It's not a Honda or Toyota, and doesn't pretend to be. But, for what it is, it does its job quite well. I get 30Mpg out of mine, mostly highway. It's relatively quiet, well-mannered, and unassuming. I bought mine for $550 at a used lot, replaced the battery, alternator, brakes and had 4 new Douglas (by Kelly tire) all season tires installed. One year later, my wife has taken possession of this car. I have replaced the plugs, coils, wires, and the respective electrical connector for the coils. A can of Seafoam later, it's running even better than it did after I bought it. I've been looking into something newer for her, but she absolutely refuses to give up the Spectra. I guess that says all I need to say.
Slow but practical. The automatic transmission is probably one of the worst ones I've ever seen. I've had mine for almost 2 years, and it's never left me stranded, so it's more reliable than you would expect from a Kia. If you put the back seats down, it's surprisingly big inside. Interior isn't worth mentioning.
An automatic gearbox that doesn't feel like a it's made out of Jell-o. Gear changes take forever and makes the car accelerate far slower than it should, given it's okay power:weight
Bought this car (my first ever) with 100,000 miles; have put 4500 on myself. Anything I've had to do mechanically is to be expected with the high mileage and was coming eventually Â replace OEM alternator and serpentine belt, plus timing belt as a preventative measure. Mechanic said the rattling I hear in the body of the car can be fixed inexpensively, but is mostly cosmetic and can wait. Very low to ground; be careful over even small speed bumps.
Overall I love it, pleasantly surprised! Expected better MPG (22/30+) but fun and easy car to drive.
Serves me quite well. It keeps going and I feel like it has lots of life left even after so many miles. I'd consider a Kia in the future!
I have had this 2002 spectra for several years and it has performed well with very few issues. There are some basic issues that I have not fixed but do not cause a problem, such as a shock housing that allows the shock to rattle a bit. It not very powerful but for small city driving its fine and a bit fun. Not the most comfortable, it is a cheep car. Turning on the air conditioner will result is a noticeable pull on the engine. The interior is ok to look at but is mostly hard plastic. Starting in 2011 the summer heat from in the south has cause the plastic parts inside to start failing, things just randomly break or fall off or appear to disintegrate. Just replace belt for $600.