2005 Kia Spectra/Cerato



  • csandstecsandste Member Posts: 1,866
    Funny shimmy comments seem to run in waves. There was a lot of shimmy discussion when I bought my Elantra. Chose mine over another color which I would have preferred because of minimal shimmy, but it was still there.

    Bought the $7+ lifetime balance-rotation from Wal-Mart and I had no problems until the Michelin Energies wore out at 40K (overrated tire IMHO), bought Uniroyal Tiger Paw GTH's (about half the price of the Mic's and better), again from Wal-Mart and have had no shimmy problems.
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    I drove past my local Kia dealer today so I stopped in to see if they had any Spectra5s. No, they didn't, but I looked at all the "all new" 2004 Spectras they had on the lot. They had mostly EXes and a few LXes, all with a/c, which puts them about $170 away from an EX. Can someone explain to me why the LX exists? Does anyone today buy a new car without a/c? If they want a cheap car without a/c, there's always Rios, Accents, and Aveos.
  • alpha01alpha01 Member Posts: 4,747
    As usual, good points. I thought the seeming overlap of pricing on the LXs and EXs odd myself, but there must be some reasoning behind it, right?

  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    My own theory is that by offering the low-buck LX, Kia can advertise a really low "starting at" price for the Spectra, to entice buyers into the showroom. Then they'll see how little difference in price there is between the LX and EX, think about how much car they are getting for under $12k with the EX (after full rebates and discounts), and say "what the heck" and get an EX.

    I know there are some people who prefer roll-down windows, based on comments I've seen in these boards, but IMO that's not a huge percentage of the population. Some people may be concerned about kids and power windows, but with the flush switch design used by Kia and the lockout feature, I think it's pretty safe. The power locks with remote entry and fog lamps on the EX add some measure of safety too I think.
  • csandstecsandste Member Posts: 1,866
    One more example (along with having two different 04 Spectras--I know, I know--EPA) of why Kia's marketing is less adept than Hyundai's. Hyundai does it right with the Elantra which covers the basics with every car.

    Kia's president was on a local radio station about a month ago and reported that you had to take your Kia to the dealer or waive the warranty. This is a car-guy and he doesn't understand Magnusson-Moss???
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Well then he's not a car guy but a marketing guy. ;-)

  • pzevpzev Member Posts: 807
    You answered your own question. It's so the Spectra can have a low starting price. Everyone does it. The Mazda3 has a no A/C version with low starting price. The Altima had a no A/C car. How many people buy DX Accords with a 2 speaker sound system and how many will you find on the lot? A lot of people shopping under $20k shop by glancing at prices since they can't afford very much so all the carmakers try to get them to look at their product.

    As far as the less than $200 difference between an LX with A/C and EX, yes it's pretty stupid except for people who want manual windows but as mentioned already most people don't prefer manual windows and would be willing to pay $200 more. It's sort of like the Mazda3. The Mazda3 2.0 with power package and A/C (which most buyers want A/C and power windows/locks) is priced only $700 less than a Mazda3 2.3. Most people (at least on the forums) don't see the point in the 2.0 when for only $700 you can get the bigger engine, bigger disc brakes, foglights, leather-wrapped steering wheel, special gauges, the list goes on and on. Personally though I do prefer the 2.0 because it's available with a beige interior, has the better looking grille and taillights, and I'll take the better fuel mileage. The Spectra LX is more pointless though unless someone doesn't want power windows.

    Has anyone noticed that the 2005 Focus has basically the same pricing as a Mazda3? There's no doubt that the Ford Focus will become the next Cavalier and massive rebates will be offered. They're simply pulling a GM with inflated prices and then in return already knowing the $3,000 rebates won't be far behind. I have to wonder though since the Ford Focus is a rental car special that the parts used aren't exactly high quality since it's built for being a rental car in mind. Where as the Mazda3 is built in Japan for the entire world and where in Europe the Mazda3 is higher up the food chain so quality is important. This is pure speculation on my part about parts quality but the NA Focus doesn't seem to be a European Focus, not only with the platform but also in overall quality.

    Which brings me to the Spectra. Competition is only going to get fiercer with the new Elantra, Sentra, Civic, Cobalt (which I also think may have an inflated price and follow the Cavalier and Focus), and even the new tC may steal a few buyers that would have otherwise bought an economy car. I think the new Spectra, in it's current form, would have to offer at least $2,000 rebates, if not more. The Kia will be overlooked and only bargain shoppers will look at it, thus the rebates will need to be there. Never has anyone strapped for cash looking for a new car could get this kind of car with this kind of warranty, except obviously for an Elantra.

