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2005 Kia Spectra/Cerato



  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Personally, I dont think thats the current direction of that brand, and I think backy has hit it dead on (as usual)- Kia's mission is value.

    If they were aiming for sporty with the new Spectra, apparently they missed their target by a wide margin, given the comments in CR regarding the vehicles sloppy handling, vague steering feel, and marginal acceleration.

    Regarding the 4 wheel discs- I think its great that Kia made them standard. BUT, Id happily take rear drums with ABS that was actually available and not just an option on the website.

  • pzevpzev Posts: 807 - - e=carnews&content_code=01006277

    "Chung has been presented with a proposal that spells out the identity of products that will be developed off common platforms, company sources say. Kia vehicles will be smaller, sportier and lower-priced, while Hyundai products will be bigger, more luxurious and better equipped." e=carnews&content_code=01614576

    "Sporty handling and ride will differentiate Kia vehicles from Hyundai as new models are introduced or redesigned, such as the next-generation Kia Rio and Sportage, he said." e=carnews&content_code=08292775

    "Lee said Kia will have sportier vehicles. Hyundai will chase "a more mature customer." Also, Kia will have more SUVs, and Hyundai will have more cars."
  • pzevpzev Posts: 807 fd61f7b8f2e3e&act=Attach&type=post&id=69570

    And as mentioned in an above article..

    "More visible differentiation is planned. The Kia Optima, coming in 2006, will ride on a wheelbase slightly shorter than that of its Hyundai Sonata sibling.

    Sonata prototypes shown to journalists and Kia's global distributors here last week retain a design that is similar to the current Sonata, while the next Optima has a roofline and pillar arcs similar to the Volkswagen Passat."
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    If they think the new Spectra has sporty handling (and it appears they do based on the articles mentioned above), they'd better go back to the drawing board. The new Spectra rides more like a Corolla than a Mazda3, even though Kia's target was specifically not to have it ride like a Corolla. That's not a bad thing, and the Spectra has a nice comfortable ride. But not sporty. Neither is the engine, especially with an automatic transmission. But they have the low-priced (i.e. value) part of the equation down.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    "Sporty" might be a bit of a PR spin. Say Hyundai gets more sound insulation and calls itself more luxurious due to the isolation, then Kia is louder but it's also lighter and you have more road feel therefore it is sportier.

    Doesn't necessarily mean much, their pitch.

  • wanderwander Posts: 10
    Will it be August or early September before the Spectra 5 show up at dealers?
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    I went to this thread to ask the same thing. To me the S5 is by far the best looking Kia out there. Bring it on!!!
  • Was at the local Kia dealership yesterday and spent abou an hour looking at the car and tlaking to the saleswoman. We took the sedan out for a test frive (EX manual model) and was I really impressed! The Spectra provided a really smooth, quiet, comfortable ride. Much better than I expected. Will definately get this one on my shopping list. The one thing I found rather odd was that it gets worse MPG than the equivalent Hyundai Elantra. Not sure why. The gas milage is not as good as the competitors either.

    Anyway, I also noticed that they are starting to get the Spectra 5's in stock as well. They did not have one in the show room yet, but there was one out on the lot.
  • I do most of my regualr maintenance myself...and have the following question:

    If I decided to not follow the recommended maintenance schedule, will this void my warrenty? When I look at the prices for each of the levels (3 being the highest at over $150) it shocks me.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Isn't the Kia engine equipped with VVT? Does it make more power or torque?

    I'm surprised it would lose efficiency, though.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    The Spectra's engine has the same power and torque as the one used in the Elantra, and it is a VVT design as is the Elantra's. I presume the two cars use the same engine, but I have not seen anything from a reputable source to that effect so I'm not sure about that. It would make little sense for Hyundai/Kia to design two different engines of exactly the same size and output, but then they did just that with the engines used for the Rio and Accent.

    C/D has a review of the Spectra5 in their September issue. I just glossed over it and it looks like a positive review.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Alamogordo, NMPosts: 7,615
    to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions. Although I can't verify it completely, from press releases I've been reading for months, the Cerato/new Spectra and the new Elantra are getting the same HyunKia engine.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • pzevpzev Posts: 807
    "If I decided to not follow the recommended maintenance schedule, will this void my warrenty? When I look at the prices for each of the levels (3 being the highest at over $150) it shocks me."

    By law they can't void the warranty if you're doing the oil changes yourself, but keep the receipts so you can prove it was being done. You need to ask the dealership or contact Hyundai themselves and find out how far you can go before the warranty is voided. If you completely ignore checking things and only change the oil they may feel that's enough to void it, I don't know. Get a copy of the warranty terms and maybe that'll help. If they try to void it based on you doing the oil changes yourself and still try when you show the receipts then get the BBB or whoever involved, as far as I know they can't do this.

    You can use the BBB to help when lemoning a car so maybe they can help in situations like this as well. Some brands like Toyota and Mazda, etc. voluntarily don't participate so you can't use the BBB and have to use a lawyer or fight it out on your own.

