2003 Kia Spectra from North America





A/C compressor.

Interior dash.

General Comments:

Alternator has been replaced three times in the last two years. With heavy downpours, somehow the alternator gets shorted out because the alternator is under the car.

Dashboard came unglued; never saw that in any car ever. When I went to the dealership to ask about a replacement, they said I would need a new dash, which is $650, plus another $500 in labor.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th June, 2015

2003 Kia Spectra Base 1.8 from North America


Total disappointment!!!


Front end shake.

Plastic parts broke off.

Check engine light came on and off at will.

Hard shifting, and the tranny slipped.

General Comments:

It was a comfortable ride at first, but in a matter of months, the front end needed alignment. It looked very nice and had good turtle space.

I am an over the road truck driver, so I traded my 1994 Rodeo so my wife would have a new car to drive while I was away. I should have kept the Rodeo, even though it had over 100,000k. The KIA was in the shop all the time.

Also, since I had the oil changed at Walmart, I voided the warranty. I will never buy another KIA as long as I live.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st December, 2010

2003 Kia Spectra GSX 1.8L 4clinder from North America


It gets you around; that's all I can say


Well every year the front lights go on year. It will be the left light, then the next year the right, and every year you'll get a hole in your muffler, so either get after market or buy a new one every year.

General Comments:

I wouldn't buy one again.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th December, 2008

2003 Kia Spectra LS 1.6 Automatic from Malaysia


Improve the quality control please


The first time when I acquired this car, it had 100km on it. Maybe this car had been used as a demo car. This car was perfect until the problems emerged.

1. Suspension problems - sound from its absorbers; this car is only for city rides and good driving conditions.

2. A/C problems - the compressor unit had to be replaced with a new one, cost RM1000.

3. Radio unit - sometimes on and off, and the electric antenna kept going up and down until it completely died at 70,000+ km

4. Hard to start in the morning, the engine will shake as if it is going to explode, you have to wait until it's completely warm.

4. The door is so light, you have to slam the door, and the door light always shows the signal of the door improperly shut. The cabin light always keeps going on and off, especially when the car is moving on uneven roads.

5. Rust at its wiper and exhaust.

6. Hard transmission, hard to switch from P to R and vice versa.

7. Noisy engine and timing belt; had to replace every 60k km.

General Comments:

1. High maintenance cost (service and maintenance cost).

2. Overall disappointment, but it is quite a nice car if it has no problems/major problems.

3. High depreciation because the value is dropping from year to year. I still cannot sell the car because no one wants it.

4. Has extras - I like the fog and front lamps because they are very clear at night. It has a CD changer, A/C very nice. Leather seats, high class looking car and nice paint because mine had midnight blue on it. Planning not to sell the car and will just maintain it. Never encountered any faulty power windows so far.

Like the centre storage sun glass box, and the car is roomy. I really enjoy sitting in the back of the car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th November, 2008

29th Nov 2008, 22:47

As the car is still running on the road, more problems emerge. Now it's the central locking. When the auto locking is activated at 20 km/h, the door will produce an unusual sound, which is very annoying and it can be heard outside the car. Is this a dream car or just a nightmare!

12th May 2009, 23:33

Now after the car got 85000km, it went hairwire, and had a serious electrical malfunction where the wiper turned itself, ABS light appeared and much more problems. I don't know what should I do with this car...

20th Oct 2012, 21:54

True story bro. Exactly the same problems here, but I want to ask you a question. My A/C in my car is very weak in the summer. I have to put it at least on 3 so I can feel the cold air, and the air vents must be pointed at me or I feel nothing, and no cold air is reaching the back seats, no matter what. Is this in all Kia Spectra 2003s, or just mine?

23rd Jan 2013, 03:27

Your A/C probably just needs regassing.

4th Oct 2013, 11:24

The most crappy piece of junk I ever drove for many, many reasons:

- Many mechanical issues emerge.

- Very weak body and chassis.

- Wired steering wheel shaking and vibration.

- Very high fuel consumption for a 1.6 car.

- The car is barely moving when it's fully loaded with passengers.

- Weak A/C.

- Poor body paint.

- In cold weather you need to heat the engine for at least 5 minutes before you can drive the car normally.

- The ABS is useless.

- Very little cabin room, especially for passengers in the back.

- Front dashboard starts to crack and become misplaced in time.

- Bad looking car, especially from the front.