2005 Kia Spectra/Cerato



  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    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 Member 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 Member Posts: 18,949
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member Posts: 18,949
    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 Member 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.
  • spectramanspectraman Member Posts: 255
    Here's the latest two "Spectra Easter Eggs" I've found:

    - Heat and A/C ducts for the rear passengers are under the front driver and passenger seats. There's a small forked two-orifice duct under each of the front seats.

    From what I could see, it only blows out air when the floor setting (and probably the mixed/split setting as well) is used. The upper vent setting does not appear to route air to these ducts.

    - The sun visors extend when flipped to the side. So if the sun is in the rear corner of the window, the visor will slide back on the rod to block it. My wife found this by accident, thinking she broke the visor. But the driver's side does it too, and it doesn't feel broken or flimsy when extended, so this is definitely a feature. The owner's manual doesn't mention that this exists.

    Other cool things I've found along the way:

    - The dome light dims slowly when closing the last door and the ignition's turned off. Close the door when the car's running, and it snaps on and off immediately.

    - The dome light comes on when you unlock the doors with the key FOB.

    - The front doors have "puddle lights" built into them.

    - When unlocking either front door with the key, you can unlock all four doors by twisting the key one additional time. Lock the door with the key, and all four doors lock.

    - I thought the glove box didn't have a light the first time I opened it up at night in the driveway, which sort of disappointed me. Later my daughter up the glove box (while driving at night with the headlights on) and there was a light! I now know that the light is tied into the headlight circuit. An unorthodox approach, but I guess it makes sense for the most part.

    - The lighted power lock and windows buttons on all of the door panels is convenient at night.

    ..... more to come
  • spectramanspectraman Member Posts: 255
    Hi Pavel!

    Here's what I observed with the Spectra's 4-speed automatic programmed to U.S. specs:

    - Engine RPM at 60 mph = 2300 rpm in 4th gear
                   100 kph = 2500 rpm in 4th gear

    - Gentle acceleration 1-2 shift 3100 rpm
                         2-3 shift 3100 rpm
                         3-4 shift 3100 rpm

    4th gear rpm was 2000 at 50 mph (the average speed I drive on non-highway roads)

    - Even gentler acceleration caused the first shift at about 3000 rpm, the second at 2700 rpm, and the third at 2500 rpm. This type of launch is too impractical though in regards to staying out of the way of oncoming traffic in the same lane.

    - For fast starts, the rpm range was all over the map depending on how hard you floored it. Bury the accelerator and you can get 1-2 shifts at almost redline (6100 rpm), and then the next two start coming at successively 1000k lower rpms.

    Press the accelerator only moderately hard, and you get something like the gentle acceleration model above, only now it happens at 4100 rpm vs 3100 rpm.

    So far I'm pleased with the day-to-day drivability of the car acceleration-wise. I was previously driving a 3.0 V6 Plymouth Acclaim (great car btw!), and it had very good acceleration. The primary benefit to the V6 that I can see is that it didn't have to spin as many rpms (under normal start-up), thus you didn't tend to hear the motor as much. But that only makes sense, right?

    Let us know if you purchase a Spectra, and what tranny you pick.

    Also... the automatic trans is rated higher fuel efficiency-wise than the 5-speed manual trans here in the U.S. I've read online that this has to do with the gear ratios of the manual being set up for better performance than fuel-mileage.

    It would be interesting to know whether the European spec manual transmission is speced differently.

  • pavelpavel Member Posts: 3
    Hi Spetraman,

    thanks a lot for you observations! The gear ratios according to KIA specs in Europe (I guess they are same in the US) are as follows:

       Manual | Automatic
    1: 13.19 | 10.71
    2: 7.49 | 5.76
    3: 5.08 | 3.77
    4: 3.87 | 2.68
    5: 3.05 | -

    The RPM can be computed as:
    rpm = speed[mph] x ratio x 14.7

    It can be seen, that the 2nd gear automatic is nearly same as 3th gear manual, 3th gear autom. same as 4th gear manual and the 4th gear autom. something like 6th manual. Here is some comparison of the RPMs at 100 kph:

