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2005 Kia Spectra/Cerato



  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I would take the NHTSA tests with a grain of salt. There seem to be wide variences in those tests, and Im not sure why. For example, Toyota has never altered the rear door structure of the Camry, be it the door itself, or the impact beams. And yet, the 2002 and 2003 Camrys scored a 5 star for rear passengers, with the 2004s scoring 3. What caused the drop? Me thinks its NHTSA's antiquated barrier, antiquated test methodology, etc. Additionally, the NHTSA star rating for side impact does NOT factor in head injury. So, the Sephia basically scores a 3 for rear passengers based on chest/torso protection, and the Elantra scores 4 on that count, again for the rear passenger. But what about the Head Injury Measure? The Kia provides a curtain to cushion the blow, and the Elantra, nothing. Factoring in a Head Injury measure, the Elantra might TRULY only be a 3 star performer, for example, but consumers would never know this if they didnt drill down further in the NHTSA report.

    As to why NHTSA doesnt include its HIC measure in the side impact, is beyond me. Are people's heads inconsequential? I feel like theres a very vital organ in mine, though some would argue...LOL!

    always a pleasure,

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    I agree, all these tests should be taken with a grain of salt. But consider the Spectra vs. Elantra side rear results:

    Spectra: HIC 458, TTI 78, Pelvis 109 g's
    Elantra: HIC 540, TTI 69, Pelvis 93 g's

    So the results are actually pretty close, with the Elantra better in two out of three measures--clearly the SACs in the Spectra did help. Maybe the Spectra was at the upper end of 3 stars, and the Elantra at the lower end of 4 stars. But how about the frontal results, where the Spectra didn't do as well as the Elantra? It's just not a good trend. Typically new designs from automakers show improvement over previous designs, not go backwards.
  • Is it just me, or has any one else noticed that there seems to be little or no TV and magazine advertising support for the new Spectra?

    The sales of the Spectra in September '04 belie the quality and fun-of-ownership of this new great little hauler.

              MONTH OF SEPT    YEAR-TO-DATE
      Model      2004    2003          2004    2003

      Spectra     4,480    5,071      33,641    55,114


    Notice this September quote from Mr. Butterfield *omits* any reference to the Spectra:

    "With 70-percent of sales coming from Optima, Sedona, Sorento and Amanti, this richer product mix demonstrates how consumers' view of the Kia brand has dramatically changed," said Peter M. Butterfield, Kia Motors America's president and chief executive officer. "These products showcase Kia's unique ability to deliver high-quality, well-designed vehicles across numerous segments, all at a tremendous value."

    I can only assume that Kia is waiting for production and arrival in the dealerships of the new Spectra5 to happen before they launch a major ad blitz for the Spectra.

    If that assumption *isn't* true, then what are they waiting for?!?!?!?

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    Actually, I've seen several print ads for the Spectra, but not much on TV. But then, I haven't seen many Kia ads on TV period. But then, I don't watch much commercial TV. :-)

    There's also been several positive reviews of the Spectra in the auto press. I think the sales volume will come. Consider that the 2003 numbers included the 5-door, which isn't available yet. Even so, the sales for September were pretty close to a year ago.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    I finally saw the Spectra5 up close today at my local dealer. They had one, a red automatic with only mats on the options list. Price was $16.6k. I decided not to take it for a drive because I was pressed for time and have already driven the new Spectra. I'll come back someday.

    The Spectra5 is good looking for a wagon-like 5-door, with sharp 16" alloys and a blackout grille with chrome trim (the chrome looks a little out of place on the car, IMO). The interior doesn't look very sporty, and is the same light grey color as on the sedan.

    I also happened to stop by my local Hyundai dealer today to see the Tuscon, and saw the new Elantra GLS 5-door. Unfortunately for Kia, the Elantra GLS offers the same engine as the Spectra5, sport suspension with 4-wheel discs, and a sharp woven cloth interior unique to that model starting at $14.1k. There's also a $1000 rebate on the car, none on the Spectra5 right now. So about a $2400 difference between the two cars. Whether the bigger (alloy) wheels and SACs make up for the price difference will be an interesting question for buyers. For me, I'd take the Elantra and pocket the difference.
  • hathat Posts: 11
    Trying to determine if the ABS option for the Spectra5 will include traction control (TCS).

    Signs in favor: Its cousin, the Elantra, bundles TCS with the ABS option. Also, looking at the pictures on the Spectra5 mini-site, the close-up of the instrument panel clearly shows a "TCS Off" indicator beneath the tach needle.

    Signs against: None of the text or tables on Kia's website mentions TCS, nor does Edmunds' write-up on the car.

