2004 Kia Spectra Base 1.8L from North America
Great economy car
The only problem I have had is with the drink holder. There are little "wings" that are suppose to swing over and hold smaller diameter cups from moving around. That thing broke off right after I bought the car.
I bought this car brand new for $9000 in 02/2004. It is a base model manual,1.8L, 4-door sedan. One of the few 2004 models sold before they changed the body style, and engine that year.
I drive this car over 100 miles/day back and forth to work, and will be hitting 100,000 miles soon. I have not had a single problem with it. I don't even change the oil as often as I should (I do use synthetic though). The only maintenance I have had done to it was a tune up and timing belt replacement at 60,000 miles.
After having at least 20 rocks hit the windshield over its lifetime, I finally had one chip it. I was beginning to think that KIA built their windshields out of Kryptonite. It still has the stock brakes and tires. Every time I take it to get inspected at the tire store, they tell me the brakes and tires are still good. It gets 35mi/gal, is comfortable, fun to drive, good looking, and reliable. I could not ask for more in a $9000 economy car.
The people who have had the problem with the check engine light obviously did not read their owner's manual. The dealer told me when I bought it, there was a tag hanging off the gas cap that said it, and the manual says: Click the cap at least three times when shutting it to avoid the check engine light coming on. I had the light come on once in the first month. Clicked the cap, and have never had the problem again. So long as the cap is secure so that no oxygen can get in and set off the sensor, you will not have this problem.
The only problem I have had with this car is the dealer. The buying process was alright. However, when I took it in for maintenance that one time, I was not impressed with the staff's knowledge or service. I do most of the maintenance myself since this is a simple car, and I will be taking it to mechanics other than the dealer for any future repairs I can't do.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 13th May, 2009