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Kia Spectra5



  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    That is very interesting if in fact the Spectra tranny is the same as that in the Optima. The Optima uses a bigger 4-cylinder engine than the 2.0L in the Spectra. If true, it would mean the Spectra, Optima, Sonata, and Elantra all share the same automatic tranny.


    Doesn't the automatic in the Optima (and Sonata) have a manumatic feature?
  • Hi there from overseas. Have just ordered a 2005 Spectra5 and stumbled on this forum while looking for sites connected to all things Kia. I am impressed by the knowledge and enthusiasm of the contributors, though puzzled by some of the terms and specs used.

    I test drove the Spectra5 last weekend at my local dealership and found it really great. I have been driving Kias since 1998 and have always found them very reliable and comfortable, if not top of the class for performance. But great value for money and I am no boy racer anyway (middle aged with wife and two teenage kids).

    I found the new Spectra a huge improvement on previous models. Feels really great to drive and the equipment is fantastic, even for a Kia. Only drawback is the engine size, only 1.6L petrol or 2.0L diesel available here as yet. I opted for the 1.6 as I have never liked diesel cars.

    Incidentally, I am sure all you enthusiasts know that the Spectra5 is marketed under the name Kia Cerato in Europe and the Far east.

    I am interested in comparing prices. My model is costing me £10,500 sterling, which is approximately $17850. How does this compare with prices in the US?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    Here in the States the Spectra sedan (LX trim, manual windows, 5-speed tranny) starts at about $11k with rebates, and the Spectra5, which comes in only one trim line and engine (2.0L 138 hp gas) is around $15k. Those prices are without taxes and fees, which vary by state.
  • Thanks for the info, Backy. I was not aware that car taxes varied from state to state in the US. Here in the UK, car tax hits us pretty hard. The price of £10500 ($17850) for my Spectra5 includes approx. £1500 ($2550) car tax. Nevertheless, the Spectra5 is still a bargain here. The cost of a Ford Focus with equivalent spec would be at least another £2500 - £3000 ($4250 - $5100).

    Would local taxes and fees in the States bring the cost of a new Spectra5 anywhere close to the $17850 I am paying?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    Yes, it could come close in a high-tax state. e.g. taxes in my state are 6.5%, plus there are license fees (about $300 for me for a Spectra5), documentation fees (about $75) and perhaps other fees.
  • Pondsman:


    I was able to get my loaded 2004.5 Spectra EX for $14,373 out-the-door (taxes and fees included) using a $1,500 rebate KIA had going last year. My state tax is 6%, which is fairly high as far as state taxes go.


    Details of pricing and photos of this car can been found at:


    I know that the Spectra5 starts off with a higher sticker price than the sedan, but I'd say that a dealer with a large enough inventory sitting around would be motivated to negotiate pretty easily (at least based on my experience).


  • Backy and Spectraman:


    Thanks for the price information. Looks like you got a real bargain, Spectraman.

    I'm picking up my new Spectra on Monday evening. Can't wait.

    Go Kia!
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Where is this forum when I insert "list all Kia discussions" into the forum listing? It seems to have disappeared in the last few days. Despite the bad crash tests this is a viable car and I wish them well on it. Hate to see the list go dead because all of the search points don't show up.
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    Still there - on the left use the Browse by Vehicle and select Kia for Make and then hit go (no model selection). On the next page under where the models are listed, click on the Display all Kia Discussions....that will give you the list.
  • spectramanspectraman Posts: 255
    Positive review for Spectra5:


    The Kia Spectra5 is a real departure for Kia, providing class-leading horsepower ratings and interior space in the highly competitive sporty small car market. Its best feature may well be the way it combines sportiness with shock insulation, so that it always feels ready to be tossed around corners or raced down the straights, without the stiffness and discomfort of many small and sporty cars. Even with a fairly substantial weight (2,844 pounds) and fairly low bottom-end power, the Spectra5 will easily beat a stock Honda Civic EX or Toyota Corolla in both acceleration and interior space, with greater comfort than the Honda Civic thrown in.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 7,237
    great review on the hot new Spectra5. If the Spark Blue is the same blue that I'm thinking it is you picked a great color for it, too! That color is great. My fave new cars now are the 2005 Kia Sportage, 2005 Scion tC(especially the new RS 1.0 tC in Absolutely Red color)and the 2005 Kia Spectra5. I agree, just buy the new Kia and get that great warranty as well as the great rig. Great choice and great review. I am of the thinking that Kia is the best vehicle to buy on the planet right now. Hence, my nickname. I started with a '99 Sephia and loved it as well as my current Kia, a 2001 Kia Sportage 4x4 that is on it's OEM Hankook tires(92,200 miles, too!)and has burned nary a lightbulb yet. Viva la Kia!

