2002 Kia Spectra LS 1.8 4 cylinder from North America


Get the standard and it's a great little car


Replaced Defective Left Front Wheel Bearing at 48,000 km. Dealership dropped me off at home and picked me up a few hours later when it was done. Effortless.

No other problems.

General Comments:

We were swayed by all of the standard (on the LS) options, the drivability of the car, and the promises of the dealership to take care of any problems.

The Dealer has lived up to his promise and more, making our only trip in for warranty work effortless and pleasant. I would definitely buy another Kia if only for the dealership service. Compared to my last vehicle, an S-10 plagued by problems, this car has been a dream.

For any prospective buyers, get the manual transmission and you're good to go. Most problems seem to be with the automatic, and my wife taught herself how to drive the standard in less than two weeks. Its cheaper on gas, WAY more powerful, and a lot more fun to drive.

The only complaint I have is with the quality of the seats. After a few hours of driving they become quite uncomfortable, but that is true with virtually all small import cars.

The engine also revs quite high at 120 km/h (~70 mph) but it is not unbearable and the cruise does not budge when it is set, no matter how big the hill. Gas mileage is far better than the S10, but not stellar. About 35 mpg or so.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th April, 2004

2002 Kia Spectra LS 1.8 4 cylinder from Australia and New Zealand


A low cost high performance 4 cyclinder which is very happy in city traffic


A small bracket pin on the CD mounting broke (partly my fault).

Gearbox vibrations cause the gearstick to rattle particularly when slowing/coasting in traffic.

Rear parcel trays and panel vibrations cause rattles and squeaks. This was reduced, but not eliminated by the dealer at the 10k service.

Paintwork is soft and scratches easily.

General Comments:

The Spectra is quite nippy and can easily keep up with traffic (which is increasing speed with the numerous new zippy Mazda's and Toyota's etc. around these days).

I like the seating poisition and the dash layout. It is a low cost 4 cylinder with electric everything and a great CD system.

Body styling is good except for the front which looks too much like a Hyundai, because of the slenderness.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st February, 2004

23rd Sep 2004, 01:15

I'm thinking about purchasing a 02' kia spectra for 4,895 with 29k sounds to good to be true, the car is suppose still be under warranty. thanks to your comment I will re-think this thru. no wonder this guy is selling it for dirt cheap. LIZ TAYLOR.

2002 Kia Spectra GSX 1.8 from North America


I am unhappy! Do not let the warranty fool you! A well made car should not need a good warranty!


-Car died (battery/alternator) on July 1rst 2002 at 15000kms

-Transmission failed - sept-2002 at 20000kms

-Car dies 3 times on during the week of Jan 12-18 - 2003 (Battery/Alternator/Plugs) at 25000kms

-Car failed Quebec province safety inspection June-2003 (stabilizer bars were loose and left side low beam was too high)

-Noisy bearings and driver seat broke -Aug -2003 at 30000kms

-front axle needed replacement Nov-2003 at 35000kms

- transmission being replaced again and passenger side weatherstripping (rain was leaking in) Dec-2003 at 38000kms.

General Comments:

I hope I never own a car like this again.

The only thing KIA should be boasting is that they have good service.

The Spectra GSX is the most unreliable car in very cold or very hot weather conditions.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th January, 2004

16th Feb 2004, 09:00

I'm curious as to how hard you drive that car. I've got a 2003 GSX and have never had a problem yet, knock on wood. From what you describe are classic symptoms on an extremely hard driver and under the circumstances, no $20,000 car could possibly stand up to that kind of torture.

2002 Kia Spectra LX 1.8 from North America


Kia Spectra is under rated


A rubber stop on the trunk lid was missing.

Hinge on visor door on vanity mirror needed replaced.

I worried about having problems with a Kia, but after 44,000 miles I am still waiting for something to go wrong?

General Comments:

I was disappointed with gas mileage getting only 28.5mpg, but oddly, after 40,000 miles the mileage jumped to 31.1 with no apparent reason. I am happy!

After having a Nissan Sentra (3 since 94 actually) I find the brakes on the Kia to be far superior. The seat cloth is soft and comfortable and seats larger than the Sentra. Leg room is like a mid size or even full size car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th January, 2004