2005 Kia Spectra/Cerato



  • alpha01alpha01 Member Posts: 4,747
    but in terms of minnesota, thats just about the dumbest thing ever.

  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    Not dumb if you are the one buying (or selling) the car! Besides, Minnesota has ways of making up for their generosity in this respect.
  • spectramanspectraman Member Posts: 255
    Check out this excerpt and the full article.

    The new Spectra's seats were rated in the second tier of performance.... heads and tails above the other more reknown competition (even the Hyundai products such as the Elantra!)


    Here's a hand-edited excerpt of significant models and where they fell:

    Cars rated on whiplash impact
    By Earle Eldridge, USA TODAY


    Kia Spectra 2005 models, all seats, active head restraints
    Lincoln LS, 2003-05 models, all seats
    Mercedes E-Class 2004-05 models, seats with head restraints that adjust automatically
    Nissan Altima 2005 models, all seats manufactured after August, active head restraints
    Saab 9-5 2005 models, all seats manufactured after September, active head restraints
    Subaru Legacy 2005 models, all seats, active head restraints
    Subaru Outback 2005 models, all seats, active head restraints
    Audi A6 2005 models, all seats, active head restraints
    BMW 5 Series 2004-05 models, sport seats, active head restraints


    Acura TL 2004-05 models, all seats
    Ford Focus 2001-05 models, all seats
    Ford Taurus 2004-05 models, all seats
    Ford Crown Victoria 2003-05 models, seats with adjustable lumbar
    Infiniti Q45 2005 models, all seats manufactured after October, active head restraints
    Lexus IS 2001-05 models, all seats
    Lexus GS 2003-05 models, all seats
    Lexus LS 2001-05 models, all seats
    Lincoln Town Car 2003-05 models, all seats
    Mazda 3 2004-05 models, base seats, seats with adjustable lumbar
    Mazda 6 2003-05 models, seats without adjustable lumbar
    Mercedes C-class 2004-05 models, seats with head restraints that adjust automatically


    Dodge Neon 2001-05 models, seats with adjustable head restraints
    Dodge Stratus 2003-05 models, base seats
    Honda Civic 2003-05 models, seats with adjustable height
    Honda Accord 2003-05 LX/EX models, standard seats
    Hyundai Elantra 2001-05 models, all seats
    Hyundai Sonata 2001-05 models, GL models
    Hyundai XG350 2002-05 models, all seats
    Infiniti 135 2002-04 models, all seats, active head restraints
    Kia Optima 2001-05 models, seats that adjust manually
    Lexus ES 2004-05 models, all seats
    Mazda 6 2003-05 models, seats with adjustable lumbar
    Mercury Sable 2004-05 models, all seats
    Mitsubishi Galant 2004-05 models, cloth seats
    Saturn Ion 2003-05 models, cloth seats and leather seats
    Suzuki Forenza 2004 models, all seats
    Suzuki Verona 2004-05 models, all seats
    Toyota Corolla 2005 models, all seats
    Toyota Camry 2002-04 models, leather seats
    Toyota Avalon 2001-04 models, all seats
  • spectramanspectraman Member Posts: 255

    Wallet Watchers: Sporty Spectra should earn Kia some respect

    Friday, October 01, 2004

    By Don Hammonds, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    If you want to know why Detroit has struggled for so long to build viable, durable small cars, take a look at Kia.

    Here's a relatively new Korean company that came to the United States in the early 1990s and promptly was derided by car consumers and journalists for the quality of its products. But it kept making improvements, and now is producing a top-notch compact car that should earn Kia much-deserved respect.

    I'm referring to the 2004 Kia Spectra, an attractive, fun to drive and well-equipped little sedan that sells for less than $16,000. I did a quickie survey of car magazines and auto Web sites and not a single one had more than a nitpick or two about the new Spectra. And almost everyone marveled at how far this company had come.

    The time span just happens to coincide with a period when American carmakers were pouring tons of money, time and energy into designing and selling sport utilities and trucks. Except for minivans, they mostly ignored sedans, which has left them playing catch-up now that the market for such cars has heated up, particularly in the wake of high gas prices.

    Meanwhile, Kia clearly took all the criticism it got in stride, got busy and now is making a compact car that tops all American automakers' models except perhaps for the Ford Focus and Chrysler PT Cruiser. The Spectra isn't a bore to drive, doesn't cost a fortune and looks pretty cool.



