I happened to find this site before I bought an '05 Spectra and was disappointed to find there really wasn't much useful information here. With that in mind I thought if I buy a new Kia I really should put up or shut up so......
On Sept. 20th I picked up my '05 Kia Spectra (Canadian spec) EX L
I have been extremely pleased with the car so far with almost nothing to complain about.
First the competition: I have owned (leased) two Honda's in the past. The first was a 98 Civic Auto LX. I really should have kept that car as I really did like it. Then we traded up for an 01 Accord EX-L. One test drive in the leather Accord and I was hooked.
So I was a little skeptical when it came time to send the Accord away. (New baby in the family and really did not want to lease another car.. buying was our choice.) So I sucked it up and downsized our payment schedule.
We set about trying out a new Civic..... wholly crap what did they do... this car is a tin can. Off to Toyota.... I would rather drive a Sunfire... not really but you get my point.
So for a joke I stopped by the Kia dealership and asked for the keys to the Spectra... Hey, this is nice.... really nice I thought.
The Spectra just feels right. It's comfortable..... (not like the Leather Accord but still comfortable). It feels very solid in construction unlike the Civic which feel like it is going to fall apart. The Civic really feels like something is missing... like about another 1000 pounds of metal. The Kia is quieter both in road noise and wind noise. It's much smoother too. Did I mention the Civic had really bad wind noise? So did my 01 Accord so I guess that's to be expected.
The engine is very peppy for a 4cyl auto. I had out a the Civic SI (115hp).... what a boat. It's gutless compared to the Spectra.(138hp) The Spectra is quieter in the engine department by leaps and bounds too...
Breaks are awesome..... feels much more confidant than the Civic.
Transmission is smooth shifting and very quite. At least equal to the Civic, if the Civic had any power I think the tranny would be fine.
I would say the Civic would out handle the Spectra. But I guess I'm over my Boy Racer days...... I want something that is sure footed and still rides decent. In this respect the Spectra wins hands down.
How about the price of these cars? For less money than a loaded Civic you get more options than the Civic. 2 Air bags on the Civic, six on the Spectra.... No EBD on the Civic. No MP3 player on the Civic. Bigger tires than the Civic. Active head restraints on the Spectra....not the Civic.
Great warranty on the Spectra too...... 5years or 100k km and free oil changes for life. Honda..... 3yr/60k. Come on Honda, if you car is so damn good then prove it.
The Spectra also has the BEST headlights I have ever seen. The Civic on the other hand should not be allowed on the road. You can easily out drive the lights on the Civic. My 01 Accord was not any better so I guess I shouldn't expect much from Honda regarding lighting.
It's been back for two service issues (at the same time). One of the fog lamps was out. Seems there was a loose connection at the bulb. Remember I talked about wind noise.... well it seems there was some noise when I picked up the car. I knew this wasn't normal as my test car didn't have this noise.
The dealer was fantastic about finding the source of the noise. They did the customary door adjustment without success. We then taped up every crack and crease in the body there was. We'd drive it at highway speed and then peel off some tape. Finally with only one piece of tape remaining we knew we found the source. It was the driver's mirror. They had another new Spectra in the same color so they swapped mirrors. Wind noise gone. The car is now silent. I mean really silent. If you hate wind noise this car is for you.
The gas mileage is a little less than I would expect with my commute to work. I'm getting about 32mpg Canadian/UK with about 2500km on the ODO so far. Once I hit around 10k we'll see if it picks up any. Still better than my Accord so that's ok for now... I'll keep an eye on it.
Notice I didn't say much about the Toyota Corolla? Good reason... it's the most uncomfortable car I have EVER driven. If it works for you then great. It had decent power... with a little engine noise. No wind noise to speak of and good ride/handling. And with Toyota reputation I'm sure it would be a great car. It just won't work for me.....
We'll that's about all there is to say.... so go get yourself a 05 Spectra and enjoy.
If anyone has any question feel free to post. I reply with my thoughts....