    National Participants in BBB AUTO LINE
    AM General
    General Motors
    GMC Truck
    Infiniti *
    Land Rover
    Nissan *
    * excludes Hawaii
    State-by-State Participants
    BMW (AR, CA, IA, ID, MN, PA)
    Jaguar (AR, FL, ID, KY, MN)
    Mazda (AR)
    Mercedes-Benz (AR, KY, MN)
    Porsche (all States, except FL, GA, NC, NY and OH)
    Rolls-Royce (CA, FL, MN, NJ)
    Saab (AR, CA, FL, ID, KY, MN, OR)
    Subaru (AR, CA, KY, MN, OH, OR, WI)
    Suzuki (AR, ID, KY, MN)
    Volvo (AR, MN)
    Workhorse Custom Chassis (AK, AR, AZ, CA,
  • wanderwander Posts: 10
    If there showing up in Kia dealers in Canada then I guess they'll start showing up here. I thought Kia canceled the Spectra 5 because of the lack of information.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    Hey, anybody notice the new road test from Very positive review! I noticed in the Second Opinions though that one editor agrees with me on the design of the driver's seat--he prefers the dual-knob arrangement ala the old Spectra and current Elantra. Also I think it's strange that the engine noise is so great above 70. I didn't take the Spectra above 65 when I test-drove it awhile ago so I didn't notice this problem. But I agree there might be less noise with the automatic. The engine noise is significantly less on the highway with my automatic Elantra than with my 5-speed, perhaps due to the difference in shift ratios.
  • jimjpsjimjps Posts: 146
    I noticed the Edmund's review was the only one saying the car was noisy. Seems every other review made a point that it was quiet. I just saw the Car and Driver review of the Spectra5 with a 5-speed and they indicate it is quiet. Maybe only Edmund's got it up to speed?? We'll just have to drive one and see whenever they arrive here in the US.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Depends on the last car the editor drove. ;-)

  • spectramanspectraman Posts: 255
    After 3 weeks / 800 miles of driving on my new Spectra EX, here are my experiences so far.

    - Dealership experience has been good. No repairs have been necessary yet to test the service department with, but so far the overall sales and follow-up experience has been professional and positive.

    - Initial build quality has been excellent! All interior and exterior panels are straight and uniform in color. All options and features work flawlessly.

    - Interior noise levels are excellent. No evidence of excessive droning at 70+ mph as reported by Edmunds. My car *is* equipped with the 4-speed automatic though.

    - No squeaks or rattles yet, and that's saying something when driving on Michigan roads! :-)

    - Acceleration is good, esp. when you put your foot down. I've noticed a little "dead spot" in the acceleration curve between 1st and 2nd when accelerating gently. If I'm not in a hurry, I just let it pass. If I know that I've got to get moving a little faster (like pulling out in traffic) I know to just press the accelerator down a little harder/faster.

    - The car is just chock full of little extras that there's too many to list. All I know is that I'm still discovering little comfort and convenience features scattered through out the car. With my last new car being a '93 Plymouth Acclaim, I'm really amazed at how many new "smart" features cars come with these days incorporated in to the electrical circuitry.
    - Pricing was excellent! I was able to take a fully loaded Sand Beige (gold) EX out the door for $14,373 using the $1,500 incentive offered. The only big option missing on my car was ABS. My car included all EX options plus floormats, moonroof, spoiler, and alloy wheels. The dealer also through in some way cool hand-painted pin stripes from a local pin stripe artisan. It really finishes off the car!

    Suggestions for Kia:

    Here are a few minor improvements that I could come up with:

    1. Copy the external trunk hinge / gas struts mechanism that Ford uses on the Focus. It opens up the trunk area completely, and eliminates crushed boxes and luggage.

    2. Add the Focus' telescoping feature to the tilt wheel feature. With all the room inside this car, this feature would come in handy for those of us with long legs who like to sit back on the seat tracks.

    3. Darken the floor carpeting and factory floor mats for those of us who live in the Great White North. I'm envisioning all sorts of problems with the dirty slush of Winter that will soon be arriving. I will definitely be pulling my light beige factory mats and putting in a set of darker, water absorbing mats for winter usage.

    So far, everyone I've shown the car to has been very surprised at the overall quality of the new Spectra. The only verdict out at this point is the longevity of quality. Will it hold up over the long haul?

    Time will tell.....
  • spectramanspectraman Posts: 255
    I forgot to mention that the $14,373 amount mentioned in my previous post was what I paid *out-the-door*. Tax, title, and destination fees were included in that amount.

    Michigan has a 6% tax on new purchases.

    That also included a set of 4 Kia custom-fit mud flaps that I picked up a week later and installed myself using the preexisting screws and bolts on each fender well.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Strong value. I wish the Spectra5 were just a tad bigger.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    The Spectra is already one of the roomiest compacts. Any bigger and it would be a mid-sized car! Or do you mean bigger on the outside?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I guess what I mean is I'd like to see an Optima wagon.

