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2005 Kia Spectra/Cerato



  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Funny shimmy comments seem to run in waves. There was a lot of shimmy discussion when I bought my Elantra. Chose mine over another color which I would have preferred because of minimal shimmy, but it was still there.

    Bought the $7+ lifetime balance-rotation from Wal-Mart and I had no problems until the Michelin Energies wore out at 40K (overrated tire IMHO), bought Uniroyal Tiger Paw GTH's (about half the price of the Mic's and better), again from Wal-Mart and have had no shimmy problems.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    I drove past my local Kia dealer today so I stopped in to see if they had any Spectra5s. No, they didn't, but I looked at all the "all new" 2004 Spectras they had on the lot. They had mostly EXes and a few LXes, all with a/c, which puts them about $170 away from an EX. Can someone explain to me why the LX exists? Does anyone today buy a new car without a/c? If they want a cheap car without a/c, there's always Rios, Accents, and Aveos.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    As usual, good points. I thought the seeming overlap of pricing on the LXs and EXs odd myself, but there must be some reasoning behind it, right?

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    My own theory is that by offering the low-buck LX, Kia can advertise a really low "starting at" price for the Spectra, to entice buyers into the showroom. Then they'll see how little difference in price there is between the LX and EX, think about how much car they are getting for under $12k with the EX (after full rebates and discounts), and say "what the heck" and get an EX.

    I know there are some people who prefer roll-down windows, based on comments I've seen in these boards, but IMO that's not a huge percentage of the population. Some people may be concerned about kids and power windows, but with the flush switch design used by Kia and the lockout feature, I think it's pretty safe. The power locks with remote entry and fog lamps on the EX add some measure of safety too I think.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    One more example (along with having two different 04 Spectras--I know, I know--EPA) of why Kia's marketing is less adept than Hyundai's. Hyundai does it right with the Elantra which covers the basics with every car.

    Kia's president was on a local radio station about a month ago and reported that you had to take your Kia to the dealer or waive the warranty. This is a car-guy and he doesn't understand Magnusson-Moss???
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Well then he's not a car guy but a marketing guy. ;-)

  • pzevpzev Posts: 807
    You answered your own question. It's so the Spectra can have a low starting price. Everyone does it. The Mazda3 has a no A/C version with low starting price. The Altima had a no A/C car. How many people buy DX Accords with a 2 speaker sound system and how many will you find on the lot? A lot of people shopping under $20k shop by glancing at prices since they can't afford very much so all the carmakers try to get them to look at their product.

    As far as the less than $200 difference between an LX with A/C and EX, yes it's pretty stupid except for people who want manual windows but as mentioned already most people don't prefer manual windows and would be willing to pay $200 more. It's sort of like the Mazda3. The Mazda3 2.0 with power package and A/C (which most buyers want A/C and power windows/locks) is priced only $700 less than a Mazda3 2.3. Most people (at least on the forums) don't see the point in the 2.0 when for only $700 you can get the bigger engine, bigger disc brakes, foglights, leather-wrapped steering wheel, special gauges, the list goes on and on. Personally though I do prefer the 2.0 because it's available with a beige interior, has the better looking grille and taillights, and I'll take the better fuel mileage. The Spectra LX is more pointless though unless someone doesn't want power windows.

    Has anyone noticed that the 2005 Focus has basically the same pricing as a Mazda3? There's no doubt that the Ford Focus will become the next Cavalier and massive rebates will be offered. They're simply pulling a GM with inflated prices and then in return already knowing the $3,000 rebates won't be far behind. I have to wonder though since the Ford Focus is a rental car special that the parts used aren't exactly high quality since it's built for being a rental car in mind. Where as the Mazda3 is built in Japan for the entire world and where in Europe the Mazda3 is higher up the food chain so quality is important. This is pure speculation on my part about parts quality but the NA Focus doesn't seem to be a European Focus, not only with the platform but also in overall quality.

    Which brings me to the Spectra. Competition is only going to get fiercer with the new Elantra, Sentra, Civic, Cobalt (which I also think may have an inflated price and follow the Cavalier and Focus), and even the new tC may steal a few buyers that would have otherwise bought an economy car. I think the new Spectra, in it's current form, would have to offer at least $2,000 rebates, if not more. The Kia will be overlooked and only bargain shoppers will look at it, thus the rebates will need to be there. Never has anyone strapped for cash looking for a new car could get this kind of car with this kind of warranty, except obviously for an Elantra.

    Even if the car is overlooked this is a very important car for Kia. I've noticed, at least on the internet, people no longer use Hyundai to make jokes about cheap cars. The Kia name is now the punching bag but with cars like the Spectra it won't be long before they move up in consumer's eyes. I have to wonder what car badge then will be used to describe cheap cars.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    Spectra does have $2000 in rebates right now, if you include the $1000 general rebate and the $1000 loyalty rebate OR $1000 competitive rebate. Many people will qualify for one of those. With those plus a discount, you could get an EX for a little over $11k + T&L. When compared to some other cars like the '04 Corolla LE and Civic LX (hard to get one for under $14k), it is quite a bargain and is also priced competitively with the Elantra GLS, yet has more safety equipment (disc brakes all around, side curtains, fog lights). I agree the Spectra is a huge car for Kia because it removes the last real "dog" from their lineup. When the all-new Rio and Optima come out in the next year or so, Kia will have an extremely competitive lineup of cars across the board.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Agreed, just keep in mind that perception lags about 5 years behind reality, so it'll take time for that type of thinking to sink in with consumers.