    Even if the car is overlooked this is a very important car for Kia. I've noticed, at least on the internet, people no longer use Hyundai to make jokes about cheap cars. The Kia name is now the punching bag but with cars like the Spectra it won't be long before they move up in consumer's eyes. I have to wonder what car badge then will be used to describe cheap cars.
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    Spectra does have $2000 in rebates right now, if you include the $1000 general rebate and the $1000 loyalty rebate OR $1000 competitive rebate. Many people will qualify for one of those. With those plus a discount, you could get an EX for a little over $11k + T&L. When compared to some other cars like the '04 Corolla LE and Civic LX (hard to get one for under $14k), it is quite a bargain and is also priced competitively with the Elantra GLS, yet has more safety equipment (disc brakes all around, side curtains, fog lights). I agree the Spectra is a huge car for Kia because it removes the last real "dog" from their lineup. When the all-new Rio and Optima come out in the next year or so, Kia will have an extremely competitive lineup of cars across the board.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Agreed, just keep in mind that perception lags about 5 years behind reality, so it'll take time for that type of thinking to sink in with consumers.

    So they'll still be joked about, it just might not apply as well as it used to.

  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    Which means those "in the know" can get a good car at a great price, until everyone else catches on! ;-)
  • alpha01alpha01 Member Posts: 4,747
    .. should be available in the upcoming issue of Consumer Reports. The usually include that bar graph that shows most competitors- so given its Elantra lineage, we'll be able to see how well this newer version is executed against their last test Elantra -a 2001, and there have been very few real changes to the vehicle since then. VVT, for example, was a nice addition, but fairly modest, in terms of performance/economy benefits.

    backy- I am VERY interested to see what Hyundai and Kia do with the next gen Accent and Rio.

    pzev- Ford has completely adopted a strategy through which it offsets rebates with higher MSRP and invoice pricing. On a lot recently, I noticed that a VERY moderately equipped Freestar(no leather, no moonroof, plastic wheels... really not many extras except for the side "canopy" safety system) stickered at $29,000 flat. Thats crazy! A Sienna LE with the top LE options package (comes with VSC, side curtains, alloys, power passenger door, DVD rear system, etc.) stickers for a hair under $29,000. C'mon, Ford, get real!

    If you look in a recent issue of Car and Driver (June or July, cant remember which), the Focus ST MANUAL(!)tested (well optioned, but not with leather... mind you) was about $19,800. Thats ABOVE the comparable Civic and Corolla.

  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    It's true there's been no huge changes to the Elantra since the current gen debuted in the fall of '00, but there have been many small changes that IMO have really helped the livability of the car. They include:

    * Rear cupholders (sedan only)
    * Lighted ignition keyring
    * Redesigned front seat track (longer, stronger)
    * Redesigned instrument panel (classier than the old one)
    * Additional 12V outlet
    * Revised power locks (2-stage system added, separate switch added)
    * Revised remote entry--now standard (2-stage opening, panic button added)
    * New fabric (GLS) and perforated leather (GT) interior (nicer looking)
    * Mist feature on wipers
    * Restyled exterior
    * Restyled wheel covers (GLS) and alloys (GT)
    * VVT engine with more power and lower emissions
    * Standard Kenwood MP3 stereo (GT)
    * Toll ticket holder
    * Damped ash tray
    * Smoother HVAC controls (way smoother than a Corolla's!)
    * Door and rubber mat on cubby below stereo
    * Auto-sensing passenger air bag (well, when it's working...)
    * Revised seatback releases (GT)
    * Larger rear window (GT)
    * Cargo light (GT)
    * Body-color spoiler (GT)

    There may be more, but that's all I can think of.
  • alpha01alpha01 Member Posts: 4,747
    that those running changes are nice, but few if any are substantial enough to change the vehicles overall score in CR's testing (or anyone elses for that matter). Personally, the VVT was a disappointment...the gain in power/torque/efficiency wasnt that substantial, given what VVT does to Toyota/Honda engines.

  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    Do you suppose CR's score would change if they tested a '04 Elantra GT with ABS and its sport suspension vs. the '01 GLS w/o ABS they last tested? Of the categories CR rates, the '04 GT should do better than the '01 GLS in acceleration, routine handling, emergency handling, avoidance manuever, braking (with ABS), ride (maybe), and maybe fuel economy. Perhaps that would be enough to raise the overall score, which was Very Good for the '01 GLS.

    The VVT design of the Elantra is different than that of Toyota and Honda. It's clear the #1 goal for Hyundai was improving emissions, which they did (ULEV/SULEV) without hurting power or fuel economy. Lower emissions, more power, better fuel economy (with the stick)--what's so bad about that?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    CR's position is that it's hard to find a Hyundai with ABS, remember they shop and buy cars off the show room floor, anonymously.

    Boy, what timing, I mention the 5 year lag and JD Powers releases their new Durability study, Kia actually ranked last for models 5 years old.

    But here's the thing - that was 5 years ago, at least one generation back for each vehicle.

    But the article comes out NOW and people still think that about Kia. See what I mean?

    It'll take a while for this to phase out, it won't happen over night.

  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    Yes, it will take a "leap of faith" for people to buy a Kia now, hoping that the long-term reliability is there to match the improved initial quality. I took that leap of faith almost four years ago with Hyundai (helped by the long warranty) and I have not been disappointed.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Hmm, I may have been wrong, they have 3 and 5 year studies. On the 3 year Kia was actually 2nd to last, ahead of Land Rover.

    Still, I think we won't be seeing them move up significantly until the 2004 models are evaluated, in 2007 or 2009!

