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Kia Spectra Sedan



  • See full article here




    The Spectra is a legitimate rival to the compact champs at Honda and Toyota at a price that will undercut those guys by as much as a couple grand and with a 100,000-mile warranty that may last the length of your loan.


    And the Spectra is a car that we feel you can live with comfortably for years even after you’ve made that last payment.
  • Full article here




    KIA RISING. So what are we saying, that Kia is going to eclipse Toyota and Honda in the compact market? Hardly. First of all, there will only be 50,000 Spectras available in the U.S. this year and 70,000 to 100,000 in subsequent years--far below the 300,000+ unit pace set by the Japanese. But in a hotly-contested segment that has traditionally yielded low profit margins (or no profits if you believe the mewling of U.S. domestic automakers), losing 100K units in sales is serious. And Kia seems to be pursuing a course that will win it more customers. In addition to the improvements already mentioned, the Spectra has significantly upgraded interior materials, reduced cabin noise and narrowed panel gaps for improved fit and finish.


    Butterfield says his short-term goal is to surpass both Mazda and Mitsubishi in overall sales and he is already close enough that brisk Spectra sales could put him over the top. As for Honda and Toyota, who often seem to be focused solely on one-upping each other, they may find that if the new Spectra can erase that three-year perception gap it will prove tough competition, indeed.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    Anyone hear when and if the Spectra will get any of the new powerplants being developed jointly by Hyundai, Mitsubishi, and DC? These are supposed to be more powerful and more fuel-efficient than the current Beta engine used in the Spectra and cousin Elantra. Some of these are in the new Sonata and Optima, so it should be just a matter of time before new powerplants appear in the Spectra (and the redesigned 2006 Elantra).
  • Complete article


    In a recent interview with the Augusta Chronicle, Kia CEO Peter Butterfield described the automaker’s progress in the U.S. market and discussed what the future holds for the youthful, South Korean car company.


    ".....Today, people are much more accepting of products that haven’t been built in the United States. As long as you’re building a good-quality product with a good price and good styling, people will put you on their consideration list.”? Butterfield said Kia plans to promote its vehicles based on their styling and price. “If you can go out and buy a Kia Spectra vs. a Honda Civic, and you can save $3,000, that’s a pretty compelling reason to leave them - if you think that the Kia is a good-quality product,” Butterfield added.


    Kia and its sister company Hyundai will move forward in with new ad slogans in 2005, likely to set the brands apart.? According to Automotive News, “Hyundai’s new slogan is "Drive your way." It is designed to communicate the brand’s ’refined and confident’ attributes. Kia’s new slogan is "The Power to Surprise." That aims at embodying the ’exciting and enabling’ values of the Kia brand.”
  • Note: Wherever I see 'Hyundai' in the attached article, I also envision 'KIA'.







    "Hyundai’s remarkable resurrection from near death to a prominent position behind the three leading Japanese in North America — and, with more than 3 million total sales, ahead of two of them worldwide — has been driven by the potent combination of long warranties and high vehicle content at low prices and, most importantly, remarkable progress in product quality. In 2004, it tied Honda for second (up eight positions from 2003), just one defect per 100 cars behind leader Toyota, in J. D. Power Initial Quality Study (IQS) corporate rankings and was fourth in Power’s Customer Retention Survey. The Hyundai brand placed seventh in IQS behind Lexus, Cadillac, Jaguar, Honda, Buick and Mercury and ahead of Infiniti, Toyota and Mercedes-Benz."
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Alamogordo, NMPosts: 7,615
    worried about the NHIS head-on crash tests with the new model Kia Spectra? Or has the passage of time just sort of taken care of your concerns? I say just drive that puppy and enjoy it!

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • Hey there ILMS1!


    Oh.... I'm most certainly driving my Spectra and enjoying it. It's pushing 7k miles now, and still no problems other than the oft-reported KIA owners lament of less-than-stellar fuel milage.


    I would be interested in knowing what KIA's final reaction will be to the report. I suspect that they'll make the necessary tweaks that IIHS suggested, and try to get them into the 2006 or 2007 model years.


    However, since the car passed the government ratings, I think that KIA more than likely thinks their liability needs are covered. If no actual statistical injury data appears, then they'll most certainly not plan on any retro-fitted safety upgrades for the 2004.5-2005 models (my opinion).


    In the meantime, I made one small adjustment by moving my above-the-shoulder seatbelt adjuster down a couple of notches to make sure the belt is a tad more snug on my shoulder. The video seems to show the belt anchor being quite a bit higher than the dummy's shoulder.