    M-3: 4600 |
    M-4: 3500 | A-3: 3460
    M-5: 2800 | A-4: 2460

    So the final result is, that the automatic has much lower RPMs at the 4th gear that makes the traveling at highways at higher speeds much more comfortable due to lower RPMs (at 100 mph 3900 A compared to 4500 M). However the dynamics could be a little worse.
    So maybe if you can do one more experiment for me, I would appreciate it very much :-) If you drive let say 90 mphh on the highway and then there is a big hill in front of you, the question is if the engine has the power enough to keep the speed going up the hill or if it looses it and needs to gear down.

    By the way, this car is sold in Europe under a different name: CERATO (www.kia-cerato.com) and I'm going to order the 5-door variant.

    Thnaks a lot again and have much fun with spectra (btw have you seen this video ? http://www.auto.cz/media/?video=reklamy/kia_spectra.avi)

  • pavelpavel Member Posts: 3
  • spectramanspectraman Member Posts: 255
    He Drove, She Drove
    http://info.detnews.com/autosconsumer/autoreviews/index.cfm?id=16- 022

    Kia's Spectra grows up

    By Paul & Anita Lienert / Special to The Detroit News

    One of the first Korean vehicles we reviewed nearly 10 years ago was the original Kia Sephia, a cheap  and cheap-looking  compact that received rock-bottom scores from us in nearly every category.

    What a difference a decade makes. Kias redesigned 2004 Spectra, the direct descendant of the Sephia, was introduced earlier this year in North America, and is one of the best-looking compacts  and one of the best values  on the market today.

    We tested a nicely equipped Spectra EX sedan, priced at a modest $16,030, including a $540 destination charge.

    SHE: I had so much fun when we went to the Beijing Auto Show in China this summer and checked out the concept cars covered in white fur with smiley-face lights all over the dash. The quality of the Chinese cars was pretty bad. So Im really looking forward to reviewing a Chinese car like the Beauty Leopard or the Big-Footed Beast when they finally come over here. Theyll give me grist for my automotive comedy mill. In the meantime, theres no way to make fun of a great product like the new Kia Spectra. You can only shut up, show lots of respect and give it five stars. I cant think of too many entry-level cars that combine value, style and safety as successfully as the 2004 Spectra.

    HE: I dont think weve given top marks to very many Korean products over the years, although we have noticed that, in general, the quality of materials and workmanship has improved dramatically. The Spectra is a case in point, where nearly every aspect of the vehicle, from engine performance to overall fit and finish, is a significant leap forward from the previous model. This new Spectra starts at around $13,000 and is well-equipped, with a twin-cam 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine thats one of the most powerful in the class. Its coupled with a five-speed manual gearbox thats smooth and easy to shift. From the cockpit, the controls and displays are simple and straightforward. And the cabin itself has a fresh, modern appearance that belies the cars entry-level pricing.

    SHE: I think the new Spectra has a really cute profile that resembles that of the Jaguar S-type. It looks a lot more expensive than it is. And Im always happy to see a little bit of chrome, in this case on top of the grille, to dress up the car. If youre shopping in this size and price category, a dramatic side-by-side comparison would be Spectra vs. Saturn Ion. The Spectra looks classier, more grown up and more substantial. I was also very pleased with the Spectras two-tone cabin, and I was surprised by the seat fabric and even the thick carpeting covering the floor in the trunk.

    HE: Kia also managed to bolster the ride quality of the Spectra, which sits on 15-inch Goodyear tires. Four-wheel disc brakes are standard, but you have to pay an extra $400 for antilock. On the plus side, Kia makes side air bags and front and rear side-curtain bags standard, which is unusual in this class. The Spectra comes with one of the best warranties in the business  five years or 60,000 miles bumper-to-bumper and 10 years or 100,000 miles on the powertrain.

    SHE: Its not like we didnt have any complaints about the Spectra. And believe me, we went over it from top to bottom, looking for flaws. I, for one, am not a fan of seat releases located in the trunk and not on the backs of the seats, where its more natural and intuitive. I wish the Spectra had little amenities like lighted vanity mirrors. And there were one or two throwbacks to the old Korean way of doing things, such as a ticket holder for the drivers visor that was made of such cheap and thin plastic that it looked like it would rip after a few months use.