    Anyone know for sure?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    It's pretty clear the answer is "no" based on all the evidence: Kia doesn't mention it (and you can bet they would if they could), reviews don't mention it (including's and C/D's), and Kia charges $400 for ABS while Hyundai charges about $600 for ABS + traction on the 4-wheel-disc Elantras. In other respects, their option prices are comparable. Also in the photos of the Spectra5 interior on and the C/D review there is no sign of a "TRAC OFF" button on the dash, anywhere. The Elantra has a prominent button on the dash. The "TRAC OFF" light could be there in the Kia site photo because the feature is offered in other countries. I know Hyundai offers many features on the Elantra in other countries that are not offered in the U.S., so maybe Kia does too.

    If you want to find out for certain, you could call your local dealer or better yet, stop in and look at the car--they have reached the frozen tundra of Minnesota, so they should be available just about everywhere by now.
  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Posts: 168
    From Auto Week, the Sportage replacement will offer a diesel option. They mentioned a price of $18K, which will be a whopping $10K less than the 2005 Jeep Liberty diesel.

    I wish a few more car companies would get on board the diesel train and give us a 3000 lb SUV that was off-road capable and got 25-35 mpg. Such vehicles are all over the place in Europe.
  • the U.S., though? I think I read a few months ago that if won't be offered here.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • For you SpectraHeadz out there....

    I was playing around with a free webhosting site today, and decided to throw some pics and info up about my car.

    Here's the URL:

    Take a look and let me know what you think.


  • What was your out-the-door-pricetag, BTW?

    On the front shot, it may just be a reflection, but is there paint flecking off of the front bumper at the crease area? Could just be a reflection. The car looks great. I don't need a lot of convincing, just look at my Edmunds nickname! I love 'em!

    I appreciated your comments concerning the views people have about cars and their manufacture. It's a different world now of cooperation among the automakers and a lot of people(especially where I live, in Missouri)are living in a glass bubble. I think they think it's still 1965 and Detroit metal rules eveywhere. Why not get better value for your money? There are more mundane looking Pontiac's roaming around mid-Missouri than you can shake a stick at. Gag me with a spoon. Here's my front-runners to replace my '01 Kia Sportage 4x4(whenever that may be, who knows when): '05 Scion tC, '05 Kia Sportage, '05 Hyundai Tiburon GT V6, '05 Kia Spectra sedan and '05 Hyundai Tucson. Right now a slight edge exists for the Scion tC over the '05 Kia Sportage but you know how that sort of thing goes..a lot can change in 6-12 months, eh? Enjoy your Spectra! It's great when other people get it! You fully understand! Whoo-hoo! Hi-O silver away, yeah(as Foghat's Honey Hush rocks ever so nicely in the background)!

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • Hey there, ILMS1!

    My out-the-door price was $14,373 (which included tax, doc fee, and dest), using a $1,500 rebate that KIA was running at the end of July 2004. I think there may be a similar rebate going on right now. Check the Edmunds Incentives section.

    Yes... that is a reflection you see on the front bumper. It's that shiny! :-) I've already given the car one coat of Turtle Wax System 2001 (great stuff, btw), and I may give it one more for good measure before winter. I've been using it for at least 10 years on my other cars, and it always seems to hold up well. My '93 Plymouth Acclaim's paint looked like new when I sold it, and I have a '93 Chevy Silverado that also looks like new. Both sit (sat for the now sold Plymouth) outdoors all the time.

    I like the looks of the Scion tC, but I read where they are somewhat small inside -- which wouldn't work for me hauling my kids to school to and from school. The Spectra has scads of room inside!

    When it's time for my wife's Chevy Astro to go "buh-bye", we may just be looking at the new Sportage. I'd have to compare it's features and pricing with the Hyundai Tuscon. KIA is tending to get the edge for me due to the new dealership only being about a mile and half away from my house! Talk about convenient. So far, they've (Dick Scott KIA) have been great to work with.

    I won't rule out looking at a Ford Escape or possibly one of the new Ford Freestyle's either. I grew up in a Ford family, and have owned many. Unfortunately my lifelong dealings with Ford dealers have generally been *negative* experiences, and the old fix-or-repair-daily joke was more truth than humor. I take meticulous care of my vehicles, but my Fords have always had some major part or another failing. I never knew how problem free a car could be until I purchased my Plymouth Acclaim new in 1993. My Chevy truck has also been pretty problem free too by comparison. So... even though I like the Escape and Freestyle, I'll be weighing out my other options too.

    The pricing on domestics are another reason I examined KIA. I know that there are some negative competitive forces at work there as far as currency exchange rates, salaries, long term benefits, etc., but I just can't rationalize spending more for a vehicle that I truly like less just so I can feel patriotic.

