2003 Kia Spectra Hatchback - Consumer Reviews

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Average Consumer Rating 27 Total Reviews
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Second owner, purchased with 50,000 miles on it
By kimllopez on 02/20/14 15:16 PM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Kia Spectra Hatchback 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.
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Worst car I've ever owned
By lissal on 08/07/13 10:47 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Kia Spectra Hatchback 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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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Good and cheap to fix if you Know
By Antonio Colon on 11/15/10 00:00 AM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Kia Spectra Hatchback 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.
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Love my KIA Spectra
By Love my spectra on 06/15/10 17:12 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

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.
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Good and Bad
By susiebelle on 12/17/08 09:38 AM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

Car is cute, gets great gas mileage. I bought my car new. Had to change the tires by 30K Replaced brake pads and rotors twice. Replace battery. Driver side locks broken & sometimes won't unlock and I have to crawl through the passenger side. Driver side window roller broke, Alternator going out. Problem with steering system. Hatchback cover broke within a week. Rear window brake light is falling apart from sun damage (I live in Indiana & typically don't have this problem). Brake lights are a pain to change..have to remove whole back panel of car. Very lightweight car and blows around on windy day
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Cheap and reliable
By Andrew Dietz on 05/27/08 09:43 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

I put almost 120,000 miles on this car before I traded it in for my new car (not a Kia). The price was cheap and for the cost, the car ran pretty reliably. I never had any major repairs needed - just normal maintenance stuff like the timing belt. The brake systems needed a LOT of repairs over the years though. I had to replace rotors with every set of brakes and I had the brake calipers replaced once as well. I was told it was due to Kia's "small parts". The car was fun to drive, and I felt like I could drive rough with it when I needed to and it would hold up well. It blows around a little too much in the wind though. I did find the seats very uncomfortable, though.
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Well, it wasn't expensive
By Bexley on 05/14/07 16:52 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

For an inexpensive car, the reliability has been outstanding, but over time the "little" things have crept up. Seat(s) have become rather uncomfortable, wind noise is more pronounced, and now a disconcerting noise is coming from the front end, as if a strut is loose ore something. Also, little bits of trim have fallen off, but mechanically, only the brakes have been replaced, at 55,000 mi. I might keep it longer if it weren't becoming so unpleasant to sit in for more than 1/2 hour or so.
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First purchases
By Jilly O on 02/14/07 19:58 PM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

My first car. About $7500 at a Ford dealership. To work, to school, to play, it gets you there comfortably and in style. It isn't just a tool of transportation, it's a great ride. I'm 18 and as a first car, I am impressed. Only one blind spot (on every car) and great handling. I honestly love my little Kia and get compliments on it. For a small car, there is a ton of room (unlike Honda Civic coupe). Haven't had an engine problem at 60,000 miles. Kia isn't "established" so my insurance was a pain to get. Recommended for teens or first purchase.
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my hatchback
By debmck on 08/09/06 21:02 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

Dependable, good gas mileage. Window seal on driver side bad, wind noise. All weather strips on hatchback fell off. Had to replace tires at 30,000 miles. Air conditioning weak. Regret not getting power windows and door locks.
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Great Value!
By Nicodemus on 06/17/04 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

My wife and I were second-time new car buyers and were looking to step up from the 2002 Spectra we had bought the year previous. We got the GSX, which has the power windows and door locks, power mirrors and tach. The CD player was nice, but we have our own in it. The stock speakers have been just fine, and it rides quite well for a vehicle with such a short wheel base. The small engine is our main problem, as we live in a mountainous area and have to turn off the O/D and A/C to climb the hills. Overall, however, we've had NO trouble out of this car and have only had to take it in for normal upkeep.
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