I absolutely love the 2007 Kia Spectra LX. I bought it as my first car, and was absolutely amazed. It has a good amount of pep, and handles extremely well. Drives well at high speeds, accelerates pretty quickly, and is fun to drive. I am 5'8" and when i sat in it I felt like a hand in a glove, perfect fit. Great gas mileage, and very reliable. I had the car for two years, from 88,000 to 107,000 miles. I replaced the timing belt when I bought it, but other than that all I had to do was oil changes. I would have loved to keep the car forever, but the LX version does not have air conditioning, and I am soon moving to a hotter climate. Mine was manual, and I did have some problems down shifting into second, as it would grind, and I don't know if that was standard among this model or not. I had to slow down a lot more than normal standards in order to shift into second gear smoothly. Overall this car was amazing and after buying, I was extremely impressed with Kia, and this Spectra. From some other Kia's that I have been in and this one, I see that Kia does a great job at making comfortable vehicles. Very reliable, comfortable, cost efficient, and just an overall great car!
Don't buy Kia. I have had my Kia for 7 years and the check engine light has come on and off since I owned it. brought it in a few time to a dealer and they can't find anything wrong with it. now I have to have it emission tested and the check engine light is on so it failed. Kia won't do anything about it of course because it is out of warranty.
I would have been happy with this car even if I had spent much more on it. With proper maintenance I did nothing to this car, and before I wrecked it in December it had 176,000 miles. I was very pleased with safety options, after a semi turned in front of me I totaled it, but was left uninjured. You could see how its design left it crunched in the front, but left cabin unaffected. Before the crash I was optimistic about making it to 250,000 miles, as the car still responded the same as the day I bought it new. The MPG's were great, normally averaging 33. It was not much to look at, but if you are looking for a reliable little car it will beat anything.
The car was given to me as a loaner while my Chevy was in for service and I was so impressed with how much better it was than my own car I wound up buying it. The ride is GREAT, even over potholed northern IL roads. I was very impressed that it comes with all-wheel independent suspension. Handling and ride are excellent. The interior is nicely thought out and very comfortable on long trips, and the car does well in the winter. Only issue was it needed a new radiator at 54000 miles. Kia fixed it under warranty for no charge despite the fact I purchased it used from a Chevy dealer. No other problems at all (knock on wood!).
Great ride, excellent handling, good pickup, great gas mileage, very good interior, nice looking car, more airbags than you can shake a stick at.
A five speed automatic would be cool, but the four speed that comes with the car does fine. The car is smart enough to turn off the headlights when you turn off the engine, but it doesn't turn off the dome light--I haven't had an issue with that, but it would be nice.