    Additionally, my seat is positioned back further than the starting point of the dummy's seat in the video.


    It's my hope that those two factors MAY help my impact "score" should I ever have to put the Spectra's offset crash protection to the test!





  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Alamogordo, NMPosts: 7,615
    drive carefully and enjoy your Spectra. You're right, Kia is probably fine with the government results and will not recall what they've built. As to whether they'll make a design change from here on out remains to be seen. We may never hear about it if they do, too.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    You'd hear about it when the IIHS does a re-test, which Kia would request after a design change.
  • I've got more than 9500 miles on my Spectra EX. It's got a manual transmission, and the factory options included alloy wheels, cruise control, and floor mats.


    I really like the solid feel of the structure and doors. It handles well, and is pretty quiet. My only problem thus far is that I can't fill up the tank without having gas overflow out of the pipe, which gets gas on the paint, and sometimes on my hands or shoes. I assume this is a defective valve or something in the pipe to the gas tank - whatever it is that signals the gas pump to stop pumping. I'll live with it until the next oil change.


    The only thing missing in the car is ABS, a standalone option that every car in Phoenix dealer inventories lacked. I also yearn for a smoother shifter. But overall, I really like the car.


    As for the new engines in joint development with other firms, they can't come soon enough. The Spectra has a modern engine with competitive output, but most Hyundais and Kias have subpar engines. The Sorento is a good example - a 3.5 liter V6 that produces less than 200 HP is absurd.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Alamogordo, NMPosts: 7,615
    go to your Kia dealer and explain the fuel overfilling problem. It sounds like your Spectra may need a new valve. There may even be a TSB out for it already.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • 3 excerpts from a much longer article....


    Complete article


    "Inside and out, styling on the Spectra leans toward conservative with a contemporary flourish, paying homage to both European and Japanese design influences. While remaining a technical compact, the Gen II offering is a good deal more accommodating with respect to room for people and cargo. A healthy 2.0-inch wheelbase stretch, 2.2 inches of additional height and a 0.6-inch gain in cabin width all contribute to 97.0 cubic feet of interior volume, giving the Spectra a tangible edge in that department over direct competitors like the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Ford Focus. It's a packaging formula that ensures four full-size adults can be accommodated on a full-time basis and five can survive in a pinch."


    "On the road, our Spectra proved an amiable and capable travelmate. Inside, the look, fit and feel of materials is on par with any of its international rivals. The front buckets, while on the somewhat firm side, offer a good combination of support and comfort. Control layouts, gauge legibility and driving position also merit kudos."


    "Despite playing in a segment where sales don't tend to come easy, great things are expected of this new Spectra. With major upticks in style and substance, Kia is projecting annual volume for its most popular line to jump from a supply-constrained 50,000 units to 70,000-plus when all four variants finally come on line. Whether the Spectra's combination of attractive packaging, aggressive pricing and a world-class warranty will resonate quite that fully with potential buyers—especially those in the targeted Gen X segment—remains to be seen. But it's definitely become a more formidable foe, no matter how one chooses to draw the battle lines."
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Loved my Elantra which I gave to my daughter. Liked the new Spectra5 but...


    1. I know they had to call the new Spectra an '04 because of CAFE corporate averages, but that was a dumb marketing idea nonetheless. Two totally different cars with the same name and production year, comeon...


    2. A couple of months ago, I heard Peter Butterfield on a local automotive call-in program. Someone called and asked him if they'd void their warranty if they got it serviced anywhere but a dealer. BUTTERFIELD SAID YES, THEREBY BOLDLY VIOLATING MAGNESON-MOSS. Chintzy and blatantly illegal.


    3. The crash test. I could forgive the Elantra in '01 because it was a late triggering airbag that could have been a fluke, still bothered that they didn't bother retesting until this year. But to have the same platform as the Elantra and fail for structural reasons is inexplicable.
  • Csandste:


    Do you remember what radio show you were listening to when Butterfield made that comment? It would interesting to request a transcript for analysis. I agree with you that that statement is troubling if it was meant to include basic scheduled maintenance like oil changes, tune-ups, etc. I wonder if Hyundai/KIA has some fine print that says if a non-Hyundai/KIA repair shop makes any major repairs then that repair isn't reimbursable, and could possibly void the warranty if it wasn't performed correctly?


    Good catch on Butterfield's statement though in any case!


