I bought the Kia used at 18,000 miles, and then drove it for almost 150,000 without a problem. Gas mileage was about 33 mpg highway, and it was rock solid. Sure, the sheet metal is so thin that you could dent the car just by breathing on it, and the rear defroster was useless, but the car was a real trooper. Hatchback was very useful, too, I could load all kinds of things in there. The only mistake I made was not changing the timing belt, and it broke at 145k miles, ruining the engine. At 145k miles, the CV joints needed replacing, and so did the struts, but it was a great car.
Other than normal wear parts like brake pads, I've had problems with the motor mounts (4 of them) and the upper power steering hose. It has good fuel economy, about 22 mpg city and very good handling, especially when you upgrade the wheels to 15" and sport tires.
I bought mine new in 2001 and I've put a little over 70,000 miles on it. It's paid off and now I'm really getting my money out of it. It's still running great and drives as good as 2 other new cars I've recently test driven. I have done all the recommended maintenance and it's still running like a top. I had only minor warranty repairs done and have no complaints. I've been looking for a used higher end KIA like the optima to purchase but I think everyone knows how great these cars are they aren't trading them in so there are none available in my area. Can you say watch out Honda someones coming up quickly behind you and their price is better?
I have had many problems with the engine begining with the loud noises it makes & a/c and radio malfunctions. The plastic pieces of the vehicle are always breaking off such as those that recline the seat,open the trunk and gas,and a/c vents.Ancira, the dealership where I purchased my Kia, is not very efficient when it comes to fixing it. So the warranty Kia always raves about really means nothing to me.Within the first year of owning my new Kia Spectra, the tires and brakes had to be replaced, and since they are considered maintanence parts, they were not covered by the warranty. This car has been a headache from day one.
I've had this car for over three years. The more I drive it the better it gets. It is the best highway car I have ever had and with Dunlop SA-2 tires it handles like a sports car. It can cruize on the interstate with the best of them and still get great gass mileage.