    HE: While most of the trim pieces fit together tightly, I noticed a few little flaws. The plastic air bag cover on the steering wheel was a different color and texture than the rest of the wheel. The carpeted floor mats were also a different color gray than the rest of the carpeting. But I think those are minor things that are easily fixed.

    SHE: The Spectra is a good value for a wide range of people  first-time buyers or older buyers looking to down-size. I think anybody shopping in this category will be blown away by what they see and what they get in the 2004 Spectra.

    Anita and Paul Lienert are partners in Lienert & Lienert, a Detroit-based automotive information services company.


    2004 Kia Spectra EX

    Type: Front-engine, front-wheel drive, five-passenger sedan

    Price: Base, $14,290 (inc. $540 destination charge); as tested, $16,030

    Engine: 2.0-liter I-4; 138-hp; 136 lb-ft torque

    EPA fuel economy: 25 mpg city/32 mpg highway

    Where built: South Korea

    Key competitors: Chevrolet Cavalier, Dodge Neon, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Mazda3, Mitsubishi Lancer, Nissan Sentra, Saturn Ion, Subaru Impreza, Suzuki Forenza, Toyota Corolla, Volkswagen Jetta

    12-month insurance cost, estimated by AAA Michigan: $1,561 (Rates may be higher or lower, depending on coverage and driving record.)


    Vehicle rating: 5 out of 5

    Likes: Really cute profile. Nice seat fabric and two-tone interior. Super safety stuff. Outstanding warranty. Deep trunk with thick carpet. Driver seat height adjuster. Rear seat has net-style map pockets and two cup holders.

    Dislikes: Engine sounds like it's straining in fifth gear at highway speeds. No lighted vanity mirrors. Ticket holder on driver's visor looks like it would rip easily. Rear seat releases in trunk.


    Vehicle rating: 4 out of 5

    Likes: More stylish than a Corolla, more powerful than a Civic. Lots of features for $16,000. Dramatic improvement over predecessor. Simple, straightforward controls and displays. Fresh and modern cabin with high-quality materials.

    Dislikes: Excessive engine noise at 70 mph. Engine runs out of steam above 3500 RPM. Small imperfections in plastic trim. Air-bag cover doesn't match color or grain on rest of steering wheel. Antilock brakes cost $400 extra.
  • gateaugateau Member Posts: 1
    I just Kia Spectra 5, 2005....

    It is handling very good,,,,

    Have great power (2 liters, 138hp)...torque low...
    Full of equipment...

    Very quiet....and plesant to drive..

    I like it very much

    If you want to know more, feel free to contact me..

  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    Did you just buy one, or drive one? There is little known on the Spectra5, so please tell us more. How does it handle compared to other cars? Did you compare it to a Spectra sedan? How is the ride? Is it compliant and not too firm? How's the storage space? Do the rear seats fold flat? etc.
  • spectramanspectraman Member Posts: 255
    2004.5 Spectra EX Update:

    I discovered that the rear LED stoplight in my Spectra's spoiler had two of the cells (or bulbs) not lighting. The remainder of the light was still working, so overall driving safety was never really affected. Car's odometer reading: 1,100 miles.

    Satisfactory repairs were made within two weeks of taking the car in for an initial diagnosis and ordering of the necessary part.

    The dealer provided me with an employee driving an Amanti who took me back to my home so that I could use one of my other vehicles to continue on to work. They also washed my car and gave me a complimentary new tire pressure gauge (which was on my list of things to buy for the car).

    The work was done by 2:30 pm in the afternoon, and I picked the car up before the dealership and the service department closed at 6:00 pm.

    This interaction provided me with a chance to see how the dealership truly treats warranty-work customers, and so far I'm very pleased.