    If Chrysler, GM, or Ford will put out a domestically produced car that I like *as much* as my Spectra, AND do it at competitive price then I would surely consider them! Ford still has their dealer issue to contend with at point, but I know that the nearby Fox Hills Chrysler dealer (where I bought my Acclaim) is great to work with. What a treat THAT was when I would take my car back for some early-life warranty repairs and they didn't give me the run-around about the problem. That's another story for a different day though.

    Thanks for your nice response about the website!

  • from someone who isn't...umm..brainwashed into thinking that it's gotta be American-made cars or you'll turn into a Smashing Pumpkin at midnight, ya know what I mean?!

    Yeah, I have yet to test drive a Scion tC or even sit in one. We're a one-car family and the '01 Sportage is running fine. My wife also prefers to sit up higher off the road as one does in an SUV, so I may never get a tC. I don't want one if it's too small inside,anyway. I have read other's comments on their head being too close to the moonroof, etc. in the tC. It will have to be looked at closely. Wouldn't want a ride where I'm constantly bumping my head on the moonroof! Seriously! Enjoy your Spectra, spectraman!

    Yeah, I'm gonna be inspecting the '05 Kia Sportage pretty closely, indeed.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • Referring to my post above about the dearth of advertising for the Spectra, it appears that Hyundai/Kia has found their wallet where the new Sportage is concerned. Check this out:

    This from the latest Automotive News bulletin:

    Kia will bring the compact Sportage SUV back to the U.S. market on Jan. 1 after a two-year absence. Peter Butterfield, CEO of Kia Motors America Inc., says the company plans to spend about $30 million on advertising to let the public know the Sportage is back.
  • Kia Motors America Announces October 2004 Sales
    Excerpted from

    Optima Reports Its Best Month Ever Leading Kia to a 51.3-Percent Increase In Month-Over-Month Sales

    IRVINE, Calif., Nov. 2, 2004 - Kia Motors America (KMA) today announced monthly sales of 22,973 units for October 2004 representing a 51.3-percent increase over the same month in 2003. Kia’s year-to-date sales of 226,644 represent an 11.8-percent increase over 2003.

    “It doesn’t get any better than this,” said Peter M. Butterfield, Kia Motors America’s president and CEO. “A couple of weeks ago we previewed several new products at our dealer show to resounding applause, and now we head into a traditionally sluggish season for the industry with another record month.”

    The Optima mid-size sedan set a new 2004 monthly sales record of 6,158 units sold. The Sorento mid-size SUV and the Sedona minivan also reported impressive monthly gains. Sorento posted a 79.2-percent increase, while the Sedona was up 31.4-percent over the same month in 2003.

    Kia Motors America is the U.S. sales, marketing and service arm of Kia Motors Corp. in Seoul, South Korea.

         Model 2004 2003 2004 2003
    Spectra / Sephia 4,517 2,701 38,159 57,815

    Total KIA 22,973 15,181 226,644 202,723
  • I posted this earlier, but it must have been removed by the moderator due to too much quoted content.

    Here's the link, and a brief Spectra-related quote.

    Kia Slowly Shedding Image of a Cheap Brand

    By Steve Finlay

    Ward's Dealer Business, Jul 1, 2004

    Kia has sold cars in the U.S. for a decade. It was a two-model franchise for half that time. It's gone from selling 12,000 models here in 1994 to 237,000 units last year.

    It outsells BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Infiniti in the U.S. It has a shot at passing ailing Mitsubishi this year, says KMA CEO Peter Butterfield, a former Ford Motor Co. executive.

    He adds: “We're moving faster than anyone else. We're becoming mainstream. Five years from now you'll be saying this is a major Asian auto company.”

    The car that's expected to lead the pack is the new Spectra compact. Kia brass say the redone '04 Spectra is unlike its modest predecessor. “We've changed just about everything but the name,” says Fred Aikins, Kia's product strategy manager.

    It's longer, wider and taller. It has six airbags and six cup holders that are capable of holding “my favorite, a 40 ounce Slurpie,” says Aikins.

    Kia's strategy is to offer comparable value for less money while continuing to swim upmarket. The Spectra's base price is $12,620 compared to $13,570 for a Toyota Corolla and $13,010 for a Honda Civic.
  • for the Spectra. Bring on the '05 Sportage!

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • nw1997nw1997 Posts: 227

        I was wondering what was your base price including destanation charges before any taxes, title, fees, etc. Also, how was the $1,500.00 rebate applied, before or after taxes?

  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    are always applied after taxes, or the jurisdiction loses out, and trust me, they wont stand for that...


  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    Minnesota stands for that. It applies state sales tax after the rebate is deducted.
This discussion has been closed.