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Kia Spectra GS, GSX (hatchbacks)

csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
edited March 24 in Kia
OK, I know there was a Kia Spectra thread in the sedan section but it always bugged me that it was in the wrong place, the Spectra is a hatch after all. Besides, it's now archived and no one's posted since April.

I'm about to buy an Elantra GT, but will probably wait until after the Focus ZX5 hits. I drove a Spectra and it seemed crude to me, but since I'm actively looking at five door hatches, I would like to get some experience from owners.

The last threads had several posters who glowed expectedly about the new Spectra Wing, but to me it looked like a mild mid-course restyle. Am I missing something here?
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Comments

  • pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
    You're correct. The Kia Spectra certainly deserves a spot on this message board!


    image


    Please note: I have linked the Kia new car information to the Additional Resources on the left side of this page. Look out for other related articles and discussion in that area. Happy Motoring!


    Pocahontas

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  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Looks to me like there's very little interest in this car, especially compared to the Elantra GT. It would be great if Kia would bring in an Elantra variant (as in the Optima) to replace this beast and forget about the Wing variant, or (happy Spectra drivers) do I have this all wrong??? Of course, it might be a problem if the entire Kia lineup became Hyundais with chrome grills, ala Dodge and Plymouth.
  • pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
    Let's give this discussion a little time. There are a lot of happy Kia Spectra owners out there. ;-)


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  • pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
    you should check out Edmunds' new Incentives & Rebates information. Currently there is customer cash incentives up to $1500 throughout different parts of the USA. Subtract that from it's already very low price, and it's a pretty good deal! Good luck. ;-)

    Pocahontas
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  • babe1956babe1956 Posts: 4
    I was searching for something different, sporty looking, inexpensive with a darn good warranty and there I found the Kia 2001 Spectra GSX Hatchback. Actually, you wouldn't know that its a hatchback unless you lift up the trunk. O.K., so I've only had it a week but so far for the money, I have a really good bargain. The GSX model comes with the pin striping, spoiler, leather covered steering wheel and shifter as well as the mag wheels, power windows and automatic locks. I opted for black. Although its harder to keep clean, it looks really great. I took it home, gave it a good and proper waxing and scotchguarded the seats. Just to add something a little extra, I had them put in the CD player. Anyway, I just wanted to introduce myself. If anyone has the Kia Spectra GSX and has any info on, I would love to hear from you.
  • pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
    Welcome to this discussion! While you're waiting for more feedback in this discussion, here's a direct link to our old (archived) Kia Spectra discussion, where you might find some interesting comments.

    Btw, you're correct: it is hard to tell that the Spectra is a hatchback, judging by the lines. Probably the reason, this discussion was previously on our Sedan's board. Also, I'm curious, how did you come to choose the Spectra over other makes/models....? Were there other models you also considered in your shopping process? I'm sure other shoppers, stopping by here, may also be interested in this....

    In addition, we look forward to hearing more about your Spectra ownership experience. Happy Motoring! ;-)

    Pocahontas
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  • babe1956babe1956 Posts: 4
    I was originally looking for a two door sporty car. I just felt like something jazzy. However, the insureance for both myself and my 93 Saturn that my daughter drives was way too costly with a two door sporty model. Therefore, when I contacted my insurance and asked what to look for without killing my pocket book, the Kia was one of them. The minute I walked on the lot, this black GSX model just called my name. The sporty looks, 4 door model, low price and great warranty was all it took. The rest, as they say is history. Prior to this I was looking at the Fords and the Hyundai Tiburon. Wayyyyyyyy too high.
  • babe1956babe1956 Posts: 4
    Correction on my last post. I believe that the Spectra GSX Model has Alloy wheels and not Mag wheels.
  • honushonus Posts: 17
    I am an ardent fan and advocate of hatchbacks - especially the five-door variety - which is why the Spectra may be a suitable replacement for my beloved '89 Dodge Colt (whenever it breaks down). Since my car is still going strong, I have had no need to test drive the Spectra, but I did take the time to inspect its cargo capacity with the seats folded down - very impressive! I never expected that much room and for the seats to lie at a relatively flat angle. This is crucial to me as I routinely cart around two large dogs (weimaraners). My Colt is unbelievably practical in this capacity, and I have always been disappointed that the new hatchbacks aren't nearly as roomy (and if they are, they sure charge you for it and get less MPG)as the hatchbacks of old. The Spectra, on the other hand, looks very utilitarian, though its fuel economy is not comparable to the old '80s hatchbacks. I just wonder if it will be as reliable as the Colt. No doubt, it will be more powerful.
  • Hi-

    Wondering what anyone thinks of these hatch backs. New, used, or what have you. To tell you the truth I have been researching vehicles now for... probably the better half of 3 months and keep changing my mind about what I want. (for instance I was just looking at a 1998 Pontiac Sunfire last weekend) but I started out "lusting" for a Kia Lanos Sport. I've ranged from Jeep Wrangler to Kia Rio to Mitsub. Eclipse to Saturn and I just can't seem to settle.

