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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: 18,927
    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: 18,927
    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: 18,927
    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: 18,927
    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: 18,927
    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: 18,927
    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: 18,927
    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: 18,927
    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.

  • a_l_hubcapsa_l_hubcaps Posts: 518
    I've heard mixed reviews about the Aveo, and it did seem a little cheap when I sat in one at the Philly Auto Show, but it seems to be selling OK for GM. They are on track to sell about 43,000 of them in the US this year, which is a decent showing for a subcompact in this market. Suzuki seems to be doing pretty well with the Forenza and Verona, though I wish GM would use their powertrain expertise to help them out a little in that department. Every review I've read of those two cars has been very positive with the exception of noting that the engines are underpowered and sluggish. If GM would drop the 2.2 Ecotec in the Forenza and the 2.4 (170-horse) Ecotec in the Verona, they would probably be more competetive.

    -Andrew L
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    No, I dont think the very small incremental changes in acceleration or fuel economy would boost the Elantras score. I do think braking would improve with ABS, and if the GT was tested, perhaps handling, but why would ride improve?

    Certainly, I think attempts at emissions improvements should be commended. As you mention though, the better fuel economy is only on the manual tranmission model.. which highlights one of my main issues with most Korean models.

    Concerning the JD Power Vehicle Dependability surveys, I was surprised and disappointed to see that 2001 Hyundai models did not do better (well into the bottom half) on the 3 year old study.

    pzev- where have you seen favorable reviews on the Aveo, Forenza, and Verona? IMO, to choose the Aveo sedan over, say... an Accent... is pretty crazy, given that the Accents offers a far superior warranty, as well as standard head protecting side impact airbags. The Verona is nice, a decent design overall, but slow, thirsty, and you need to wait a few months for any kind of side impact protection. The Forenza... reminds me of the ION in the fact that its rear looks similar to me, and that its non-distinguished in a saturated market.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,927
    Personally I like the ride of the GT better than the GLS because it is more controlled, more like that of a European car, not as "floaty." But maybe CR would say the GT's ride is "harsher" than the GLS', who knows?

    The better fuel economy on the manual Elantra is odd because the automatic Spectra, which I think has the same engine as the Elantra, has better highway mpg than the manual version.

    I was surprised by Hyundai's low ranking in the JD Power VDS too because Hyundai did pretty well in CR's dependability rankings for 2001 models, coming in at mid-pack. It makes you wonder how each organization measures reliability. My '01 Elantra is almost four years old and has been at least as reliable as any other vehicle I've owned that long.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Consumer Reports in terms of long term dependability surveys/studies. I know that in their Initial Quality Study (IQS), JD Power factors in aspects that really arent quality related... its been mentioned before, but I'll use the example of the Hummer H2, which got terrible scores because of its pathetic fuel economy. Hello! It says right on the window sticker that you'll be getting 10 MPG!! Now, Im not sure if JD conducts its Long Term Dependability studies similarly, but if so, that might account for some variation between the CR reliability rating and that of JD Power's.

    For me, I'd still consider the Hyundai nameplate based on CR (as you state.. midpack), its just disconcerting to see that there isnt unanimity on the improvement of the brand.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,927
    CR's review of the "all new" 2004 Spectra EX is out, and it fared OK but not great. They slotted it below the Elantra GLS, although it was the second-best car in the test group, led by the Mazda3i (now CR's top choice for small cars). Plusses were comfortable ride, quiet interior, fit and finish, and standard side air bags and side curtains. They didn't like its acceleration, handling, fuel economy, and the difficulty finding a car with ABS.

    I hope CR has a hatchbacks review in the future that features the Spectra5, Mazda3s, and Elantra GT. I expect the Mazda3s will win that one, but it would be nice to see how the others compare to that more expensive car.
  • pzevpzev Posts: 807
    What is with Hyundai/Kia and trying to find ABS on their cars? I'm willing to look past it though because they do make side air bags standard. Some brands you have to look around to find ABS and side air bags, at least Hyundai/Kia has one of them already. The refreshed Camry now has ABS standard on all their cars like the Accord so standard ABS is slowly filtering down to cheaper cars. I would guess in 5 years most Hyundai/Kia cars will have ABS standard. The new Sonata needs standard ABS.

    By the way, anyone see the new Optima spy pics? Doesn't look too bad although a lot of it is covered up. Rear visibility looks way better than what's on the new Elantra spy pics.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,927
    I think the new Spectra gives some hint as to what to expect from Hyundai in the future. The Spectra has standard four-wheel disc brakes and side curtains, even in base form. Hyundai is supposed to be the "upscale" brand for Hyundai/Kia. That means it will need more content to justify the higher price, e.g. standard ABS and power accessories. We'll see in the next year or so when the new Sonata, Accent, and Elantra (and maybe Santa Fe) are all due out.
  • pzevpzev Posts: 807
    Yeah with the Spectra having 4-wheel discs and side curtain airbags standard it's pretty much a given that the Elantra will have it as well. ABS standard is questionable though. I think they may lay off of it for the time being and make it standard on the Sonata. If they can just make a GT version with leather, 4-wheel discs, and side curtains that would be acceptable. All I ask is keep the dreaded sunroof optional!

    It'll be interesting to see if they make a GT version, and if so if they put a 2.3 engine in it and put the 2.0 in the basic models. I personally don't care about the bigger engine though. By the way, if Kia is suppose to be sporty where is the sporty version of the Spectra?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,927
    Why do you think Kia is supposed to be "sporty"? I thought Kia was supposed to be the "value" brand for Hyundai/Kia. But the Spectra5 hatchback is due out very soon and is supposed to have a sport suspension, tweaked stick shift, and 16" alloys. I guess that's the "sporty" version of the Spectra. I'd like to see Kia offer a sport version of the sedan too, as Hyundai does with the Elantra GT. I think the Spectra sedan would look sharp in a sport model with bigger wheels and maybe a sportier grille.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I thought that:
    Hyundai: Mainstream
    Kia: Sportier than Hyundai.
This discussion has been closed.