2004 Kia Spectra Consumer Review: Careful: The Bear Wants Christ

2004 Kia Spectra - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

112 Total Reviews

GSX 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4-cyl. 5-speed Manual)

Build Quality
Reliability Value
Careful: The Bear Wants Christmas Money!
By Jake on


2004 Kia Spectra GSX 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 5M)


The compact hatchback is styled "right". The day I purchased my Spectra I had the check engine light reset. It has been back to the dealership two other times for the same thing, but I have been out in less than an hour each time. As a former line mechanic, I have reset the computer twice myself: once at high altitude above Sante Fe and the other on a foggy morning. It has a dash rattle which I may not get fixed unless it gets louder. I change my own oil and keep all receipts, but I really don't expect problems with the warranty. It is a great second generation vehicle which I rate behind a Corolla or Civic, but I paid an exceptional price-$3600 below MSRP-they met my earned interest rate!

Best Features

This mean puppy can be on 75 in no time; at 4500 rpm there is plenty of speed. The heating system is especially good: 2-4 min. or .8 mile! Gas mileage-35mpg! Also, buy the tire road hazard, rotate, and lifetime balance at Discount Tire-about $12 each-new or under 10k mi. Saves dealer charges!

Worst Features

Find out what Toyota and Honda did to reduce the dash rattles! The check engine light issue may fix itself after the engine is fully broken-in; it seems to occur during long accelerations in second gear. Cruise control should be standard on all GSX models; the dealer's retrofit: $465-too expensive!
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