    Now I'm steering back toward a Spectra or a Lanos. Who knows what I'll end up choosing. I keep telling myself to ditch my 1990 pick up before Winter hits...but money is tight. So while I keep searching, I must find more insight and answers.

    sorry for the long post. I'm just a frustrated pick up owner wanting to pick a winner next.
  • cjaccettacjaccetta Posts: 236
    If you want a Korean hatchback, consider Hyundai. You could consider the Accent hatchback a competitor of the Lanos and the Elantra hatchback a competitor of the Spectra.

    I, too, had the Spectra on my list but then I looked at the Elantra GT hatchback. The Spectra was okay, but it seemed crude by comparison to the Elantra. I picked up my GT for $14,500 with an automatic and the car is pretty loaded. The Accent is even less expensive. I am still considering the Spectra as a possible second car.

    Another small durable car with plenty of room is the Toyota Echo (also on my second car list). If you are judicious with the options sheet, the Echo can be a great buy.

    Check the other vehicle forums and see what owners are saying about the cars. Good luck with your purchase.
  • Thanks, I will look into that one as well. How has yours held up since you purchased it? Any complaints?

    Any idea how it handles in the snowy environment? How is the weight in the snow. I know my pick up is very light and though it is rear wheel drive, it is still all over the road and I worry about the weight.

    I know any car can be an asset or danger in the snow depending on conditions and speed, but I was just wondering your thoughts on snow.

    Thanks! :)
  • cjaccettacjaccetta Posts: 236
    I just bought the GT in June, and so far it has held up well. I've had no mechanical trouble and I have not had to return to the dealer for anything except to pick up my license plates. The car did have a minor front wheel shimmy when I brought it home but it disappeared after 400 miles. The car gives me nothing to complain about. It performs admirably as my daily 50-mile commuter car -- it is roomy, handles well and is reasonably powerful (for a 4-cylinder motor).

    No idea how the GT will perform in the snow. I live in NJ so I guess I'll find out in about four months. The car has pretty good tires (Michelin MVX4) so that's a plus. Our other car is a RWD Mustang, so I'm guessing the Elantra will see most of the duty this winter.

    I saw a sea-green Spectra GSX yesterday which was kind of cool. But I don't know why Kia insists on slapping the ugly pinstripe on the side of the GSX model. The down-market GS looks cleaner.

    If you are set on buying a Kia, I believe a 5-door version of the Rio will be available soon. I had forgotten about the wagon but I saw one at the NYC auto show last April and was fairly impressed with it. You might want to investigate that model as an alternative to the Spectra.
  • Thanks.

    I test drove the regualar version of the Rio and there was something about that model I didn't like, but when they come out with the new one I will have to take that one out for a spin.

    Good luck in the snow. Hope all goes well for you and your family :)
  • mateyomateyo Posts: 22
    I saw one today -- a regular-trunk version of the Spectra. Does anyone know about this? The one I saw was in Houston, but with Florida plates. It has a completely different rear end, but with the "Spectra" name clearly spelled out on the trunk lid.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Wouldn't that be a Sephia? Did they slap the wrong badging on it? I remember seeing Chrysler products that were Dodges on one end and Plymouths on the other.
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 408
    it seems Kia has dropped the Sephia sedan and renamed it as a Spectra. I saw three today, and one of them is parked in my parking lot so I got a closer look. Not much changed, the font on the gauge faces, the chrome trim on the grille, the reflectors on the headlights. No more amber turn signals in back though...shame shame...
  • Kia Spectra hatchback thread I started and just go with this one. Evidently Kia is going to call the 2002 Kia Spectra hatchback Spectra Wing. This is according to bluewinds. I have found his postings to be accurate as he is Korean and a Kia enthusiast as well. Try this link here to see the 2002 Kia Spectra Wing.

    http://www.kia.co.kr/cybermall/car/spectrawing/main.htm

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • I am happy to report that I have just crossed the 20,000-mile mark on my Spectra, and I couldn't be more pleased with the car. It has far exceeded my expectations and I would definitely purchase another Kia. The brakes make a little noise but are holding up well. The trunk release is still sticky at times. Other than that, I have no complaints. It runs well, handles well, gets 34 mpg on the highway and looks good doing it.