    .... for what my $.02 is worth, I think my Spectra EX beats both the Focus and the PT, esp. when the price is considered as part of the equation!

  • nw1997nw1997 Member Posts: 227

         Can you let us know what it cost you before any fees, taxes. Can you give a break down?

  • spectramanspectraman Member Posts: 255
    Hi nw1997:

    My July 2004 sales price on a 2004.5 Spectra EX was broken down as follows: (in U.S. dollars)

    $16,885 Suggested MSRP

    $14,793 Actual sales price
    + 897 Sales Tax (6%)
    $15,690 Sub-total 1
    - 1,500 KIA Rebate
    $14,190 Sub-total 2
    + 183 Misc fees / charges
    $14,373 Total out-the-door price

    for the car shown on this website:

    Is that the information you were looking for?


    P.S. A detailed options list for this car is in one of my earlier posts to this board.
  • nw1997nw1997 Member Posts: 227
    Thanks Spectraman. Am I correct when I state that both Hyundai uses the Same engine and trannies like KIA? Also, what is the expected miles that one can get out of these vehicles. Reason being, a friend of ours owned a 2000 Elantra and during the 100K miles warranty the transmission was replaced at 90K, then the engine started giving problems at 101K, (wouldn't start at times). Battery was replaced recently and he followed the maintenance schedule. He ended up trading it in for on 05 Sonata, could never understand that thought. Throughout the few years he owned it, he was back and forth to the dealership for things that should not be wearing out prematurely. Can you or anyone give me some type of reliability data for this vehicle? I would expect if we purchased the 2005 model, it would be for commuting, probably 170 miles a day. I would like to say this vehicle would be trouble free for at least 300K miles. Am I expecting too much?

  • spectramanspectraman Member Posts: 255

    Wow..... you want 300+k "trouble free" miles, eh? That's a TALL order for any car maker.

    I don't know what the projected life of my Spectra is, but I'd say the odds are low that anyone will get even 200k miles out of one that are "trouble free".

    I'm not sure of any car (other than maybe some old Volvo's I've heard people singing the praises of) that will go that many miles without some major components being rebuilt.

    Your mileage demands (170+ a day) are pretty high by my standards. I would have to say that you may be better off continuing your online research to determine what brand/make of car can take that kind of punishment, and then pick the most affordable from your narrowed down list.

    Here's a little blurb about the Beta motor that I found online... for what it's worth.


    Hyundai (aka KIA) engineers selected a 16-valve configuration with twin overhead cams for optimum efficiency and durability, as well as performance. The beta engine utilizes an advanced pent-roof combustion chamber with tumble port design and dual-aperture spray injectors, along with hydraulic valve lash adjusters. The engine's multi-port electronic injection system is designed to provide the precise amount of fuel required in given operating conditions. The engine's knock control system allows for a higher compression ratio, which further improves output. Other advanced features include a completely integrated distributorless ignition and sophisticated engine control unit.

    Hyundai engineers minimized engine friction by using silicon-impregnated pistons and other lightweight parts. By mounting the engine block on a single fluid-damped motor mount and resting the transmission on just three points, they reduced both weight and vibration. Even greater weight reduction was achieved by using composite materials in the engine head cover, air cleaner, water pump impeller and twin tower ignition coil.

    Here's an article about a '94 Honda Accord that went over a million miles:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A8538-2002Feb27?language- =printer
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    Trouble-free for 300k miles, including the starter and battery? Yes, I'd say you are expecting too much. I've seen, for example, posts in these discussions from a Lexus LS400 owner who has only 80k on the car but wants to buy another because of several problems, including an instrument cluster that will cost $1250 to replace. At least Hyundai/Kia's warranty covers things like engines and automatic trannies for 10 years/100k miles. The typical engine is engineered to last less than 200k miles without a major problem. Hyundai's next-gen engines, which they are using on the NF Sonata and will use on the next-gen Accent, Elantra etc. (and Kias of course) are designed to go 300,000 miles on average without a major problem.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Member Posts: 7,704
    attention spans for their own rigs, know what I mean? The manufacturers know that, of course they do. Now, if one can control their new car impulse buying then they can really score with a HyunKia engine that will last them out 300,000 miles. Incredible but not impossible, huh? I mean, as we've discussed carburetors and the Saudi Arabian oil situation over the years the argument constantly comes up that man has the technology to engineer a car that will get 300 miles to the gallon. Surely man can engineer an engine that will last 300,000 miles. Hyundai and Kia are shooting ever so nicely to the top of the heap. If more Americans would wake up to their building prowess and buy one maybe then we'd see fewer mundane looking Honda's, GM's, DCX's and Subaru's on the road. One can only hope. Have some pride, really.