  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    Look where Kia was in 2001 (did they evaluate 2000 models in that survey?): the Sportage, the old Spectra, Rio was just out (?), no Optima, no Sorento, no Sedona, no Amanti. No wonder they did so poorly in the quality survey! Remember that Hyundai's quality improvement began in 1998 and only really picked up with the slate of new models for the 2001 model year (Elantra, Santa Fe, XG300). Since then the two oldest Hyundai models, Accent and Sonata, have improved their quality also (note how well they did in the latest J.D. Power IQS). So it will take awhile yet for the long-term reliability rankings of Kia to improve. Before then, we should see improvements in their initial quality rankings, and in fact we have seen that.
  • pzevpzev Member Posts: 807
    I haven't been keeping up with Daewoo lately. Reviews for the Chevy Aveo, Suzuki Forenza, and Verona seem favorable. Has Daewoo made a big turnaround like Hyundai/Kia or is the Chevy Aveo the same Daewoo as we've had before?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Aveo is an old platform, just freshend up styling.

    Daewoo actually had really good IQ scores early on because you had free service, so dealers would quickly address issues early on. They also had very good satisfaction scores, FWIW.

    Problem was the sales model was horrible, and when they cut pay to those sales staff it just collapsed.

    I don't think the product is as good as Hyundai and Kia, but they did score impressively well for a while there.

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

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

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

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

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

  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    Personally I like the ride of the GT better than the GLS because it is more controlled, more like that of a European car, not as "floaty." But maybe CR would say the GT's ride is "harsher" than the GLS', who knows?

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

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

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

  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    CR's review of the "all new" 2004 Spectra EX is out, and it fared OK but not great. They slotted it below the Elantra GLS, although it was the second-best car in the test group, led by the Mazda3i (now CR's top choice for small cars). Plusses were comfortable ride, quiet interior, fit and finish, and standard side air bags and side curtains. They didn't like its acceleration, handling, fuel economy, and the difficulty finding a car with ABS.

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

    By the way, anyone see the new Optima spy pics? Doesn't look too bad although a lot of it is covered up. Rear visibility looks way better than what's on the new Elantra spy pics.
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    I think the new Spectra gives some hint as to what to expect from Hyundai in the future. The Spectra has standard four-wheel disc brakes and side curtains, even in base form. Hyundai is supposed to be the "upscale" brand for Hyundai/Kia. That means it will need more content to justify the higher price, e.g. standard ABS and power accessories. We'll see in the next year or so when the new Sonata, Accent, and Elantra (and maybe Santa Fe) are all due out.
  • pzevpzev Member Posts: 807
    Yeah with the Spectra having 4-wheel discs and side curtain airbags standard it's pretty much a given that the Elantra will have it as well. ABS standard is questionable though. I think they may lay off of it for the time being and make it standard on the Sonata. If they can just make a GT version with leather, 4-wheel discs, and side curtains that would be acceptable. All I ask is keep the dreaded sunroof optional!

    It'll be interesting to see if they make a GT version, and if so if they put a 2.3 engine in it and put the 2.0 in the basic models. I personally don't care about the bigger engine though. By the way, if Kia is suppose to be sporty where is the sporty version of the Spectra?
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    Why do you think Kia is supposed to be "sporty"? I thought Kia was supposed to be the "value" brand for Hyundai/Kia. But the Spectra5 hatchback is due out very soon and is supposed to have a sport suspension, tweaked stick shift, and 16" alloys. I guess that's the "sporty" version of the Spectra. I'd like to see Kia offer a sport version of the sedan too, as Hyundai does with the Elantra GT. I think the Spectra sedan would look sharp in a sport model with bigger wheels and maybe a sportier grille.
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    I thought that:
    Hyundai: Mainstream
    Kia: Sportier than Hyundai.
  • alpha01alpha01 Member 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 Member Posts: 807
    http://autoweek.com/cat_content.mv?port_code=autoweek&cat_cod- - - 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."

    http://autoweek.com/cat_content.mv?port_code=autoweek&cat_cod- 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."

    http://autoweek.com/cat_content.mv?port_code=autoweek&cat_cod- 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 Member Posts: 807
    http://www.gminsidenews.com/forum/index.php?s=ce3982bb27eb3b43eec- 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 Member Posts: 18,949
    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 Member 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 Member Posts: 10
    Will it be August or early September before the Spectra 5 show up at dealers?
  • csandstecsandste Member 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!!!
  • malibu_jackmalibu_jack Member Posts: 75
    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.
  • malibu_jackmalibu_jack Member Posts: 75
    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 Member 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 Member Posts: 18,949
    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 Member Posts: 7,704
    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.

    2021 Kia Soul LX 6-speed stick

  • pzevpzev Member 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
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    * excludes Hawaii
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    Workhorse Custom Chassis (AK, AR, AZ, CA,
  • wanderwander Member 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 Member Posts: 18,949
    Hey, anybody notice the new road test from Edmunds.com? 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 Member 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 Member Posts: 72,587
    Depends on the last car the editor drove. ;-)

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

This discussion has been closed.