8 litre from North America

Model year2002
Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 1.8 litre Automatic
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.4 / 10
Distance when acquired117 miles
Most recent distance52000 miles


Spend a little more for a better car if you can


Trim on rear window keeps falling off.

Persistent shaking at higher speeds.

General Comments:

The car has has been pretty reliable, with no mechanical issues, however, the trim around the rear window will not stay attached.

The main drawback to this car is the highway ride. Although the tires have been rotated and balanced on a regular basis, and alignments performed on the car on three occasions, the car has a rather disturbing shaking problem. The dealer and various mechanics can find nothing wrong, and it just gets worse.

The seats can feel a little cramped after awhile, and I find the steering wheel is uncomfortable to grip after awhile.

Probably won't buy another Kia.

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

Review Date: 20th June, 2006

2002 Kia Spectra LS 1.8 DOHC from North America

Model year2002
Year of manufacture2001
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 1.8 DOHC Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired131300 kilometres
Most recent distance186200 kilometres
Previous carFord Aerostar


Great little car for the driver who sees their car as an extension of themselves


The day I bought it the door open lever on the inside door stuck and the starter failed. They were replaced promptly and free of charge.

At ~150,000 km she dropped an alternator belt in the middle of the freeway and limped home... belt was only $20 though so it was OK.

At 155,000 she dropped her power steering belt. Same price so again no big deal.

At 170,000 all lights and dash electrical components failed except for the speedometer (though it's completely useless without back lighting.) turned out to be a burnt out ground. Repair cost was $100 in labour costs.

Starter blew at 185,500km. This is the third starter on the car since it's build date... might be the only recurring failure on this car. $400 parts and labour to replace.

General Comments:

Mileage is ridiculously good even at 75 mph this car turns over better than 40 mpg. At a steady 60 mph it creeps out just over 50 mpg.

Acceleration is brisk on the 5 speed manual though many websites list it at 10-11 seconds from 0 to 100 kph, mine eats it in under 9.

Road hold is very good and the car has a tendency to over steer as opposed to plowing forward like most front wheel drive cars.

Front seats are reasonably comfortable for long trips, but the back seat is too firm and leg space limited when I have taller passengers (though I'm short so most people fit behind me just fine.)

Factory Cassette/AM/FM radio is very clear and speakers are strong and rich in quality.

Trunk space is generous and the vehicle is rated for 2500 lbs of towing with a class two hitch.

When loaded heavily (i.e. a 5X10 u-haul tandem axle trailer) the vehicle is slower to accelerate and requires a lot more stopping distance, but travelling on the freeway is neither difficult nor any more noisy than without the trailer. Hills are not difficult and she'll gladly hold 75 mph on a 10 degree up hill grade in 5th with the trailer on the back... mileage with the trailer is... about half though.

Steering is over boosted in a parking lot setting, but offers plenty of road feel at speed.

With 6.15 inches of ground clearance this car will gladly go off the pavement and into the woods. Follow the general rules of trail driving (slow, steady and keep tall objects under the wheels not the body) and the car never gets stuck. It's NOT an SUV of course so mind where you take it.

Aside from the general problems that all vehicles have, this car is very reliable is holding value well and even with nearly 125,000 MILES in under 5 years it's strong and happy... I'd say she'll pull another 125,000 before showing any signs of aging.

I recommend this car highly to anyone considering a civic, corolla, focus or other car of the compact class. This car has ten times more personality (though to be honest the civic will break down less often and the corolla will have comfier seats.)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd May, 2006

Average review marks: 6.6 / 10, based on 39 reviews