    Regarding the crash test, I don't think the Spectra's structure was as much a culprit as the airbag and seatbelt were. I suspect that a tweak of the airbag software/seat sensors and the seatbelt pre-tensioners and design will solve the 'poor' rating.


    But....I agree with you that there is no excuse for Hyundai not completely sharing their Elantra crash-test knowledge with KIA, and vice-versa to achieve nearly identical results for such similar vehicles.


    I suspect that the two divisions DO share a tremendous amount of data on this front, but obviously there are slip-ups occuring in that exchange.



  • - D=4&ArticleID=134659


    Haggerty turned on his flashing lights and attempted to stop Mansfield, who continued east into the intersection of Crawford and S. Washington St. Reportedly, Mansfield collided with a 2004 Kia Spectra, injuring Koviljka Holman, 50, of Clarksville, Ind.


    Mansfield's Cavalier rammed into the southeast corner of a building located at 236 S. Washington St.


    Both Holman and Mansfield were taken to Van Wert County Hospital, where Holman was examined and released. Mansfield refused treatment.




    The impact must have been a straight-on frontal and not an offset! ;-)


  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866


    E-mailed the host and commented on Butterfield's comments. Will see if I can find reference tomorrow. Doubt if they had transcripts or kept tapes. This happened about 3 months ago.
    (Had to use a URL shortening redirection website due to the actual link length being imcompatible with the Edmunds forums)


    A Kia improvement Feb 18 2005

    By Bill Mccarthy

    I was driving behind a Kia the other day, a Kia Pride, vintage circa 1993.

    One thing for certain about this little box on wheels, it looked like it had been hit by a branch from the ugly tree.

    But to be fair, it seemed in pretty reasonable nick, considering it was 12 years old.

    The new Kia Cerato (Spectra in the U.S.) couldn't be more different. At first glance, from a distance and in fading light, the front end could, just could, be mistaken for a Mercedes, while the back end is reminscent of a Rover 45. So it's not a bad looking car at all. It is cheap, well built, and if it is like the other cars from the same stable, likely to be highly reliable.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    My 88 Festiva still brings back fond memories. I wouldn't call it ugly, but spartan and purposeful. Donated it @ 170,000 miles. Teaching a 16 year old to drive was making the synchros notchy and it needed a complete brake job, but I often wish I'd kept it...
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Alamogordo, NMPosts: 7,615
    80's Festiva. I really did! I thought they looked great! I like small cars, though, and they don't get much smaller than the Festiva.

    spectraman, I agree, Kia's done a great job with the new Spectra. I like the new Spectra5 a lot, and the new Spectra sedan you bought. They would both be great cars to own! Continue to update us on your Spectra story as we roll along. Speaking of rolling along, spectraman. Does your Spectra have Kumho's or Hankook's on it? My '01 Sportage's Hankook's are still holding up at 92,000 miles. No kidding! You can still sink Lincoln's head a little ways into their treads!

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • Well I stumbled onto another obscure 2004.5/2005 Spectra "feature" today.

    It appears that KIA equipped the new Spectra with a timed delay power window shutoff.

    It appears that all of the power windows (I haven't tried the moonroof yet) function for approximately 30 seconds after the ignition key is turned off and removed.

    I accidentally discovered this fact this morning after parking my car, taking the key out, and then accidentally bumping one of the window switches.

    After experimenting a little in the quiet of the parking structure, I could hear a distinctive solenoid "click" about 30 seconds after removing the key. Prior to hearing the click, the windows still work. Immediately following the click, they don't.

    To restate, this behavior appears to be a "convenience" feature for the owner who gets out and realizes he/she left a window open, but have already pocketed the car keys.

    The amount and frequency of these little "discoveries" has slowed down, but I'm still finding little "Easter Eggs" like this 7 months after buying my car!

    Interesting stuff....

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    Aren't cars fun? This is a nifty feature; Hyundai put it on the Elantra starting in the '01 model year. It looks like the Spectra has inherited most of the little features from the Elantra and added some others, e.g. 4-wheel discs on all models.
  • Hey Gang:

    I checked today, and the power moonroof appears to NOT be on the same delayed power circuit as the power windows.

    That means if you've left your moonroof open on your new Spectra, you'll have to fish your keys out of your pocket and turn the ignition over to full power to be able to operate the moonroof.

    To reiterate my previous post however, all four electric windows are still powered up for 30 seconds after removing the ignition key, or turning off the ignition.

    That's your "30-Second Spectra Update"!

