Used 2003 Kia Spectra Consumer Reviews - 98 Car Reviews | Edmunds

Consumer Reviews

2003 Kia Spectra

Average Consumer Rating

98 Total Reviews

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Kia Spectra a good car
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By dkrosell
on

Vehicle

2003 Kia Spectra 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)


Review

Having previously owned several Toyota Camrys, we were surprised to find the Kia Spectra so reliable. We never had to have it repaired - only maintenance in the 5 years we owned.


Best Features

Reliability


Worst Features

Kia should spend a little extra on the quality of the paint - but then I understand Jaguars don't have good paint jobs either.


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Cheap and reliable
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Andrew Dietz
on

Vehicle

2003 Kia Spectra GS 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 5M)


Review

I put almost 120,000 miles on this car before I traded it in for my new car (not a Kia). The price was cheap and for the cost, the car ran pretty reliably. I never had any major repairs needed - just normal maintenance stuff like the timing belt. The brake systems needed a LOT of repairs over the years though. I had to replace rotors with every set of brakes and I had the brake calipers replaced once as well. I was told it was due to Kia's "small parts". The car was fun to drive, and I felt like I could drive rough with it when I needed to and it would hold up well. It blows around a little too much in the wind though. I did find the seats very uncomfortable, though.


Best Features

Car drove well and was really easy to maneuver. Hatchback style had an enormous amount of trunk space.


Worst Features

More comfort on the seats. Better seals on the windows. Brake replacement is both expensive and a big hassle.


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More than you'd think
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By mlerlie
on

Vehicle

2003 Kia Spectra 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)


Review

This was my first Kia. Bought it solely because it was the newest car with the best warranty I could afford. I drive a lot so a new car with warranty was critical. In the past 3 years I've put on over 75000 miles and have had to do very little maintenance. But I don't feel safe in it at all - the littlest gust of wind tosses it around - not fun on highways during blustery blizzards! I actually had a panic attack while driving it through the W.V. mountains (Talk about a very long trip!) I get about 31 mpg most of the time and with the miles I put on, that's a definite bonus.


Best Features

Love the headlights!! Tons of illumination at night out front and to the sides with this car! Good stereo, and the seats/cockpit is very comfortable. It's practically a magic clown car - you can just keep putting stuff in it.


Worst Features

Make it more solid - too lightweight. Starter starts hard all summer long - but dealership wouldn't replace it and now it's out of warranty. FYI buy the 100,000 bumper-2-bumper warranty right away or they'll renege on it later!


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Depends on how you treat it
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By travisp11
on

Vehicle

2003 Kia Spectra 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)


Review

We have had our Spectra for almost four years now and the only major problem we had it in for was the throttle position sensor. Yeah, it took four return trips to the dealership (175 miles away, ouch!) but eventually the throttle body was replaced under warranty. Honestly, if you follow routine service and don't treat it like a red-neck stepchild, you should get many years of good use out of it, just like any other car.


Best Features

Replace the filter with a K&N and you will get 33-35 on the highway, at least 31 on the interstate (with the A/C on!). Also, pretty good passing power on the highway and we even own the automatic. Replace the stock tires and handling isn't quite so treacherous in the wet/snow. Wish we had the stick!


Worst Features

Seats can get uncomfortable on long trips as well as a lack of factory cruise. Auto transmission can be a bit jumpy but it is more of an issue of mechanical refinement. Stock tires are terrible in the wet and snow. In town mileage is only about 20-23 MPG with the automatic. Lack of dealers overall.


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Well, it wasn't expensive
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Bexley
on

Vehicle

2003 Kia Spectra GS 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 5M)


Review

For an inexpensive car, the reliability has been outstanding, but over time the "little" things have crept up. Seat(s) have become rather uncomfortable, wind noise is more pronounced, and now a disconcerting noise is coming from the front end, as if a strut is loose ore something. Also, little bits of trim have fallen off, but mechanically, only the brakes have been replaced, at 55,000 mi. I might keep it longer if it weren't becoming so unpleasant to sit in for more than 1/2 hour or so.


Best Features

Price, reliability, a/c works good. Armrest is nice, and storage bin by the maplights has been useful.


Worst Features

Screw it together a little better (probably the newer models have done so) and make it more engaging to drive (again, probably has been addressed in newer versions).


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