2003 Kia Spectra GS 1.8L from North America


I'd buy another Kia before I'd buy another Ford


Dealer replaced Chassis Acceleration Sensor (free) at 17,500 miles.

General Comments:

I get about 35 miles to a gallon, because I keep it maintained (myself).

I've had to take it to the dealer once for a sensor, which was covered by the warranty, and didn't cost me a cent.

Had an independent mechanic replace the timing belt (preventative maintenance) at about 65,000 miles for around $300...second time it's been in the shop.

Replaced the factory tires at 58,000 miles.

I've owned it for +3 years, with about 75,000 miles, and I'd buy another in a heartbeat.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th May, 2007

2003 Kia Spectra gsx 1.8 from North America


Don't bother


I have no idea. just took the car for a test drive cause pushy dealer insisted. car is on sale at "huge inventory blowout" for just $9999. silver 5door hatch, 1.8 L auto, all the bells and whistles, but oddly enough no power locks??? is that weird or what???

General Comments:

Drove nice enough. underpowered mind you. seemed a little hard on gas for a four banger driven 20 km or so could see the needle had moved...hum...

I say don't bother. spend the money on a corolla, civic, mazda, focus, even a sx2.0. whats that saying..."you get what you pay for"

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

Review Date: 23rd November, 2006

2003 Kia Spectra GSX 2.2 from North America


The good, the bad, and... well... there is no ugly


The trunk latch had to be adjusted prior to taking delivery from the dealership.

The weatherstripping around the rear window (on the hatchback) has shrunk over the last 40,000 miles, and started to come off. It did NOT leak on the inside, and was covered under warranty.

General Comments:

Overall this has been a GREAT car. The only complaints that I can really make is about the road noise, and I would like either a little more pep out of the engine or slightly better fuel economy.

Although it is slow off the line, you can easily catch yourself speeding.

All else has been phenomenal. It's reliable, affordable, and quite fun to drive.

This Spectra was our primary road trip vehicle for a couple of years, and I cannot say enough good things about the vehicle's performance.

Most people that I talk to who mention engineering problems all have automatic transmissions. I have a 5-speed, and it has been trouble free outside of what is mentioned above.

I think the bad reputation is based off of Kia's first attempt to enter the U.S. market with the ill-fated Ford Aspire. (I still get cold sweats thinking about that one...)

Kia has made some amazing strides in their product and performance. Doubters should at least test drive one before they criticize.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th November, 2005

22nd Jun 2010, 14:35

Kia Spectra GSX - 2.2l engine? Is it true?

2003 Kia Spectra Base 1.8L from North America


Nice and dependable


Nothing has gone wrong with the car. I now have 34k on it with not a single problem with the car itself.

Only thing that has happened is that my CD occasionally gets stuck in the CD player!

General Comments:

Very dependable and reliable.

My biggest complaint is with the warranty. You get a 100,000 mile warranty, but what they don't tell you is that it costs a fortune to keep the warranty intact. My 30k warranty service cost $600. The next one at 40k will cost nearly $800 as they are going to replace the timing belt as a standard procedure! So, I nixed the warranty service as in the long run it will be cheaper for me to just pay for problems if/when they occur.

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

Review Date: 3rd October, 2005

2003 Kia Spectra from North America


If you value your life, don't buy a KIA Spectra!


When I bought the KIA Spectra, I was told it had a safety frame. The first week I had it, I got into an accident (not my fault) and when I got word from my insurance company as to how much damage was actually done, it totaled to nearly $5,000.00. about 1/3 what I paid for the car, and it was new. The man who caused the accident, only had $250 dollars of damage from his bumper.

It turns out that this safety feature has a major flaw. when you are Hit head on or dead on from the side, the frame should keep your car from folding, but when you are hit at a angle, the frame tweaks. This is what happened to me.

To paint a better picture, I was going no faster than 30 MPH when we hit. He may have been going 15. with such a slow collision, it should not have cost me $5000.00.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th March, 2005

18th Oct 2005, 08:29

I don't see how life-threatening this might be!!

29th Aug 2007, 14:43

I only want to note that my Toyota Corolla was totaled in a similar accident (only I was going slower). This has nothing to do with KIA, it's just how many modern cars are made. In an accident their goal is to save your life, not your money.

12th Dec 2007, 21:32

I have a 2003 Kia Spectra, it is a bit out of ordinary in that it only has 28K miles on it, and that's only cause I've started driving it more the past 6 months. In May '07 it had 18K.

I have owned it since new and have to say it is a great car. It's got great brakes and good steering. Obviously a bit of rolling tin can effect and lots of road noise, but a very good car for daily driving and long distance day trips.

No issues at all thus far, for the price if it lasts to 100k, it'll have been well worth it.

29th Oct 2008, 17:03

To the person who wrote the review.

If the frame warped, buckled, deformed... anything, and I walked out of the accident (no matter how slow/fast the two cars were going) I'd be a happy man!

Count your blessings you weren't in a small car!