2004 Kia Spectra Review | Edmunds.com

2004 Kia Spectra

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
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 2004 Kia Spectra

  • The redesigned Spectra is a major leap ahead of its predecessor in terms of comfort, safety and value.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Long range warranty, redesigned version sports a spunky engine, well-finished interior and standard side-curtain airbags.

  • Cons

    Suspension a bit soft, weak performance on outgoing model, ABS optional only on most expensive models.

  • What's New for 2004

    Kia introduces a completely redesigned and much improved Spectra as a midyear 2004 model. However, both the old and new versions are available this year.

Full 2004 Kia Spectra Review

What's New for 2004

Kia introduces a completely redesigned and much improved Spectra as a midyear 2004 model. However, both the old and new versions are available this year.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

Problem from day 1

by on
Vehicle: 2004 Kia Spectra LS 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

I purchased this vehicle from a Barrie Ontario dealer in Sept 2004..it had 18000 on it (I was told it was a rental car b4 I bought it)-in any case the check engine light was on from day one. The most disturbing is when you would go it would hesitate and not seem to "catch" a gear..no power-you would turn it off turn back on and it would seem to reset itself. I took it to Barrie Kia before we moved and they said "if the problem isnt occuring right then we cant see it"-I told them while it's still under 20,000 if I find its transmisison related later I wont be happy. In any case I now work at Honda (thank the lands) I have thus far replaced the alternator and battery. There are FIVE codes (all

Will stay with kia

by on
Vehicle: 2004 Kia Spectra LX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

We bought our first new car in 04. It is technically an 04 model, with an 05 body style. We loved this car so much that when my husband wanted a new one we bought an 08 manual for him. Great Gas mileage! Great starter car for a young family. The only cons are that the gas tank straps failed after 5 years, and I had to have those replaced, scary! And the interior after 8 years is failing, seat is falling apart.

Good car for the price

by on
Vehicle: 2004 Kia Spectra 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

I am surprised at some of the other reviews. I bought this car used with 16,000 in early 2005. At the time, I needed an inexpensive and reliable car to get me back and forth between work, home and school. Six years later, I still own the car and I still love it. The only major expense was a timing belt change at 102,000 miles. Over the years I have had only one mysterious problem. The transmission at times would stick in one gear. Every time I have encountered this issue, I simply pulled over, put the car in park for a second, returned the car to drive and the problem ended. I would highly recommend this vehicle to anyone who needed reliability & affordability. I own 2 Kias today!

Questionable reliability

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Vehicle: 2004 Kia Spectra EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

I still like this car; however; only after 55,000 miles the alternator failed and at 67,000 the ac compressor had to be rebuilt. The alternator repair was covered by the warranty but the ac I had to pay for it. Recently I replaced the brakes for the first time and the timing belt and engine belts. Tires twice and battery twice as well. Other than that I still like the car but will think twice again of buying another Kia. The 60,000 miles warranty is for a reason.

Cleaned out my wallet

by on
Vehicle: 2004 Kia Spectra 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)

We bought this Spectra used at 32,000. Following year we put in a new clutch. We had 4 CV joints put in and now the Rack and Pinion is gone. Car is at 64000 miles. The dealership wants $1200 to replace. Called Kia and they offered no help. Have spent tons of money on this car and it always makes funny noises. I found a friend to replace rack with a used one for $250.00. I am stuck with this car for now but would never buy anything from KIA.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

Never again!

by on
Vehicle: 2004 Kia Spectra GS 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 5M)

I donít know how or where to start. This car has been giving me problems from the start. The engine light goes on and off. The transmission has been replaced 3 times, the computer once, the alternator 1 time; the struts have been replaced twice. OMG! It has been my worse nightmare. I have missed so many days of work because of this. I wanted to sell it, but of course Kia does not hold their value. After I paid over 15,000 for this car, I only get $2,000 after 5 years with only 55,000 miles on it. I swear I would rather walk to work everyday before I buy another Kia. PLEASE do some research before you buy a Kia... They might be affordable, but you will pay so much at the end.

Talk About The 2004 Spectra

2004 Kia Spectra Discussions See all Started By

If anyone with a 2004.5/2005 Spectra experiences any shifting issues...

Does anyone know anything about the next Spectra? It was supposed to come out for 2004, but that's not going to happen. 2005 is probably the earliest model year possible. I hope this has great quality...

With several well-established choices thriving in the same economy or compact class, the Kia Spectra will likely have a difficult time finding its way among legions of Honda, Toyota and Ford counterpa...

Read more about the 2004 Kia Spectra

Gas Mileage


  • 19
  • cty
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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