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!
I bought this car with 34k miles to replace my 05 Honda Civic, which was totaled in a highway accident. I loved my Civic, and was very squeamish about getting a replacement that could live up to its reputation, but my little Spectra has been amazing! I average 28 mpg city, 35 highway. I've put 30,000 miles on it in a year and a half, and it hasn't had one single problem whatsoever. Regular oil changes every 3k miles, tires and gas are all the money I've put into it, and it runs beautifully in every condition - snow, ice, 110* heat, torrential rain (that's St. Louis weather for you).
What can I say? I'm impressed by the overall performance of my 2007 Spectra. I had driven Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Hyundai Elantra in the past until I decided to try Kia Spectra. This car handles well, engine is strong and very responsive, also great on gas. Based on my experiences, I would say it drives better than Corolla and Elantra, and somewhat similar to Civic. The only difference is probably in the material quality used to build the interior. But considering the price I paid for my Spectra, I feel okay about it. It has now 112K miles on it, and I just got the drive and timing belts, water pump and engine mount replaced. I will at least drive this car until it reaches 200K.
Bought the Kia for a commute to work, been daily driver for years and never had single prblem. Self maintenance is very simple. Overall impressed with the car, it doesn't look stylish but don't judge a book by its cover it performs well. Adequate acceleration with satisfying fuel economy. Transmission shifts smooth without notice, also has sensitive steering. Surprisingly very comfortable ride with plenty of head/leg room for compact car I'm 6'2" and it's pleasant to drive. Has over 250k miles and still drives like new! No oil burns, drips or leaks. Simple maintenance and these cars will run forever.