2003 Kia Spectra - Consumer Reviews

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Average Consumer Rating 97 Total Reviews
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Cheap and reliable
By Andrew Dietz on 05/27/08 09:43 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Kia Spectra 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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More than you'd think
By mlerlie on 08/13/07 20:12 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

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.
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Depends on how you treat it
By travisp11 on 06/05/07 13:31 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

We have had our Spectra for almost four years now and the only major problem we had it in for was the throttle position sensor. Yeah, it took four return trips to the dealership (175 miles away, ouch!) but eventually the throttle body was replaced under warranty. Honestly, if you follow routine service and don't treat it like a red-neck stepchild, you should get many years of good use out of it, just like any other car.
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Well, it wasn't expensive
By Bexley on 05/14/07 16:52 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Kia Spectra 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 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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Great car
By huff on 09/30/06 21:49 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

Simple car, no extras, never have problems. Gets from 30 to 33 highway (automatic). Easy to park. Has fantastic warranty but never have to use it. Unlike American cars no recalls to date!
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my hatchback
By debmck on 08/09/06 21:02 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Kia Spectra 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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Excellent value for the money
By Dawn B on 03/17/06 05:01 AM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

I must admit I was skeptical when my husband first brought this home to me. I have been greatly surprised and pleased with it. The equipment on it for the money was a very good value and the factory stereo has surprisingly good sound. It has a good amount of storage for things like sunglasses and cd's. This baby will turn on a dime, and after 53,00 miles handles well, and drives and rides well compared to higher priced cars. 2 trips from Kansas City, MO to Fort Knox, KY and a trip to Akron Ohio and all I've had to do is change oil and tires. No mechanical issues at all which surprised me. A great little car for the money.
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Built on Monday after beer blitz?
By BBBBombshell on 02/10/06 22:53 PM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

This car is my 2nd Kia. The car is fun to drive and has actually held up pretty well for a car of its price range. However, this baby was in the shop 8 times for a throttle problem. The first 7 times they said the problem was the throttle positioning sensor and it was replaced, reset etc. We were fairly irate because they would reset the sensor and it would be fine for about 3 weeks then it would have no power at all and I was getting 14 mpg - yep I said 14! Finally, they changed the whole throttle body and components. We also lost a bolt out of the flywheel, and they had to remove a chunk of foam from the back door so we could roll down the window.Tomorrow I am buying a Ford! Seriously!
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harsh ride, otherwise ok
By Steven on 02/02/06 05:54 AM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

Just purchased this car two weeks ago, mostly based on ratings at this site coupled with the cheap price and good gas mileage. I did not notice on the test drive how noisy the ride is. Every pebble feels like a pothole and need to have radio on to drown out the engine noise. Am told by mechanics that this is how they sound and you get what you pay for. Would rather have an older Corolla.
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