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Kia Spectra5



  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    The poor sound quality of the stock stereo in the Spectra5 was one of the things that jumped out at me. The Suzukis I drove the next day were outstanding in comparison.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,663
    was going to be one of the things Kia was going to address in the new world order Spectra's, I thought. I don't know, we all probably have different tastes in stereo's as well as music, I think. I would need to test drive one and bring along a CD to test the stereo. Only then would I possibly decide I would need to replace the stock stereo with a better one.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    interstate nearby that does that... but that was not the road I was on at the time. It was definitely the cars. That being said, it could be that the salesman's lame, "When the car sits too long, there's a flat spot" line could turn out to be true. I will probably look at both Elantra and Spectra again before buying. I would like either one of those to feel like the Suzuki Reno felt when I drove that.

    Could have been an expectations thing because when I drove the Elantra & Spectra, it was after reading glowing reviews by many, as well as a few reports of the 70 mph vibration thing. So I was expecting either great or terrible, and when I felt a little vibration, perhaps I made it out to be worse than it was.

    On the other hand, I drove the Reno and Aerio with the express purpose of eliminating them from my list. I think I set my expectations so low that they both exceeded them by so much it shocked me. If the Reno had fuel economy numbers of, say, 25/34 instead of 22/30, my mind would already be made up. But as it is, I've seen reports on the Suzuki forum that some Renos don't even get 20 mpg... pretty bad if you asked me.

    That said, if Suzuki listens to its customers, it may tweak the Reno/Forenza engine to get a little better mileage for the 2006 MY.
  • npaladin2000npaladin2000 Posts: 593
    That said, if Suzuki listens to its customers, it may tweak the Reno/Forenza engine to get a little better mileage for the 2006 MY.

    Doubtful. it's a Daewoo, not a Suzuki anyway. And one place the Koreans always seem to finish last is MPG efficiency...they seem to have more trouble getting higher efficiency out of their engines.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,628
    The fuel efficiency picture is beginning to change as Hyundai/Kia roll out their next-gen engines, which have CVVT technology. For example, the new Sonata's I4 and V6 are very competitive with fuel economy numbers from other makes. When (if??) the next-gen engines filter down to the Spectra, I expect to see improvements in fuel economy.
  • spmrebelspmrebel Posts: 130
    Hi all,

    I am kinda of a new 2005 Kia Spectra Ex owner. OK, its actually my girlfriend (I helped her with the decision quite a bit though). Anyway, we were debating between an Elantra GLS vs a Spectra EX. Both were very similiar in feel, workmanship, quality, and driving dynamics but the more modern interior of the Kia; and since this generation is only a year old, it last another 4 years, we decided on the Spectra EX. Another factor was the side curtain airbags. Also, I have a 2005 Elantra GT already and getting a GLS would nearly be the same.

    We got a White 2005 Spectra EX with auto, moonroof, alloys and cruise control. It was without the rear spoiler (I actually don't like the Spectra's rear spoiler as it looks too ricy). I looked for ABS everywhere but couldn't find it. Its a really nice vehicle. Its near silent at idle (similiar to Elantra). I would say that the quality of the materials on the interior would beat the Elantra. I always thought that the Elantra had the best quality on the interior of anything in its price range until I looked at the Kia. My friend who owns a 2000 Civic and a 2005 Infinit G35 was amazed on the quality of the interior also. The other thing I noticed is that the doors felt a tad bit heaver on the Spectra than the Elantra. It almost seems as though the side impact door beams are a bit heavier. Another nice feature of the Spectra that I wish my GT had is that it has a remote trunk button on its FOB.


    I have been reading your posts about your next car purchase. My previous car to my GT was a 2003 Suzuki Aerio SX with the 2.0L. I had the car up until end of May when I sold it. I would say that both Hyundai and Kia are definitely superior cars in quality and craftsmanship. The Aerio didn't have the fit or finish that Hyundai has - especially on the interior. Also, the Aerio's engine was noticeably noiser at idle. Though slightly cruder than both Hyundai and Kia it was a darn good car. I only had 1 problem outside of routine maintenance. The catalytic converter went out and was replaced under warranty. This was in in 57K miles when I sold it.

    Oh, I briefly took the Spectra Ex to 70 mph and no vibration. Also, my GT doesn't have any vibration at or above 70 mph also.

    Good luck on your purchase decision.

    Happy motoring to all.

  • geomaticsgeomatics Posts: 60
    Actually, the 2005 Spectra 5 already has the continuously variable valve technology CVVT, I have just over 9000km on the car now and mileage has increased from 26/28 to 32/38, of course that depends on how you drive.

    love my spectra
  • geomaticsgeomatics Posts: 60
    and it is still not as good as the Spectra5 (IMHO).

    had one on a loner basis when my previous GM pos was in the shop. and this her are only a few reasons why i think the S5 is a much MUCH better car.

    OPTRA5 Spectra5
    119hp 138hp
    126@4000 torque 136@4500
    2 airbags 6 airbags /active head rests
    mp3 optional mp3 standard
    mpg (combined 30) mpg (combined 34)
    15" wheels 16" wheels

    I could go on but you already know i bought the Spectra5.
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    Shawn: Thanks for the input. As much as I personally liked the Suzuki Reno, I'm beginning to think it's probably not the best car to buy. The Elantra and Spectra are right in there, along with the Scion xA and Aerio, in terms of the numeric scale I've been working on. I wish I liked the Elantra or Spectra better in terms of the way they felt on the road (handling & power), but they just didn't impress me. In one of the reviews I read at, the writer said the Elantra is like that: You aren't crazy about it at first, but it grows on you.