    I recently saw a review in Consumer Reports. Their article is so negative that it is absolutely ludicrous. Kia Motors should haul them into court for slander. At to top it off, they base their criticisms on a '99 model they tested. Kia owners should flood their offices with mail and tell them off.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    and glad to hear you're still happy with your Kia Spectra. Can't beat those mpg! We look forward to hearing more.... Happy Motoring. ;-)

    Revka
    (formerly pocahontas)
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  • Why isnt this discussion listed there?
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Good idea! I'll put in the request. ;-)


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  • They really HATE Kia. I remember how they used to describe the Sephia as "if there is a worse car on the market, we certainly don't know what it is." Now that its the Spectra Sedan, it got that distinction in this year's New Car Preview--see page 82. They have not tested one themselves since 1999 and it is just ridiculous. I bought a Sephia in August, 1995 and it has been fine. Sure it's a little beat up cosmetically, but it has only spent 2 days in the shop since I've had it. I'd say that's not so bad!
  • one large waste of time. To them it's gotta be a Dodge Viper or a Toyota Celica or a Chevy Tahoe(or all kinds of other standard middle of the road kinds of cars)or it's not a real car. My two Kia's have led me to believe that Kia's not only building their cars right but their Global Plan is right on target as well. That would be to be in the top 5 automakers worldwide by 2010. I'm thinkin' they'll make it dudes...umm...dudettes...if they ever post here. Where's eneth?

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • I bought an '01 Spectra about 8 months ago. For the first 2 months I was VERY happy with the car. Compaired to the boring boring boring boring...(did I mention boring?) Civic that I'd been driving since high school the Spectra was a welcome change. I Like how the car looks. It has a certain je nes c'est pas that makes it stand out in my parking lot. After about 5 months though it had completely lost that new car feel to it. The horn died, it ratteled all over, and started to make a VERY bad sound when it braked. I had the dealer fix the brakes and the horn and I was happy again. Two weeks later the horn was dead...AGAIN! I was kinda fed up at that point so I decided to give the car to my girlfriends little brother. I went and blew my savings on an '02 WRX Wagon. I love this car and I'm pretty sure that I'll be a Subaru owner for life.
    Don't get me wrong, I think Kia is a cool little company. You get a car just as good as most of the Japanese econs but at a fraction of the price. Kia's gonna have to put a lot more into those cars though before they are taken seriously. If you can't afford the over-priced Civic or have too much pride for a Saturn (I feel dirty just saying Saturn) Kia is a great option. Or, blow your savings and get a turbo charged, AWD, fun mobile!!

    Marc
  • For anyone interested, the Kia web site (kia.com) is updated for 2002. Check it out!
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Hi claywaterfill-Thanks for the information.

    Btw, you'll also find 2002 Spectra information in Edmunds' New Vehicle Guide. For your convenience, you'll find a direct link in the Additional Resources box on the left side of the page. ;-)

    Revka
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  • When I had my GSX I was feeling as if I was in a Toyota Supra or Acura NSX-T. But
    that didn't last very long. You see one night coming from out of tow I was driving my
    two-week old Spectra downa curvy-winding-twisted dark road. I soon as I saw the
    regulation sign I slowed the vehicle from 60 mph, it was fine when I went into the curve,
    but when i came out of it i accelarated and the next thing I knew was, the rear of the Spec
    felt Floaty almost like a Cadillac. The car started to go side to side, and since I didn’t
    have ABS (Anti-loc braking system) so I pumped the brakes but it was to late. I hit a
    ditch and the seat belt tighten, there was a flash of light when air-bag came out and a
    burning igniting smell, but had know knowledge of the air-bag deploying. When I hit the
    second time I so the passenger air-bag deployed, and what happed next was my-self
    comming to or waking up and turning the ignition off. I couldn’t open the door, then I
    thought why not the window it went down, I grab my cell and keys (which came right out
    of the ignition), and climbed out of the car. I couldn’t breath, I was triying to get air and
    fell to my knees when a young guy near my age helped me. You should of seen the car it
    was a total loss, the real of the car held up, but wheel and the were both in the back bent
    and broke. but the weird thing out about my accident was I woke up to the car in park and
    already off, the front was in no harm condition, and the rear of the car was intact except
    for the rear left tail-light. The backglass did not shatter or crack. Luckly when I struck the
    ditch from the side on the second hit the roll bar protected the car, (yes a roll bar). Well
    anyway im trying to get another 02’ Kia Spectra GSX but with only ABS, and plan to
    treat this one with dignaty. Oh don’t worry minor injuries, but I still want my next kia to
    be an import winner, because I think its time that we as a club should enter Kia in Import
    tours and tornorments (besides honda, acura, toyota, mitsubitshi, nissan, and focus’s etc).
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    to our Kia Owners' Club, where you'll find direct access to many other Kia discussions throughout Town Hall! While you're there, please take a moment to introduce yourselves in our Kia Owners: Meet the Members discussion. Thanks for your participation. ;-)

    Revka
    Host
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  • Whoa! Talk about action! I forget-was the pavement wet? Spose I could scroll back up there but my point is is that you've gotta really like the '02 Spectra to want another one. Is this the hatchback, the GSX? I took my '99 Sephia to my dealer with the intention of test driving the '02 Spectra's. My wife took a liking to the '01 Sportages so we went home with a Sporty. We love it! Sounds like you ran your Spectra too hard and fast man! One more point in reply to your post-yes, more Kia vehicles need to be fitted in the aftermarket arena or fitted-up against the rest of the Asian onslaught in different ways. Same old pics of Honda's and Acura's and Toyota's ad naseum. Bleh! Kiasize me!

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

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