  • jimjpsjimjps Member Posts: 146
    Thanks for the 1st forum test drive on the Spectra5.
    Did you get it up to speed, 70mph+ ? Some people say the engine is really revving and noisy at this speed. Was it a 5-speed? Was it still quiet at high speed? Thanks for any more info you can provide. They seem to be holding off on the intro here in California so they can unload the old hatch.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Member Posts: 7,704
    just days away from it's American release. It looks great in it's Car and Driver review. Tight and sharp and impressive.

    spectraman, yes, my Kia dealership experiences have both been very positive. The original Kia dealer I bought from was located in Anacortes, WA. Just before I moved out of Washington state to Missouri, they moved their Kia dealership to Burlington, WA, my old hometown. That dealership also sold Buick's and Chevy's. They decided to go with Kia's stand-alone dealership opportunity. I think they made a wise choice as the little Korean car that could is picking up momentum as fast as the Seattle Seahawks are this coming fall in their search of the NFC title and the SuperBowl. My dealings with that dealership in Washington state were close to flawless. Everything I brought up was addressed and fixed to my satisfaction. There were loaner cars available if I needed them. The one experience at the Springfield, MO, Kia dealer I chose was flawless as well. It even included a ride to Barnes and Noble bookstore while my Sportage 4x4 received it's safety inspection. That's a Missouri law-every car must get a safety inspection at new registration(or state switchover)time. My tab renewal date is August 2005 for my Sportage 4x4 so I'll find out then if the little truck will need a safety inspection again. It passed with flying colors(in August of 2003).

    To receive intelligent treatment from your dealer and their service department wins over customers. I have been pleased as punch with my Kia dealership experience and that is only one reason I will stay with the Kia automobile brand. Oh, there's this 4x4 SUV that's also part of the equation!

    2021 Kia Soul LX 6-speed stick

  • wanderwander Member Posts: 10
    Is an automatic transmission available for the Spectra5? What colors can it come in?
  • wanderwander Member Posts: 10
    The Spectra5 is featured on www.kia.ca. The Canadian spec model can come with an automatic transmission. I guess the US model will as well I just wonder why the US website hasn't been updated about the Spectra 5. The lack of information is annoying.
  • jimjpsjimjps Member Posts: 146
    There is a new test drive of the 5 in Canadian Driver.
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    I noticed that crash test results for the "new" Spectra are now on www.nhtsa.dot.gov. I was very surprised by the results:

    Front driver: 4
    Front passenger: 4
    Front side: 4
    Rear side: 3

    Note that these ratings are not as good overall as those for the Spectra's older cousin, the Elantra:

    Front driver: 5
    Front passenger: 4
    Front side: 5
    Rear side: 4

    This is shocking, especially the side scores, considering the Spectra has SACs and is a newer design.
  • spectramanspectraman Member Posts: 255
    I wonder if the rating scale is consistent to compare vehicles from one year to the next?

    I mean, is it possible that a "5" from 2 years ago could equal a "4" today due to the scale sliding upwards due to other new innovations?

    I'm aware that each "star" represents a certain percentage of certainty for a serious injury. Supposedly a "5 star" rating says that you have a 10% chance or less of getting injured in a 35mph crash, a "4 star" gives you an 11-20% chance, etc. I wonder if the severity of the test crashes has changed in any way to make the results worse?

    If the current Spectra rates worse than the current Elantra.... now THAT would be interesting. I'd have to wonder what the devil did Kia do to the primary Hyundai design to get those ratings.

    EDITED POST: I just came back from the http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov site, and it does indeed look like they're comparing 2005-to-2005 apples-to-apples. Hmmmmmmmmmmm. I wonder if Hyundai / Kia will look into this discrepancy between the two vehicles?