    2021 Kia Soul LX 6-speed stick

  • a_l_hubcapsa_l_hubcaps Member Posts: 518
    If I wanted to get 300K out of a new car, I think I would special-order a stripped Toyota Echo -- manual steering, crank windows, etc. There's just less stuff to break. Either that, or try to get hold of a new Crown Vic Police Interceptor (without the lights and sirens, of course!) Sometimes they pop up on eBay when a municipality orders too many. Those are built to take a lot of punishment.

    -Andrew L
  • carlisimocarlisimo Member Posts: 1,280
    I wouldn't go so far downmarket (as an Echo) for something reliable in the long term. I have a Tercel and know of many others, and at an age of 15 and with many miles (I dont' know of any above 200k though) they're only alright. They keep their "refinement" much better than other budget cars of the early 90s (except the Civic, from what I've seen first-hand), but they do have their problems. You do get the feeling that Toyota couldn't build a budget car without cost-saving measures that affect its longevity. Not to mention that a weak engine will have to work hard when carrying additional weight or going uphill.
    Basically, I feel that cheap cars can be made to last forever, but aren't originally built to do so.

    Current Elantras seem to be reliable mechanically, but not so much on their trim and additional fluff. I'd be wary of that in the Spectra too, and taking good care of it will probably make a bigger difference than it would in a Toyota or Honda.
  • a_l_hubcapsa_l_hubcaps Member Posts: 518
    You might be right; there just aren't that many data points for 300K cars, so one has to use one's judgment. My dad had a 1985 Tercel that lasted 14 years, but he only put 100K on it. My brother currently has a 1977 Celica that has either 120K or 220K (odometer rolled over, nobody knows) and I get the impression that it will continue running until the body rusts off. It seems like on newer cars, it's not the engine or trans that gives out, but everything else -- so I figured a car with minimal electronics would be best.

    -Andrew L
  • spectramanspectraman Member Posts: 255
    Hi Carlisimo.

    What parts of the trim and "fluff" are the Elantras suspect in? Does the plastic discolor in the sun? Do the fabrics fade? Do the control stalks break?

    If you have any specifics on items that are notorius for going bad, I'd appreciate knowing what those are. That way I can try to treat those items with more care or maintenance on my Spectra.

    As it is, I've STP Son-of-a-Gunned the entire dash and door panels. It provides good UV protection from my experience. I've also waxed it for the second time with the polymer-based System 2001 wax. My experience with that wax has been good as far as protection against stone chip rust, clear coat degradation, etc. I also Scotch-guarded the seats... for what that will help. The can recommends re-doing it annually, but I'll probably not do it more than once or twice more during my ownership.

    Thanks for the feedback.

  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Member Posts: 7,704
    I will take your idea of the System 2001 wax into consideration with my '01 Sportage 4x4. It 's paint is staying very good overall but there is a stone chip/subsequent rust placement tiny situation on my hood, up towards the windshield that I'd like to fortify a bit on the handsome little SUV. All I'm talking about is a tiny little spot about 3/8" long by about 1/16" wide.

    2021 Kia Soul LX 6-speed stick

  • carlisimocarlisimo Member Posts: 1,280
    Weather-strip trim, low-beams going out, rattles, easily scratched paint, the hydraulic cylinders that help you lift the hatch up, things like that. Still a nice car, in my experience as a passenger, but now I only suggest the Elantra to people willing to do a little vehicular upkeep themselves.
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    I've owned a '01 Elantra for four years, through four Minnesota winters and "severe service" driving. I also own a '04 Elantra GT. Here's my take on the items you mentioned:

    * Weather-strip trim: Still perfect. I use a silicone protectorant on it each fall.

    * Low beams going out: Both cars still have their original low beams.

    * Rattles: My '01 Elantra has a faint buzz someplace in the front of the car that appears in cold weather. There's also a faint rattle sometimes in the passenger side front door, again with cold weather. I've heard of other owners having the door rattle and they tightened down the door panel; it hasn't bothered me enough to do that. Otherwise the car is very solid, no creaks or rattles. Nothing at all on the '04 GT.