    I will have to drive all the cars again, and see what kind of year-end deals they offer. Most of the rebates I had figured into my numerical ratings expired on June 30 or July 5; I need to see what they're offering in September or October when I'm actually ready to buy.

    For once in my life, I actually have time to look over the field and make an informed decision; now that I'm there I wish I were in more of a hurry! Heh...
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    Yep, yep, yep; you're right, of course, geomatics. There are precisely three things I like about the Reno:

    1. It makes peak torque at lower rpm's, giving it a slightly better off-the-line jump (my perception; YMMV).
    2. I preferred the ride feel of the Reno to Elantra/Spectra. It felt more glued to the road (again, my perception).
    3. It's stereo sounded better to me. I know it's shallow to prefer one car over another based on the stereo, but it really jumped out at me. (The Aerio's stereo was also good.)

    These are all things that don't show up on paper, and all the stuff you cite is a convincing argument. But cars are more than numbers on paper, aren't they? It's funny, but the things I liked about the Reno are cited in many reviews as actually being worse than in the Spectra and/or Elantra. Maybe I'm getting old, but I actually prefer a softer ride to excess road feel.

    I'll bop around the forums for a while and probably stay away from the car lots, then go back in September just prior to buying I guess, and then I'll decide.

    On paper, the best cars for me are the Accent & Rio, followed by the Scion xA, Elantra GT 5 dr, Spectra5 and Aerio, with the xB, Focus and Reno also in the running. On paper, Accent and Rio are #1 & 2, but I wouldn't buy them as they are and have to wait for the 06 models come out to see if I like them... and I'm not sure Accent will have a hatch version. So that leaves a shootout between the xA and the Koreans. My son really likes the xB, so I'll probably keep that on my list as well, at least for now.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,628
    Right, Hyundai/Kia bolted a CVVT head onto the old Beta engine back in '03. Fuel economy went up a little (2 mpg in city, one on highway with the 5-speed on the Elantra for example, and emissions improved too) but I think we'll see even better fuel economy (and more power per liter) from the next-gen engines. On the CVVT Beta engine and an automatic Elantra, I can easily get mid-20s in the city and upper 30s on the highway (at legal speeds). That's not quite as good as a few other compacts like the Civic, Corolla, and ECHO, but it's not far behind and has more power than those cars.
  • spectramanspectraman Posts: 255

    Shawn said:

    Oh, I briefly took the Spectra Ex to 70 mph and no vibration. Also, my GT doesn't have any vibration at or above 70 mph also.

    For the record, my Spectra EX with 10,000+ miles has no vibration at 70 mph, nor even speeds in excess of 80 mph.

    Could the grooved road explanation in a previous post have some validity? I know that there are several semi-truck "grooved" highways around the Detroit area that have the tendency to make all my vehicles either wander or give weird steering wheel feedback.

  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Although I didn't buy the car, I think the Aerio's 05 interior tweaks add a ton of sophistication to the car. I didn't like the pre-05 digital dash and monochromatic interior one bit. The 05 passed my 01 Elantra in terms of fit and finish-- however, I'm still glad I bought the Maxx!

    With the improvements to safety, the Spectra5 would be on my list if I bought today.
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    Naw, it wasn't the road. It was the car, both times. I suspect there is a resonant frequency in the front end that tends to exaggerate any imbalance at about 70 mph. I am also starting to suspect that what the salesman said is true: That when a car sits for a while, the flat spot forms an imbalance that works itself out with some time on the road.

    I'm aware of the phenomenon you're talking about, and that wasn't it.
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    I like the looks of the Spectra5 better than the Elantra, but I'm not sure it's worth the cost difference (a little over $1000 more for the Kia, and that's an Elantra with leather seats!) I'm constantly tweaking my criteria for rating the list of cars I will buy from.... if I put a "fun" or "looks" factor in there, the Spectra5 would move up quite a bit compared to the stodgy Elantra (no offence, backy!)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,628
    Personally I like the Saabesque fastback styling of the Elantra 5-door more than the mini-station-wagon styling of the Spectra5, but to each his own. Also Kia doesn't give me a loyalty rebate like Hyundai does, so a Spectra5 would cost me at least $2000 more than the Elantra (with leather, as you noted; or I can save even more and get the GLS 5-door with a nice sport cloth interior). I can take quite a bit of "stodgy" for $2000 or more.
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    You may like Saabesque, but I think the Spectra5 is *very* Mazda3ish.... :shades:

    Oh... and check out my latest question on the Which Hatchback forum, backy. :confuse:
  • muffin_manmuffin_man Posts: 865
    I just did an Edmunds comparator deal of the Reno, Spectra, and Elantra and Aerio. And while there is way too much data to write here - I think the Aerio looks best on paper.

    Tough call between the other 3, but I would probably skip the Spectra because it's so heavy. (almost 3000 ponds) The Reno has by far the most toys.

    My ranking is:
    1. Suzuki Aerio (this car has everything)
    2. Suzuki Reno (for the toy lover - arguably the best looking)
    3. Hyundai Elantra (Could be the winner for the right price)
    4. Kia Spectra (loses on weight and crash test results - but I like the looks)
  • geomaticsgeomatics Posts: 60
    actually the designer of the Spectra 5 , was the designer for the Mazda Protege 5.
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    Muffin Man: Seems like you're reading my mind; that's pretty much the way I see it. The other cars to throw in there, though, for the heck of it are Scion xA & xB, and Ford Focus (either 3 or 5 door).
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