  • Hey ILMS:

    That's some fantastic mileage you've gotten off of those Hankooks! Hankook must have mixed up some pretty hard rubber for that kind of lifespan. The most I've ever gotten off of stock tires was around 65k miles off of a set of Michelins.

    KIA appears to be putting Goodyear LS tires on the Spectras exclusively now, based on what's on my car, and what I see on my dealer's lot.

    They're actually Goodyear tires that are made in Japan! Funny, eh? That must cut down drastically on shipping costs.

    So far I'm happy with the traction, ride, and noise. I hope they at least last 50-60k!



    Kia Spectra is a contender

    The names car manufacturers give their products are often entertaining. Sometimes they give us insight into what the car is all about. I imagine the manufactures spend a great deal of time choosing just the right name. Take the Kia Spectra, for example. It sounds a lot like "spectrum," but is also brings to mind "spectacular," and I'd speculate it's no accident. The new 2004 Spectra covers the gamut from comfort to safety.

    (NOTE: This article was first run in August 2004, prior to the IIHS study release.)
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Alamogordo, NMPosts: 7,615
    in my homestate, Missouri! Hey, spectraman, I noted how they liked how quiet the Spectra is. That being from the tires, wind or whatever. I gotta tell ya, our '01 Sportage 4x4 is remarkably quiet for a small SUV with a truck-like ladder frame that it incorporates. We can just talk reasonably-loud and barely have to raise our voices on most road surfaces. The Sport really has a quiet ride. Your Spectra, too?

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • Interesting interview with Hyundai President and CEO Robert Cosmei in this month's Automotive Industries issue. An excerpt containing info about Hyundai's and KIA's relationship can be found below.


    Q. Will there be any future synergies between Hyundai and Kia?

    A. No, I don’t think so. With the complex ownership on this side, we’re going to have to continue to migrate the brand separately. In fact, in the design center in Irvine [Calif.], we have a separate design head for Hyundai and one for Kia. They just work on Kia projects or Hyundai products. We have to do that because it’s important for us. Right now a lot of the products kind of cross over. It’s a little muddled right now. But you’ll see some products down the road — [Kia] Optima will be one — that’ll be very different from the Sonata. When Kia was going through their bankruptcy, Hyundai had to help out with the R&D, so you saw a lot of the same family looks and we all want to change that.

    Q. So instead of a coming together it’s more of a pushing apart.

    A. Yeah. And I think brand-wise, we’re going to be more refined and confident — we’re going to be more youthful and sporty. And I think you’ll start seeing some product changes over the new few years

    NOTE: After spending 8+ years in the automotive industry, and being a long-term industry observer, I find the these statements interesting.

    I find it hard to believe that Hyundai and KIA won't share *tremendous* amounts of "synergy" as far as the platforms and mechanicals of their cars go. Those are the big $$$ items that are the most logical to share and enhance corporate profit and quality.

    I'm interpreting what Cosmei's saying above is that Hyundai and KIA will *not* share any direct body and interior tooling, which the mentioned Sonota and Optima plainly do. What do all of you think?
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Alamogordo, NMPosts: 7,615
    now you've done it! I don't know if you recall some of my posts on the issue of Hyundai and Kia synergy before. A lot of people tend to think that Kia is some Korean "Yugo" with no headstrong design direction of it's own. Foolish thinking! I have researched Kia extensively and there's a reason Peter Butterfield says "he hates it when people say that Kia is a subdivision of Hyundai." They are separate companies and finances are accounted for separately. Sure, Hyundai's help was fantastic. But the two companies have their own distinct design direction-I've always seen it! Kia made something like $14B in revenues in 2004 and they have 30,000 separate, distinct Kia employees.

    I like the decision to be youthful and sporty. I have always felt like they were designed like that, anyway, going back to my 1999 Sephia. Sportage? See what I mean? It is a sports-crazy world, isn't it?

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    I agree with your assessment. We already know that several Hyundai/Kia models share or will share platforms and engines (Accent/Rio, Elantra/Spectra, Sonata/Optima, Tuscon/Sportage, Sedona/future Hyundai minivan). But style-wise the companies clearly have a different strategy, and they will have a few unique models (e.g. Sorento and Santa Fe).
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    The 2005 Kia Spectra is rated "acceptable" on the IIHS frontal offset crash test for cars made after January 2005, due to a change to the driver's air bag:

    Quick work by Kia!
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    should be commended on its speed to offer a fix. Very impressive. Acceptable isnt exactly a great showing, but its much improved, and shows a strong committment to the product and customer, IMO, on Kia's part.

This discussion has been closed.