Used 2003 Kia Spectra Hatchback Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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2003 Kia Spectra Hatchback - Consumer Reviews

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27 Total Reviews

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Cheap and reliable
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Andrew Dietz
on

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.


Best Features

Car drove well and was really easy to maneuver. Hatchback style had an enormous amount of trunk space.


Worst Features

More comfort on the seats. Better seals on the windows. Brake replacement is both expensive and a big hassle.


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Well, it wasn't expensive
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Bexley
on

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.


Best Features

Price, reliability, a/c works good. Armrest is nice, and storage bin by the maplights has been useful.


Worst Features

Screw it together a little better (probably the newer models have done so) and make it more engaging to drive (again, probably has been addressed in newer versions).


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First purchases
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Jilly O
on

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.


Best Features

Great sound system. Comfortable drive. Very stylish and fun. Good handling. Brakes. Good pickup. Hatchback trunk/folding backseat (one seat folds back or the whole thing - handy).


Worst Features

Have to manually turn lights off or good bye battery - better if automatic, but there is an alert sound. Sunroof would be nice. Child lock on doors. Keyless entry. Light on mirrors. Somehow larger glove compartment. Better carpeting (looks cheap). Driver's side foot heating is insufficient.


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my hatchback
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By debmck
on

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.


Best Features

Looks.


Worst Features

Make it include power windows and door locks.


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Great Value!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Nicodemus
on

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.


Best Features

Feul Economy, reliability, looks good inside and out, roomy for its size, good sound.


Worst Features

The 2005 Spectra has a little more power (137hp vs. 124hp) and that was really our only complaint. Keyless entry would have been nice as well, although it can be added as a dealer option.


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