2003 Kia Spectra Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Kia Spectra

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Kia Spectra Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.8 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 124 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 21/29 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 (26 total reviews)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Love my kia!

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Vehicle: 2003 Kia Spectra 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)

I've been driving my Kia for almost four years now, it was used as my dad's commuter car. I now have 220,000 miles on it and still going strong! Tires have been replaced, along with a new fuel filter and occasional oil changes and tire rotations but nothing major. I put almost 100 miles on it a day and it has great gas mileage. I'm so surprised at how long it's lasted for me. I will be very sad the day it gives up!




Review on 2003 kia spectra

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Vehicle: 2003 Kia Spectra 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)

I am writing a quick review on my 2003 KIA Spectra. I purchased this car brand new, only 4 miles on it, in March of 2003. 6 Years and 110K miles later, the car is in great shape! No mechanical issues, no leaks. Paint is in excellent condition and it still drives great! I have only had to replace the battery and get new tires. Otherwise, followng the maintenance list, this car has held up wonderfully!



5 of 6 people found this review helpful

Kia spectra

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Vehicle: 2003 Kia Spectra 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)

This car has been a nuisance since I bought it. I liked the look of it but I wish the people who sold it to me were a bit more honest. I think it had been in an accident and they didn't tell me. It was not detailed very well. The car itself has been nothing but trouble. I have put quite a bit of money into it. I will have it paid for in Oct. However, it now needs a catalytic converter. It's time to get rid of it. I hope I can get a decent price as I do not want a car payment. Thank you




Five years later!

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Vehicle: 2003 Kia Spectra 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)

I bought this car new in 2003 and I still love it! One review said it doesn't have child locks, but it does! Only a couple repairs and this car has been driven to death with very little maintenance. Had to take it to the dealer early on, forget what it was for but they fixed it at no charge. At 100K mi I just replaced the belt. It's needed five or six new headlights, brake pads at 60-70K, a new battery earlier this year, and only fully replaced tires once for wear. And my sun visor is broken. The car sucks up gas with the AC on high, even on the highway. Other than that, no trouble whatsoever and I give it a dependable rating of "10"




Kia spectra a good car

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Vehicle: 2003 Kia Spectra 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)

Having previously owned several Toyota Camrys, we were surprised to find the Kia Spectra so reliable. We never had to have it repaired - only maintenance in the 5 years we owned.




More than you'd think

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Vehicle: 2003 Kia Spectra 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)

This was my first Kia. Bought it solely because it was the newest car with the best warranty I could afford. I drive a lot so a new car with warranty was critical. In the past 3 years I've put on over 75000 miles and have had to do very little maintenance. But I don't feel safe in it at all - the littlest gust of wind tosses it around - not fun on highways during blustery blizzards! I actually had a panic attack while driving it through the W.V. mountains (Talk about a very long trip!) I get about 31 mpg most of the time and with the miles I put on, that's a definite bonus.



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

  • 21
  • cty
/
  • 29
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs