2003 Kia Spectra Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Kia Spectra

Kia Spectra Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.8 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 124 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/27 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2003 Kia Spectra

  • Though convincingly cheap in base form, decently equipped Spectras cost as much as better-performing compacts like the Elantra, Focus and Sentra. Shop carefully.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Low base price, nimble handling, available hatchback configuration, killer warranty.

  • Cons

    Lackluster engine performance, weak brakes and tires, mediocre build and materials, poor offset crash test score.

  • What's New for 2003

    For 2003, all Spectras will come with a CD player and body-color side moldings. Kia has attempted to make the cabin environment more hospitable via additional sound insulation in the roof and floor, an illuminated ignition and revised climate controls. Also, all hatchbacks get a standard rear wiper with an intermittent feature. Finally, note that engine specs have been revised this year -- the Spectra is now rated at 124 horsepower and 119 pound-feet of torque compared with 126 hp and 108 lb-ft for 2002. The four-cylinder engine itself is unchanged.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (6 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Second owner, purchased with 50,000

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Vehicle: 2003 Kia Spectra GSX 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

Purchased this car in 2009 with 50,000 miles on the engine. With the bald tires on the car, it road like a roller coaster ride on the freeway. Purchased new tires and it drove almost 100% better. Replaced the entire radiator about 2 years later. Replaced the ball joint 6 months before that. Replaced the right passenger side head light about 5 times since we purchased the car, at some point it completely stopped working and my husband switched around the light from the brights to the regular headlight to salvage it. Parts are extremely hard to find for this car, we've usually have to purchase online and when we do find the part in store it is usually more expensive than say a honday or acura.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Good and cheap to fix

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Vehicle: 2003 Kia Spectra GSX 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

We have it since new and i am a drummer and have to travel a lot in PR the only problem that i had with it was the window that broke the power window cable and a small damage on the material of the seats that is weak.but for the rest is ok.




Love my kia spectra

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Vehicle: 2003 Kia Spectra GSX 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

This car has been extremely reliable, the only thing it has been in the shop for is regular maintenance. The gas mileage has been phenomenal consistently near 30 mpg freeway, and mid to upper 20's in town. This is a great car I am sad to have to sell it. The one draw back on this car is that it does not work well for a growing family.




Spectra gsx

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Vehicle: 2003 Kia Spectra GSX 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

I just brought a Kia Spectra GSX and I am so far satisfied with it. It didn't cost much and there are a lot of bells and whistles for its low price. Don't be fooled your getting into a cheap car if you buy one. The handleing is superb, very quiet cab, and an incredibly smooth ride.




Impressed

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Vehicle: 2003 Kia Spectra GSX 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

Having owed several makes and models of cars that fall into the same category as this KIA, I have to say that KIA is the best hands down. The features are arranged comfortably and ergonomically. The power and punch at take off is impressive and the warranty can’t be beat for the price I paid. Finally, I have to say that if you’re looking for a car and you don’t at least test drive the KIA you get what you deserve




Kia spectra gsx : a

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Vehicle: 2003 Kia Spectra GSX 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

Purchased a 2003 for my daughter, who was moving to Arizona. She flew out, but I drove the KIA, hatch loaded to the gills and a fully-stuffed roof carrier, 2500 miles from NJ to AZ, averaging 31 MPG at speeds of 70-80 MPH. Had to downshift a few times going over the Continental Divide, but generally the power was adequate. I think the 2003 model has more torque than the 2002. The car was comfortable, too. Only request would be for a little more "grunt" from the AM side of the AM/FM/CD player; max volume was overwhelmed by road noise at 70 MPH! The hatchback design is very versatile. Car has performed flawlessly so far.



Full 2003 Kia Spectra Review

What's New for 2003

For 2003, all Spectras will come with a CD player and body-color side moldings. Kia has attempted to make the cabin environment more hospitable via additional sound insulation in the roof and floor, an illuminated ignition and revised climate controls. Also, all hatchbacks get a standard rear wiper with an intermittent feature. Finally, note that engine specs have been revised this year -- the Spectra is now rated at 124 horsepower and 119 pound-feet of torque compared with 126 hp and 108 lb-ft for 2002. The four-cylinder engine itself is unchanged.

Talk About The 2003 Spectra

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 19
  • cty
/
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs