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Kia Spectra Sedan



  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Be careful with the NHTSA side impact testing!


    Those tests, in my opinion, are extremely misleading to consumers because the side impact star rating DOES NOT take into account the injury measures recorded on the dummy's head. Simply put, this means that a vehicle can get a 4 or 5 star rating for side impact, but inflict injury serious enough to cause a lethal blow to the head of a real person. NHTSA has NEVER explained why they use this methodology, so consumers must be aware that the NHTSA side impact test is a gauge ONLY of the injury to the front and rear passengers' chest and torso.


    Also, iluvmysephia, beaware that the meaning of the star rating, in terms of percentage injury, is different for the frontal crash and the side crash on the NHTSA website.


  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Backy, some manufacturer's side airbags ARE designed to inflate in severe frontal collisions.


  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    Which ones?
  • I would think that a severe enough collison from the front would trigger the front and side bags to inflate. And inflate at the right speed and angle nonetheless. Not like there's any intense engineering required for this or anything!

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • jprybajpryba Posts: 201
    The IIHS has been doing some side impact tests of their own, and they are including head injuries in their ratings as well. This is more realistic, and as a result, you'll notice some cars that did well in the NHTSA side impact test will get a poor rating when the IIHS does their version of the test on the same car.


    The IIHS doesn't have side impact ratings for all cars, at least not just yet. I think they are still in the middle of implementing this.


    I bet the Spectra will do well in this test, at least!
  • Here's some related info from Edmund's (now outdated) review of the new Spectra. Note specifically the IIHS mention about the *old* Spectra. It looks like Edmunds also thought that the side seat and curtain air bags would benefit the offset crash results. It also shows that it doesn't look like KIA has learned much from the testing done on their previous model. (You would have thought that the Hyundai engineers would have shared their collective knowledge on this one... esp. since they too had to learn this hard lesson. The 'GOOD' results of the Elantra supports that statement.)


    Maybe KIA can retrofit some logic into the sensing system to go ahead and fire the side protection system in the situation of an offset crash? My guess is that their sensing system won't be flexible enough to do that retroactively. It will probably have to be designed into the 2006's at the earliest.


    Read the Edmunds review excerpt...


    "The old Spectra fared well in government crash testing, earning four stars for driver and front-passenger protection in frontal crashes and three stars for side-impact protection. IIHS testing told a more dismal story, however, as the Kia was rated "Poor" (the lowest score possible) for the 40-mph frontal offset crash.


    The redesigned Spectra has not yet been tested, but we expect it to fare much better, as both LX and EX models feature standard front seat-mounted side airbags and full-length side-curtain airbags."
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Check out the IIHS offset crash tests for any Nissan/Infiniti which has side airbags standard. In all of those tested, the side restraint has inflated. Ex- Nissan Murano, Maxima, Quest, any of the Infinitis tested....


  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    That is a lesson for Kia (and others). If they designed the standard SABs and SACs on the Spectra to inflate on a frontal impact, perhaps the driver would be restrained without injury, as happened with the Maxima etc. They might even be able to do that with a software fix, meaning it could be done on existing cars. Fixing the footwell intrusion would be more difficult (as a retrofit) but that's not the biggest problem.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    I personally have a problem with the Spectra being rated poor. All of the individual ratings were either marginal or acceptable. There were no poor ratings at all. I have to ask how the IIHS thinks the Spectra deserves an overall rating of poor when none of the individual ratings were poor. If anything, the Spectra should be rated marginal. Look at the Dodge Neon for example: It's structure was seriously compromised, there was little survival space left, the steering wheel broke off, and there was a poor reading for one of the legs. And yet it was rated marginal overall. It appears they arbitralily gave a poor rating just to make the headline of "first car rated poor since 2001" and make an example of an automaker that failed to make a huge improvement.


    This car does not deserve the poor overall rating. It does deserve a marginal rating and I think Kia needs to address the problems.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Actually, I think the Kia deserves the Poor rating at this point in time. Its 2005, and most brand new designs perform well in this test. In comparison to the Neon which you cite, yes, the Kia's structure did better than the Neon's,


    HOWEVER, comparing the actual injury measures, the Kia does much more poorly than the Neon.


    The Neon inflicted no serious injuries to any VITAL body parts/organs, as it was rated the highest mark for both Head/Neck and Chest.


    In comparison, the Kia rated only a 'MARGINAL' for Head/Neck, which is a serious issue, and an Acceptable for the chest, also worse than the Neon.



    For leg injuries, the Kia is rated Acceptable and Marginal, while the Neon is Poor and Acceptable. I cant speak for anyone else, but Id rather have better ratings in the vital organs area. A broken leg heals- risk of serious injury to the Head/Neck and a lower rating for chest pose a bigger problem, IMO.


    I dont think the rating of the Kia as Poor is arbitrary, I think its based on Marginal kinematics and comparatively Poor injury measures.

    As far as I know, the Injury measures for the Head/Neck and Chest are appropriately weighted more heavily by the IIHS than for the legs. Thats why you'll see a few 'Best Picks' which have an Acceptable for the legs.


  • Merry Christmas Everyone!


    Does anyone know if there is any *real world* injury data published online?


    It would be interesting to reconcile the IIHS "ratings" to real-life injury data on ANY particular car, just to see how accurate their injury projections are.


    Please post the URL to any such info if you know it.




  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Actually, look at earlier ratings. The Mirage was rated poor due to dummy kinematics and right leg injury measures that were rated poor. Otherwise, it did ok injury measure wise. The former Dodge Neon was rated poor due to poor right leg and dummy kinematics. The head/chest was rated good. Every car that has been rated poor was due to being rated poor in more then one independent area. I didn't see one other car that was rated poor with marginal/acceptable ratings. If the head injury was rated poor, like the 01-03 Elantra was, then of course it deserves a poor rating. But it wasn't and none of the other injuries were rated poor, so I think the overall poor rating was a bit much. They don't base the ratings by comparing it to the performance of other cars. They base it on preset boundaries. The Spectra's performance was definitely a disappointment but not quite poor.
  • I've already given my opinion on the Lund survey. I'm not saying it's tainted I'm saying it's of limited use in the real world. It's slightly biased, too, or maybe biased isn't the right word. It's jumping to a conclusion that isn't totally true, to the detriment of a car that does have 4-wheel disc brakes and front, side and rear curtain airbags standard equipment. Like I said right after the test, more data to compare is required. Ingtonge's post above affirms what I was thinking about the frontal crash test that was thrust upon us the other day. Like I've said, I wouldn't let that result stop me from buying a new world order Spectra, nor would I let it upset my enjoyment of the nice new sedan or the new Spectra5. They have way too many positives to let a rotten apple spoil them.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Just curious, have you ever realized that some criticism of any make and model of car is reasonable and warranted? The fact of the matter is that the new Spectra performed poorly in comparison to every new small car launched in the past 4 years.


    Putting the overall rating aside, look at the category measures for the Spectra against any of its major competitors. There's no comparison. Kia undelivered. The "rotten apple" comment is really curiuos to me. Why pick the Kia over a better performing, lower priced, higher rated Elantra? Simply because of the logo?


    My only point is that not all of criticism/negative results/tests of Kia's products are unwarranted, though you seem to dismiss most as biased, not representative, or irrelevant.




    PS- Happy Holidays to all!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    It's not a "survey", but a test conducted under controlled conditions. It's not someone's opinion, but a rating based on test results and pre-determined, published criteria.


    Kia blew it, just like Hyundai did with the '01-03 Elantra. Try to get over it. The good news is, Kia can fix it if they want to.
  • I'm just curious why Mr.Lund couldn't resist tossing rotten potatoes at Kia when other rigs he lets go. Kind of like the officer who pulls over the cars he chooses while others he decides to let travel on.


     Ingtonge said "I didn't see one other car that was rated poor with marginal/acceptable ratings. If the head injury was rated poor, like the 01-03 Elantra was, then of course it deserves a poor rating. But it wasn't and none of the other injuries were rated poor, so I think the overall poor rating was a bit much. They don't base the ratings by comparing it to the performance of other cars. They base it on preset boundaries. The Spectra's performance was definitely a disappointment but not quite poor."


    Couldn't have said it better myself. Like I've said, Kia should probably respond to this crash result and fix what they decide to fix. I feel that the Kia Spectra is fortified enough to drive as it is and wouldn't put off a Spectra purchase if that was what I wanted, based on the Lund Report. It was indeed pick and choose "ticket writing" crash-testing IMO. Brings to mind a possible Clodsumer Retorts connection of some kind, eh?

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    "It was indeed pick and choose "ticket writing" crash-testing IMO. Brings to mind a possible Clodsumer Retorts connection of some kind, eh?"


    Seriously, did you ever consider that MAYBE, just MAYBE, the cars are evaluated based on performance, and they just don't measure up?

    Any way you look at it, the Kia is NOT the equal of nearly all the other cars in its class for the frontal offset, whether it got a Poor OR a Marginal overall. (I dont consider the Cavalier a competitor any longer, and even with a Marginal, the Kia would only be as good as a lowly Neon).


    Off to festivities..



  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747


    All the crash photos and crash details clearly indicate that this is for the new model, manufactured AFTER 11/03.


  • yeah, I figured it was the new Spectra. I saw the crash test on TV, too. He is a "gung-ho" type salesman and I did get a brochure on the rig I'm interested in, the 2005 Kia Sportage. Go to the 2004 or 2005 Kia Sportage thread here on Edmunds if you want to read my post after yesterday's visit. That SUV is crammed full of standard safety equipment, it really is. But this thread is about the Kia Spectra, and of late about how it didn't perform up to par with the rest of the crop of subcompacts.


    I think Kia needs to either tell us what they're going to do to repair the problem with the new Spectra, or issue an explanation on why they think they shouldn't have to, eh? I noticed that when Ford's Exploder was under scrutiny on a wider scale(because of higher Exploder sales than new Spectra sales, affecting a lot more drivers)with their tire problem they were very quiet about their own investigation of the problem. I saw the new Spectra sedan and Spectra5 yesterday. The Spectra has some nice brushed aluminum on the dash and nice interior seat material and the new Spectra is a handsome one...the best looking one I've seen in the Spectra lineup so far. Still, Mr.Lund's crash test showed some deficiencies on that frontal 40mph test that are disturbing. I just wonder if one of the bags didn't open fast enough or something. It would be nice if the manufacturers would study it and find a fix and publish it. Demand a retest. Isn't that what Hyundai had to do with the Elantra a while back?

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

This discussion has been closed.