    EDITED POST 2: The picture of the Elantra shown on the nhtsa site matches the picture of a 2004 Elantra on the North American Hyundai site exactly. The VR-360 degree view of the 2005 Elantra on the primary Hyundai site (worldwide.hyundai-motor.com) however has a very different front end on it. The "still" photo on this site shows a 2004, but the QuickTime 360 view shows a somewhat different car. Is the 2004 and 2005 Elantra truly the same car? Is it possible that they've changed the basic Elantra platform in some fashion in 2005, and a 2004 model slipped in under the nhtsa radar as a 2005? Something's slightly weird here!
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    NHTSA tested the '04 Elantra earlier this year because of changes that affect crash protection. To my knowledge they have not tested the '05--why would they, as there are no major changes for '05? However, I don't know of any changes in the NHTSA procedures in the past six months or so that would affect the comparison between the Spectra and Elantra.
  • spectramanspectraman Member Posts: 255
    Here are some additional results for the 2004 Elantra from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety website:

    They don't have results for a 2004.5 Spectra, so I'm assuming that these results are the closest there are until an official test is done.

    The results are *not* good when compared to the small cars like the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and Ford Focus. The primary reason for the Elantra's low scores are due to late-firing front airbags. They tested the car three times with similar results, so it doesn't appear to be a fluke. We can only assume that the Spectra's airbag system is using componentry similar to the Elantra.

    The IIHS ratings are supposedly more stringent than the NHTSA ones, so the dismal showing of the Elantra (and Spectra?) does dismay me. What does everyone else think?

  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Member Posts: 7,704
    crash test to decide on that. Hyundai Elantra and Kia Spectra components may differ just enough of a tad to make a difference. I'd love to see how the new-world order Kia Spectra fares in it's crash tests, indeed. Let's get crashing, crash test dudes!

    2021 Kia Soul LX 6-speed stick

  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    A few clarifications:

    * the IIHS test results for the Elantra don't really cover 2004 models, so I don't know why they claim to. Notice that the vehicle tested was a '01 GLS. The ratings cover Elantrans manufactured before September 2003. That means they cover few if any '04 Elantras.

    * the IIHS did test a '04 Elantra early in 2004. In that test, a fuel leak was found. A recall was issued for the problem in April 2004. I asked the IIHS why they haven't released the tests on the '04 Elantra yet and they told me they don't give that information to the public.

    * the results on the '01 GLS were due not only to a late deploying driver's airbag, which occurred on two of three tests, but also due to the driver's seat track moving forward. Hyundai redesigned the seat track in 2002.

    * If in fact the Spectra's air bag components are the same as those on the Elantra, we don't know if they are the same as on the '01 Elantra that was tested by the IIHS. A Hyundai representative told me that the '01 Elantra used the same air bag sensors as the Sonata, and that Hyundai couldn't find a problem with the airbags that caused the late deployment.
  • spectramanspectraman Member Posts: 255
    Thanks for the additional input Backy.

    Be sure to post any new findings you discover.

  • alpha01alpha01 Member 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 Member Posts: 18,949
    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.
  • spectramanspectraman Member Posts: 255
    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

    Source: http://www.automotive.com/news/25/7256/

    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 Member Posts: 18,949
    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 Member Posts: 18,949
    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 Member 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 Member Posts: 18,949
    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 Edmunds.com'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 Edmunds.com 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 Member 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.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Member Posts: 7,704
    the U.S., though? I think I read a few months ago that if won't be offered here.

    2021 Kia Soul LX 6-speed stick

  • spectramanspectraman Member Posts: 255
    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: http://spectraman.freeservers.com

    Take a look and let me know what you think.


  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Member Posts: 7,704
    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)!

    2021 Kia Soul LX 6-speed stick

  • spectramanspectraman Member Posts: 255
    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!

  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Member Posts: 7,704
    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.

    2021 Kia Soul LX 6-speed stick

  • spectramanspectraman Member Posts: 255
    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.
  • spectramanspectraman Member Posts: 255
    Kia Motors America Announces October 2004 Sales
    Excerpted from http://www.kia.com/110204.php

    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
  • spectramanspectraman Member Posts: 255
    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.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Member Posts: 7,704
    for the Spectra. Bring on the '05 Sportage!

    2021 Kia Soul LX 6-speed stick

  • nw1997nw1997 Member 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 Member Posts: 4,747
    are always applied after taxes, or the jurisdiction loses out, and trust me, they wont stand for that...


  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    Minnesota stands for that. It applies state sales tax after the rebate is deducted.
This discussion has been closed.