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • axel_roseaxel_rose Posts: 16
    I was VERY skeptical when I walked onto the Kia lot. Part of what brought me there was that my girlfriend just bought a Hyundai and I know that Hyundai is the parent company for Kia. With that in mind, what sold me was the build quality of the interior and how quiet and compliant the ride is. The car accelerates sily smooth and briskly I might add. My biggest fear with this car is undoubtedly, the reliability. Only time will tell if I got my moneys this time, I feel like I got a great deal. It is the Spark Blue color and looks great!
    I got it for $16,234 and they paid off my balance on my 2000 Tracker. TT&L I got out the door for 17k to the penny...not bad considering I owed 8k on my Tracker.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 7,237
    what dealer did you buy from? They paid off your Tracker's balance owing? Yikes! The new Spectra5 with that blue color is hot. Looks great and it sounds like it handles great as well. I remain interested.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • axel_roseaxel_rose Posts: 16
    Yes, they paid off a $7991.00 balance on my 2000 Tracker and I brought them a check for $9100 from my credit union for the Spectra5.

    I bought it from Carolina Kia in High Point, NC.
  • Would like to hear from any Canadians in this forum who’ve purchased a Spectra5 (price paid, options, overall buying experience, etc.). In Canada, there are two trim levels: base starts at $17,395 (no A/C, cruise or elec. windows / locks; P195/60 R15 tires) and SX trim lists at $19,995 (pretty much loaded except ABS and sunroof, I believe).

    At around $17,000 the base model looks like a decent buy...
  • geomaticsgeomatics Posts: 60
    The car i purchased is a Spectra 5, The car is equip ed as listed on the dealer sites without the option a package (no antilock or sunroof) you can't get one without the other. It is pretty much loaded. driver manual hight adjustable seat, 6 speaker am/fm mp3 player, electric adjustable heated mirrors, 6 airbag system, macpherson struts, front and rear sway bars, 16" alloy wheels, mudguards, side skirts, air, cruise, keyless entry with vehicle immobilizer. there is no SX badging on my car, leading me to believe that this is the only trim level for this year. any body options that you see on the website are extra, eg. front and rear skirts.

    here is a list of aditional options of which i have the front mesh grill and sport pedals.

    hope this helps
  • Thanks Geo.

    How much did you end up paying (incl. taxes & delivery)? How much did they move off the MSRP?
  • geomaticsgeomatics Posts: 60
    air tax=100.00
    Fuel tax=75.00

    Trade in allowance = 9059.45
    vehicle price - trade in = 12484.55
    Ontario Sales Tax = 998.76
    GST = 873.92

    Total purchace Price 14357.00

    that's pretty much it, i figure they gave me 7k for the trade and took the next 2k of the vehicle MSRP :

    I still like my KIA.
    have fun
  • spectramanspectraman Posts: 255
    2005 Kia Spectra5 vs. 2005 Suzuki Reno - _Suzuki_Reno.S180.A8508.html

    Looks like the Reno just wins this shoot-out, at least from a daily driver perspective. The Spectra gets the nod for those more inclined to sporty driving.

  • dekandekan Posts: 7
    Well I knew a time would come when i would have to have a little work done on my Spectra5. Nothing major just a few minor items. I noticed a few surface rust spots on my hood along the front next to the chrome trim. There are 5 tiny bits of surface rust that at first thought was caused by rocks or salt but when I really looked at them I noticed they are all even spaced apart and starting from the perfect center running left and right. The last ones in the line stop the same distance from the ends. perhaps this is from a process at the factory because i could not find any bolts or weld marks on the underside of the hood. i showed them to my dealer during my last oil change and they have agreed to repaint the hood free of charge.

    The second problem I have had is the driver side center console vent does not work with the direction dial. You can control it up and down but not side to side. Again I showed this to my dealer and they are ordering a new vent free of charge.

    The latest problem is with the front bumper. The decorative molding that rides low apparently has lost two screws or they were never installed. The piece is held on with four screws and I have lost the center two. Now the bumper rides low in the front and has fallen out of the two holes holding it in place. This is also being taken care of next week.

    Hey don't get me wrong, I love the car. I am even still really happy with the dealer. I am not writing this to warn people about my problems. if anything I am writing this to 1) Praise my local dealer for doing everything possible to help me, and 2) give a "heads up" notice to all my fellow Spectra5 owners. Check those screws holding the front accent on, they may be loose. By the way if anyone is wondering I have 12,000 miles on my Spectra5.

