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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello there,

Thought I would throw out some first impressions, etc...

I picked up a Spark Blue Spec5 this week, all options except auto tranny. Got it for a good deal too. It came down to the Mazda3 (5 door) and the Spec5. What eventually won me over was the $3k price difference, and the quality we have enjoyed with the 03 Sorento.

Kia has come a long way in a short period of time in the way of their quality, features, and performance.
I drove Matrix, Focus, Mazda3, ElantraGT, everything in the class and performance/uality/value none could surpass. If I could have justified the $3k more, it woulda been the Mazda3 in my garage, but I was looking for a fun to drive sporty economical daily driver. I have just retired my 4x4 wheelin rig from daily driver duties (99 Amigo with ~9" lift suspension, tire, and body) to be solely a trail rig.

I drove the Elantra GT 5 door manual just before the Spectra, but after the Mazda 3 and there was NO comparison between the preceeding or following and the Elantra (decent car). It was simply outclassed. Tranny was loose and sloppy finding the gears and slushy clutch feel. Soft suspension, sloppy fit and finish, zero rear headroom, and very tinny sound when you shut the doors. The Spectra was the opposite. Good gearbox/clutch, nice finish, tight sporty suspension, and mondo headroom by a couple inches over the Elantra with a solid door closure sound. The Mazda3 was all the same, but slightly better in the gearbox/sporty feel arenas. It was >$3k more. I am very impressed with the quality turnaround Kia has made. The Sorento has been a great rig, and the Spectra appears to be on the same path.

Just FYI on the Sorento, is has ~43k miles, and we love it. It is a fully loaded EX, all options (Indigo Blue/Pewter Grey). We purchased it in Nov of 02 (less than 30 days on the market) and got a screamin deal on it.

So, what I would like to know is...
Are there many Spec5 owners out there?

What kind of "toys" can be added (I have seen the site)?

I have read some reviews and seen some pics online that indicate the small "c-pillar" windows are not actually windows, did that change mid-year from the black panel to have glass in there now?

Anyone done anything unique to theirs?
I probably wont do anything extreme (READ: drivetrain mods) for a bit, but I plan to redo the audio system. The single disk is restrictive, if it was MP3 compatible, that would be liveable.
Are there steering wheel controls available? I really like that in the Sorento.
I am also thinking that tint is definitely due in the next week or so.

This will be mine to drive for the next 4-5 years and then it will be passed onto my son as a first car, so I dont want to do anything too radical, but a few personalization queues are in order, along with making it more liveable when I am in it (READ: decent sound system, stock isnt bad per se, but not comparable to that in the Sorento).

Take care and I look forward to reading some responses.

· Registered
81 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Originally posted by onehappydog@Jul 18 2005, 11:26 PM
Hi i was wondering what price you paid when all of the haggling was over, I am doing the same this weekend. Any help would be appreciated. Onehappydog
I paid invoice. $15k, all options but auto tranny.

No haggling, I dont do that. I simply researched everything then went out drove the vehicles I was interested in. Left the dealership and then exchanged emails with the dealership. Told them what I was willing to pay and they came back and accepted that offer. I told them to prepare the paperwork, and I would give them up to 60 minutes of my time. The salesperson agreed that if he extended beyond that dinner for the family was on him that evening.

We were out the door in 45 minutes.

Basically, I treated them with respect and was straightforward with what I was willing to pay, set expectations on the front end, and via conversations through email, was crystal clear that I was not playong games and not above going elsewhere.

That is the only guidance I can pass along...

Good luck
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