    So they'll still be joked about, it just might not apply as well as it used to.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    Which means those "in the know" can get a good car at a great price, until everyone else catches on! ;-)
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    .. should be available in the upcoming issue of Consumer Reports. The usually include that bar graph that shows most competitors- so given its Elantra lineage, we'll be able to see how well this newer version is executed against their last test Elantra -a 2001, and there have been very few real changes to the vehicle since then. VVT, for example, was a nice addition, but fairly modest, in terms of performance/economy benefits.

    backy- I am VERY interested to see what Hyundai and Kia do with the next gen Accent and Rio.

    pzev- Ford has completely adopted a strategy through which it offsets rebates with higher MSRP and invoice pricing. On a lot recently, I noticed that a VERY moderately equipped Freestar(no leather, no moonroof, plastic wheels... really not many extras except for the side "canopy" safety system) stickered at $29,000 flat. Thats crazy! A Sienna LE with the top LE options package (comes with VSC, side curtains, alloys, power passenger door, DVD rear system, etc.) stickers for a hair under $29,000. C'mon, Ford, get real!

    If you look in a recent issue of Car and Driver (June or July, cant remember which), the Focus ST MANUAL(!)tested (well optioned, but not with leather... mind you) was about $19,800. Thats ABOVE the comparable Civic and Corolla.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    It's true there's been no huge changes to the Elantra since the current gen debuted in the fall of '00, but there have been many small changes that IMO have really helped the livability of the car. They include:

    * Rear cupholders (sedan only)
    * Lighted ignition keyring
    * Redesigned front seat track (longer, stronger)
    * Redesigned instrument panel (classier than the old one)
    * Additional 12V outlet
    * Revised power locks (2-stage system added, separate switch added)
    * Revised remote entry--now standard (2-stage opening, panic button added)
    * New fabric (GLS) and perforated leather (GT) interior (nicer looking)
    * Mist feature on wipers
    * Restyled exterior
    * Restyled wheel covers (GLS) and alloys (GT)
    * VVT engine with more power and lower emissions
    * Standard Kenwood MP3 stereo (GT)
    * Toll ticket holder
    * Damped ash tray
    * Smoother HVAC controls (way smoother than a Corolla's!)
    * Door and rubber mat on cubby below stereo
    * Auto-sensing passenger air bag (well, when it's working...)
    * Revised seatback releases (GT)
    * Larger rear window (GT)
    * Cargo light (GT)
    * Body-color spoiler (GT)

    There may be more, but that's all I can think of.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    that those running changes are nice, but few if any are substantial enough to change the vehicles overall score in CR's testing (or anyone elses for that matter). Personally, the VVT was a disappointment...the gain in power/torque/efficiency wasnt that substantial, given what VVT does to Toyota/Honda engines.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    Do you suppose CR's score would change if they tested a '04 Elantra GT with ABS and its sport suspension vs. the '01 GLS w/o ABS they last tested? Of the categories CR rates, the '04 GT should do better than the '01 GLS in acceleration, routine handling, emergency handling, avoidance manuever, braking (with ABS), ride (maybe), and maybe fuel economy. Perhaps that would be enough to raise the overall score, which was Very Good for the '01 GLS.

    The VVT design of the Elantra is different than that of Toyota and Honda. It's clear the #1 goal for Hyundai was improving emissions, which they did (ULEV/SULEV) without hurting power or fuel economy. Lower emissions, more power, better fuel economy (with the stick)--what's so bad about that?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    CR's position is that it's hard to find a Hyundai with ABS, remember they shop and buy cars off the show room floor, anonymously.

    Boy, what timing, I mention the 5 year lag and JD Powers releases their new Durability study, Kia actually ranked last for models 5 years old.

    But here's the thing - that was 5 years ago, at least one generation back for each vehicle.

    But the article comes out NOW and people still think that about Kia. See what I mean?

    It'll take a while for this to phase out, it won't happen over night.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    Yes, it will take a "leap of faith" for people to buy a Kia now, hoping that the long-term reliability is there to match the improved initial quality. I took that leap of faith almost four years ago with Hyundai (helped by the long warranty) and I have not been disappointed.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Hmm, I may have been wrong, they have 3 and 5 year studies. On the 3 year Kia was actually 2nd to last, ahead of Land Rover.

    Still, I think we won't be seeing them move up significantly until the 2004 models are evaluated, in 2007 or 2009!

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    Look where Kia was in 2001 (did they evaluate 2000 models in that survey?): the Sportage, the old Spectra, Rio was just out (?), no Optima, no Sorento, no Sedona, no Amanti. No wonder they did so poorly in the quality survey! Remember that Hyundai's quality improvement began in 1998 and only really picked up with the slate of new models for the 2001 model year (Elantra, Santa Fe, XG300). Since then the two oldest Hyundai models, Accent and Sonata, have improved their quality also (note how well they did in the latest J.D. Power IQS). So it will take awhile yet for the long-term reliability rankings of Kia to improve. Before then, we should see improvements in their initial quality rankings, and in fact we have seen that.
  • pzevpzev Posts: 807
    I haven't been keeping up with Daewoo lately. Reviews for the Chevy Aveo, Suzuki Forenza, and Verona seem favorable. Has Daewoo made a big turnaround like Hyundai/Kia or is the Chevy Aveo the same Daewoo as we've had before?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Aveo is an old platform, just freshend up styling.

    Daewoo actually had really good IQ scores early on because you had free service, so dealers would quickly address issues early on. They also had very good satisfaction scores, FWIW.

    Problem was the sales model was horrible, and when they cut pay to those sales staff it just collapsed.

    I don't think the product is as good as Hyundai and Kia, but they did score impressively well for a while there.

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