  • axel_roseaxel_rose Posts: 16
    This writer must have been stoned when he test drove the Spectra 5 because my car doesn't exhibit any of the poor ride handling qualities or noisy cabin qualities that he writes about...perhaps he was driving a pre-production model.
  • geomaticsgeomatics Posts: 60
    I test drove the 2005 Reno as well as the GM badged Optra5. And all i can say is that these cars are not even in the same class as the Kia S5. the GM Dawoo /suzuki combination provides an uninspired attempt at exterior design. A distinct lack of driver refinements. Less HP and over all a grocery cart feel. Drive it then you will know what I am talking about.

    But if what you want is a economical small car that is absolutely no fun to drive and not outstanding in design, refinements or power... then go for the GM Daewoo/suzuki built car.

    7000km on the Kia S5, no problems yet.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    Re the distinct lack of driver refinements, I found the driving position to be superior in the Reno/Forenza compared to the Spectra/Spectra5, mainly because of the dual-arc seat height adjuster in the Reno/Forenza. So I have to agree with the review there, and also with the look/feel of the dash (although the Spectra's is not bad by any means).

    Overall I thought it was a pretty good comparo review of the two cars and highlighted the differences quite well. I think the Spectra5 is the superior car overall, but given that Renos can be had in my town for about $11k, I think it's a lot of car for the money and quite acceptable for the around-town driving most people do.
  • spectramanspectraman Posts: 255

    "Kia soon will offer a variety of budget-priced but dealer-installed body, exhaust and wheel packages for those who want to give their Spectra a "sport compact" treatment."

    "...If warranty issues can be addressed, Kia would like to offer a supercharger option to boost the output of the Spectra's 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine from its stock 138 to more than 200 horsepower.

    I recently drove several souped-up Spectra 5 prototypes and was impressed with the quality of the parts for the body kit and with both the look and the tone provided by the cat-back exhaust system.

    The lowering springs make the car's handling more dynamic. That performance can be enhanced by 18-inch wheels and high-performance tires; cars I tried wore Goodyear Eagle F1s or even grippier Nitto Neo Gens.

    The supercharger installation fits nicely between the engine and firewall. For those who can afford another $3,000, the performance boost is impressive."


    200 hp with a supercharger, eh? Wow. I wonder if they've got any goodies in their engineering grab-bag to handle the ensuing torque-steer that's bound to come with such a HP increase?

  • spec5spec5 Posts: 15
    I just read through all these posts about the Spectra and it has been an interesting ride. I have a prospective that's just a bit different. I purchased a 2004 Suzuki Forenza (basically the same thing as the Reno) last September before I knew about the Reno or the Spectra 5. I bought automatic and test drove an automatic Spectra sedan. I made my decision based on styling. Both cars are very roomie (6'3" and over 300lbs) but I just liked the styling of the Suzuki...inside and out...better. Well, I purchased a 2005 Spec5 in classic red yesterday. I did a lot of comparisons online and one thing that I found hard to believe is the 0-60 differences between the AT and the manual...about a 2 second difference! Well, my Spec5 is a manual and I have to say that IMO I'm already having more fun driving the Spec5 than I have driving a car in years. I saw one performance 0-60 on the Spec5 that said 8.2 and I can believe it. I'm not running it hard yet with only 54 miles, but already, WOW. Anyone interested in a sporty little car that doesn't drive the Spec5 with a manual is missing out. BTW...rumor of supercharger from Kia if they can work out the warranty issue? Something to think about when all Suzuki SWT only offers a rear spoiler and some stickons.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 7,237
    I must say I continue to be interested in the great looking new Kia Spectra5. I'm currently enjoying my 2001 Kia Sportage 4x4 to the full and love the styling and value found in Kia's. Keep reporting on your Spectra5 and congratulations!

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    So did you trade in your Forenza? What was yuor experience with that car?
  • spec5spec5 Posts: 15
    Yes, I traded my Forenza. It's a great car and 2 days into the Spectra 5 I can tell you the stereo is much better in the Forenza. I did have to deal with a couple of glitches with the Forenza. Stalling in the morning a few times that the dealer fixed and the check engine lite came on but went out before I could get to the dealer. The Suzuki dealer was great but so was Kia. I drove the Forenza to Atlanta from my home near Greensboro NC (about a 5 hour drive) and it was very comfortable. I know at this point that the Spectra 5's styling and attitude are much more a match for my personality.
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