2003 Kia Spectra Base Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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2003 Kia Spectra - Consumer Reviews

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97 Total Reviews

2003 Spectra Consumer Reviews

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Second owner, purchased with 50,000 miles on it
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By kimllopez
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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.


Favorite Features

I like the deep trunk.


Suggested Improvements

the right headlight seems to be faulty. Keep having to replace just that side.


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Worst car I've ever owned
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By lissal
on

Vehicle

2003 Kia Spectra GS 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 4A)


Review

I purchased this car new, and owned it for 5 years. In that time, I replaced the serpentine belt 3 times, the alternator once, the radiator twice (the replacement from the Kia garage had a hole in it, though it was supposedly a new part), and the alternator belt 4 times. The electrical system started acting wonky after three years, and after spending 2 months in the Kia garage, I got it back but the internal lights never worked after that. I cut my losses and gave the car to a friend, who told me that the engine died at 78,000 miles. I would never again buy a Kia.


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Yet another big mistake
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By dswanson1
on

Vehicle

2003 Kia Spectra LS 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)


Review

We bought it and withing 3 months had to put a new transmission into it. That was under 100000 miles. It has been back into the shop 6 more times so far and we are only at 106000 miles. Nothing but issues left and right. Everything seems to break. Unfortunately we financed and are stuck with it for the next 2 years.


Favorite Features

27 MPG


Suggested Improvements

Everything


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Solid so Far
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By deathsaid
on

Vehicle

2003 Kia Spectra 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)


Review

Our Spectra has 120, 000 miles on it and has been pretty reliable so far. I have it for the last 20K or so and before that my father-in-law owned it. It has gone through some brakes and needed some work to fix in the brake fluid system. Front brakes put off a lot of dirt, hubcaps are literally black at this point. All things considered this car has been great, not the sexiest car or most comfy (i am 6'6) but very dependable. Nothing fancy or flashy about it but it gets from point A to point B.


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Love my Kia!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By kiersten565
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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!


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Love my Spectra
1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By mikewilks52
on

Vehicle

2003 Kia Spectra 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)


Review

I bought my 2003 Spectra used, it had 120,000 miles on it when i bought it. It now has 171,674 miles on it. Have only had to replace the water pump. Runs great, drives great. Have never had a problem with it. Keep up your maintance and i've heard it's nothing to get 500,000+ miles on a KIA.. Love my Spectra.. My next purchase will be a KIA Soul.. Very happy with KIA's.


Favorite Features

Very comfortable and roomy interior. Lots of trunk space. I do wish it had cruise controll.


Suggested Improvements

Dash of the cars could use some inproving on.


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Nothing but problems
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By msbolshevik
on

Vehicle

2003 Kia Spectra LS 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)


Review

I bought my 03 Spectra new from a dealer, and I have driven it for 9 years. When I drove off the lot, IT DIED at the 1st intersection. They had to replace the entire computer system because it was faulty. Luckily, that was covered under warranty, but everything that followed was not. The entire engine seized up for no reason about 3 months later. I had to replace the transmission within the first couple years (and then a second time about 3 more years down the road). There have been several other smaller issues, but these are the majors. I don't know why I kept it so long. I guess the last 3 years it was somewhat more dependable (because I had replaced everything inside)!


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Go have 10 root canals!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By dean_o
on

Vehicle

2003 Kia Spectra LS 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)


Review

This was the most painful vehicle I have ever owned. We bought it used, and with in the first month had to have 2 transmissions put in. What kind of car needs that? The interior is just an awful design. The alternator went 3 times! The front wheel mounts on both sides were shot. The seat belt buckle broke, come one. The cruise control worked went it wanted too. And for 3 years the check engine light was on and after numerous checks by mechanics no one could get it to turn off and stay off. If you have a choice of someone giving you a Kia Spectra or having to pay for 10 root canals... take the root canals!


Favorite Features

Favourite feature? It is now a big square pile of scrap metal.


Suggested Improvements

Take the radiator cap off and screw a new car underneath.


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Good and cheap to fix if you Know
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Antonio Colon
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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.


Favorite Features

the gas economize on high way is great and the back space is better


Suggested Improvements

open market for replacements


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Average car
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Chris L
on

Vehicle

2003 Kia Spectra 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)


Review

If you're looking for an average vehicle, this is it. It has 4 wheels, an engine, and it gets you from point A to point B. We've only owned it for a few years, gone from about 65k to 95k miles, and we've had a few issues. The serpentine belt began squeaking during our first winter and eventually snapped, killing the power steering. We've had the belt replaced 3 or 4 times now, and I'm sure we'll have to do so again in the future. The AC also died in relation to fixing the belt somehow, and the muffler pipe needed replacing about a year or so after buying the car, which we finally replaced. A loud muffler is something I wish upon no one.


Favorite Features

It is a comfy ride and there's a lot of space in the interior. When the muffler is okay, it has great pick up.


Suggested Improvements

Better quality for sure. I hope the Kia's today are better built.


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