    Just read Autoweek's review yesterday and they liked it.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    Maybe with the renewed interest in wagons that will happen someday. Besides the Passat and Taurus/Sable there aren't many moderately-priced wagons in this size class.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Subaru has a few, plus Mazda has the 3 and 6, though the former is more of a hatch. Lancer and Focus, also.

    But yeah, Honda and Toyota still ignore that segment.

  • spectramanspectraman Posts: 255
    Since no other 2004.5 Spectra owners appear to be contributing here, I'm going to continue to publish my notable observations here as I discover them.

    Good Observations

    - The turning radius on the Spectra car is phenomenal! I was able to move the car from one side my subdivision road to the other by simply turning the wheel all the way. No stopping and backing up and repositioning was necessary. No other vehicle I've driven has been able to do this in the same area.

    - While reading the owners manual, I just found out that the front seat belts have pre-tensioners that work with an ignitable activator (like an air bag). Another name for these are "pyrotechnic pretensioners".

    - The factory 6-speaker CD stereo kicks! I've run several hard-rock and country CDs through the system, and it handles it all with good treble and bass response. The middle range could use a little more punch, but that would require an equalizer to be added to the unit.

    - The car is extremely air tight. No wind noise from any of the windows or the moon roof. My ears pop when I close the last window or roof and have the ventilation on.

    Not-so Good Observations

    - The clear plastic that covers the clock and the passenger air-bag message box in the top center of the dash SCRATCHES EXTREMELY EASILY! I have NOT used any paper-product based towels to wipe it. Only a moistened clean cloth or finger. The angle of the plastic is also such that it maximizes the reflection that shows the scratches. Touch this area sparingly!!! A different grade of plastic (or change in angle) is a must-have correction on future models.

    - The gas cap isn't tethered. I've grown use to having this with my domestic vehicles, so I have to be careful when filling up not drop or forget the cap. This should be added.

    More to come.....
  • arizonajoearizonajoe Posts: 123
    I'm also happy with my new 2004.5 Spectra EX. Mine has a 5-speed manual transmission. Options were cruise control, alloy wheels, and floor mats. MSRP was $14930. I paid about $12000 even (incl. the rebate), and the dealer threw in free window tinting and a discounted maintenance package (my first oil change was free, and they are $9.95 thereafter).

    It feels like a very solid and well-built vehicle. No problems to report. I received a JD Power survey and completed it. My only complaints are the untethered gas cap and the sloppy shifter.

    About a week after I bought it, I was rear-ended, which scratched and cut up the bumper. So I got a new bumper, absorber, associated parts, etc. all paid for by the college girl's insurance company. It sucks to have potential long-term consequences of the collision lingering over the car, but so far no issues.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Maybe try some stick-on velcro? Fabric stores sell them, put one side on the fuel filler door, the other on the back of the gas cap.

    Don't lose it, though, on my Miata it cost $28 for a replacement. I couldn't find an aftermarket one locally that fit.

    Bummer about the accident. Just keep receipts from the body shop in case you have problems down the road. Keep her insurance information also.

  • spectramanspectraman Posts: 255
    Hey.... I figured out how Kia has already solved the lack of a gas cap tether on my new Spectra. It's a tad unorthodox, but it does work well.

    If you look on the backside of your gas cap door, you'll see two plastic "prongs" that stick out, and which have a small lip on the inside part facing the other prong.

    These prongs were designed to hold the gas cap while you're filling up! You simply take the cap and point the threaded portion of it at the back of the gas door, and then slide it down into the slot created by the prongs. The lips keep the cap from falling through and out.

    This design will also keep you from forgetting the cap, because the door won't close with the cap stuck onto the back of it.

    I haven't checked the owners manual yet, but I'm sure that this is how it was designed to work.

    Take a look for yourself and see what I'm talking about.

    In other news, I'm still getting lots of compliments and outright disbelief at how well done the new Spectra is.

    If our long term experience is good, my wife is already eyeing up a new Sorento in the next year or two.

    D*@# you Kia!!!! ;-)

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    Makes sense, that's the same thing my '01 Elantra has and it works fine (except the prongs on the Elantra's gas filler door are metal). Funny thing, though, Hyundai added a tether to the Elantra later on. I don't know why, except maybe some people complained after they drove off with the gas door open and lost the gas cap. 8-]
  • pavelpavel Posts: 3
    Hi Spectraman,
    I have a few questions for you: I'm going to buy this car in a very near future and I'm deciding between the 5-speed manual and 4-speed automatic. Please could you tell me, at which speeds the automatic shifts between 1-2, 2-3 and 3-4 while accelerating gently and what is the RPM at some constant speed, let say 60 mph ? In Europe (Czech Rep.) where I live the automatic transmission is not so common and thus the car dealer does not have a test car with automatic transmission. Thanks a lot.
This discussion has been closed.