    * Easily-scratched paint: I haven't noticed the paint on my '01 Elantra (champagne) is any more prone to scratches than other cars I've owned. The paint still looks like new, aside from a few nicks that I've touched up. I wax it 3-4 times a year and use only all-cloth car washes, not the brushes that leave fine scratches all over the car. I have noticed that the Rally Red paint (non-metallic) on my '04 Elantra does tend to show scratches more easily than the '01, but I don't know if that's because of the darker paint or the car (I've never owned a new car of this color).

    * Hydraulic prop rods: My GT has these, no problems yet. But if they should need replacing... wouldn't they be easy to replace (and would be covered by the 5-year warranty)?

    BTW, I don't treat my Elantras any different than I did any of my other cars, which included Hondas, Toyotas, Mazdas, Nissans, Dodges, et. al. In fact, I probably don't baby my Elantras as much as I did these other cars, because I just don't have as much time as I used to.

    IMO, if people aren't willing to do a little "vehicular upkeep" like regular washing, waxing, lubricating, etc., especially in a heavily salted environment like the one I live in, then they deserve premature aging of their car--and they will get it!
  • carlisimocarlisimo Member Posts: 1,280
    That's great to hear. I'm just going on what I've seen, which isn't much. Two '02 Elantra GT owners that I know directly (the one with more problems bought her car used) and they know a couple more and I hear things through them.

    I don't know many people who regularly do more than drive through a Shell carwash, and since everyone parallel parks outside around here, trim and paint suffers a lot. I'll tell everyone about that silicone protectant...
  • spectramanspectraman Member Posts: 255
    I have a question for any KIA engineers (or knowledgeable mechanics) reading this forum:

    Car: 2004.5 Spectra EX


    I had some loose change fall into my center armrest console, and it sounds like it's down underneath the rear pull-out cupholder.

    If I could somehow release the rear cupholder and remove it, I think I could remove the change.

    The owner's manual doesn't show any kind of way to remove the cupholder (ala the rear ashtray).

    Is removal of the rear cup holder possible... easily? I examined/felt the rear cupholder closely and could NOT find any kind of intuitive release mechanism.

    Thanks for any info you can share.



    Do NOT put any loose change in the upper most compartment of the center armrest. It's the shallow compartment right under the cover. When you flip the cover up to get to the larger storage compartment underneath, coins slide to the rear of the shallow compartment and slide through a slot by the hinge and down into the armrest body. The rear pull-out cupholder is directly below this area.
  • darksundarksun Member Posts: 1
    Well, Thats not very helpful eh??
  • spectramanspectraman Member Posts: 255
    Hi darksun.

    To alleviate any future confusion on the part of the forum readers, the last part of my post above (i.e. NOTE TO NEW SPECTRA OWNERS) was actually written by me as a succinct summary of the problem described directly above it.

    That section was NOT posted from anyone from KIA. I can now see how it could look that way though. LOL

  • nw1997nw1997 Member Posts: 227
    Hi backy,

        Do you know when they will be re designing the new Kia's that will have this new engine design that would last up to 300K miles? Spectraman, thanks for the info. I guess it boils down to how someone maintains and drives their vehicles. That article regarding th Accord that went to 1 million miles was interesting. We are about to move and will have a long commute as I mentioned. We are starting to look now for a commuting vehicle that is reliable, fuel efficient and low-maintenance. When I read about the 2005 Spectra it gave me another option than the Civic and Corrola. Well, I am not a hard driver and I keep our vehicles well maintained. I do like all the safety features that the Spectra have to offer, the MPG is not that bad either. We will keep investigating all our options before we make a final decision. Thanks to all that offered their opinions.
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    I don't have hard info on when Kia will start using the new Hyundai engines, but we can make some intelligent guesses. We know the NF Sonata will use the new engines. That leads me to think the new Optima, based on the Sonata, will use them as well. A new Accent and Rio are due out late next year. I haven't seen the engine specs on them yet, but it's logical that they would use the new (small) engine. As for when the Spectra will use a new engine, that's hard to say since the new Elantra may not be out until 2006. Will Kia put the new engine in earlier, putting the Elantra at a disadvantage, or wait? Then there's the new Kia minivan, which is rumored to use the new V6.

    One note on the 300,000 miles goal... Hyundai was clear that it would take awhile to make that goal, since the design is for 300,000 miles but it will take some time for all of their suppliers to get the tolerances close enough. So even though you can get a vehicle with a new-design Hyundai engine very soon, it doesn't mean it will have 300k durability.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Administrator Posts: 11,134
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