Kia Forum banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey All.

Just here to learn about Kias and Spectres

I must say it's very reasuring to stumble across an owners site. It means people out there care enough about their Kia's to invest time in a site. And if people care, then the cars must have some merit above their good bang for the buck status.

I'm bascially here to research if I should get a Spectra5 or not.

For various reasons, I'm now in the market for an econo-box commuter. So far the Civic and Focus have been on the list. But just a couple of days ago, I stumbled across the Spectra at a dealership while attempting to rule it out. Wow...did I just have my auto assumptions shattered, which is another way to say that despite my intentions, I walked away liking the new 2005 models.

You can probably expect a bunch of stupid "Should i buy it" , type of questions from me in the new future...

Thanks...

- :liebe011: :liebe011:
...
 

·
Registered
car
Joined
·
4,209 Posts
Welcome to the site. I have a 05 Spectra SX sedan. Its pretty much just like the Spectra5. I really like it. It gets pretty good gas milage and it rides pretty good and handles great. You should go for the Spectra5. :)
 

·
Registered
2004 Kia Optima
Joined
·
1,980 Posts
Welcome to KIA-forums.com KiaNewbie! :57:
Glad to see that you're considering the Spectra5 as your new buy! :thumbsup:
Here are a few things about the cars that you've mentioned that I have experience with.
The Civic as well known and respected as it is it’s a great car to own. One of the best on the market. Gas milage is a great plus for the car, but on the down side (YES there ARE downsides to the Civic) IT IS SOOO BORING! Sorry, had to get that off my chest! :grin: I've driven it on many occations, since I work for a Car rental company on the weekend.
As for the Focus, what can I say? Pretty good on gas, but that's all I can say about that (Good side that is). On the bad side (and this is from a few years of experience working for a rent a car company) Bad side: Cheap looking/feeling interior, easily broken electronic components. Trunk (on ALL models) jams, won’t close right, etc. The body is a bit outdated (in my opinion). Oh wait have I mentioned that the engine bay is LOUD? You have to drown the noise out with turning the radio UP LOUD! Seriously, I’ve driven more than my share of Focus’ to know this. All in all not a very good investment.

Last but not least, there’s the Spectra5. Not very familiar with the car myself, but from what I’ve read and from what all of the owners on this site has mentioned then it’s a great car. I’ve driven the Spectra LX and EX but not the SX or the 5. I thought they were AWESOME cars to drive! LOL aww yeah! The EX I LOVED, it had power everything (JUST like the LX) But it also had a sunroof/moonroof (which ever one you call it) Very quick, just like the Mazda 3 (Another car the I LOVE!) The only difference that was explained to me (LX/EX vs Spectra5) is that the 5 is sport tuned and has 5 doors. Trust me, the next car that I’m planning on purchasing (currently have an Optima) is either the Mazda3 vs Spectra5 or the Mazda5 vs Optima EXV6 or Amanti.

Sorry that I’ve babbled on this subject, I just wanted to throw my two cents in! :57:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the welcome.

ahfrederick, Much of what you say rings really true.

You don't have to hide it...Civic is BORING (and can you say, over priced too?) -, but that **** rep for reliability and resale value keeps fogging up any clear thinking.. As for the Focus, well..it just felt very solid and fun to drive. I'm sure that would change with some age. (A thought: aren't rental cars notorious for getting busted up by all those drivers - maybe that affects your experience with them?) Plus I may be the only person still alive who has had good experience with Fords and the dealership service. Figured that the good service might make up for the inevitable annoyances that would pop up.

However, as soon as I saw the Spectre, I could really see it elevating the daily grind into something else. One down side though: I would have to commit to driving it till it's nubs down to nothing, because the resale value is so lousy.
(And don't think I am not serious; My current commuter is an '86 Prelude running on high hopes).

I guess I have to now trust in the car's longevity and the commitment of the company to honor the warrantee. Not sure I am there yet. Those things still seem to be a dice toss. From my reading it seems when things go right on the Kia, life is wonderful. When they go bad, owners get motivated to grab a sniper rifle and a roll of duct tape and head out for the dealership.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
ehhh what ? Did you say dealer ? :gunsmilie:

:grin:

But you're right, if all goes well they are SUPERBE.
If not, .................. :amen:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
I was unfortunately one of those "what ifs". The 2005 seems a vast improvement over the 2002 I just unloaded. To call my 2002 Spectra worthless would be aiming too high. My experiences with the dealer and the car were just too negative to give the 2005 a chance.

Just being honest...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks X. I'm sorry to hear about your car issues.
I know it sucks when your are on the wrong end of a bad car.

This is the frustrating part about considering Kias. One the one hand there are all these great recent reviews of the 04 and 05 models. Yet on the other, you hear horror stories, like yours, about models that are just a couple of years old.

Of course, you want to believe that Kia has turned the corner on the occasionality quality issues of old. You want to believe that these newer models are on a different level (esp when your doing that test drive and all the good new car smell is wafting in).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
Take a look at my other posts on this site regarding my 05 Spectra EX..... nothing but trouble.

1st, I love the car better than the competition like Civic which is my previous cars, 98 Civic and a 01 Accord. Feels better built, no road/wind noise like the Honda product. Very strong engines with lots of power. Nice interiors with a good feel to the controls etc.

Now the bad,

Day 1 had a whistle sound develop before I got it home. It turns out it had something to do with the way the drivers side mirror was formed. Dealer taped every crack on the car with masking tape, we then drove hwy speed to see if the whistle was gone. Then we started removing tape until the whistle came back. We got to the mirror and it was back. Solution, take a mirror off of a twin car on the lot. Whistle gone.....

Month 2: Rattles develop in the dash area. 3 separate areas. Car has been taken apart 5, yes 5 times to get fix. The center radio/hvac trim has been taken off so many times it rattles now with any temp change in the morning. The car sounds like it has 3000000 miles on it when you go down a less then perfectly smooth road.

During the "fixes" for the dash rattles they find the windshield is making ONE of the noises. They take the windshield out and re fit it back in the car. This fixes the problem for about two weeks, now it's back, not loud but very much like it was when it started to creak and getting worse.

Sometimes I can't get the key out of the ignition because the transmission lock/shifter will not go forward to park all the way. I have to jiggle it a time or two to get the key out. Dealer "lubed" the linkage but this did not fix this random problem.

Drivers seat "seat" cushion collapsed, seat had to be re stuffed.

HVAC temp controller went bad. Still worked but it created an grinding sound found behind the control. The gears inside the box were slipping I guess.

Transmission:

The adaptive logic of the transmission apparently doesn't like my driving style. Not sure what that means, I'm an aggressive driver, 37yrs old, usually with my family on board, I would not call myself from the Rice Rocket crowd. I don't do 80 everywhere but I don't poke about either.

Anyway, transmission was not shifting properly. It would slam hard into 3 gear with the slightest bit of aggression, like hitting a curb at 40mph. It would not shift down to a lower gear when coming to a yield where you would roll through. It seemed to be one gear to high. Step on the gas to get it to "kick" down and then when shifting up again it would slam into 3rd.

Dealer told me there was a software fix for the Trans Computer, that has never come. The band-aid was to reset the computers by pulling the battery for 10 minutes and then a specific driveing/acceleration procedure.

This fix lasted about 4 days, now the tranny is hunting for 3rd again, like it can't make a decision. I fully expect it to get worse again and start slamming hard.

Passenger side front seat belt was creaking badly. Dealer lubed the connecting bolt. Worked for about a day. I lubed it again with a different type of lube, has been fine since.

One driving light bulb burnt out in the first month as well.

The car is rated at 46mpg on the hwy, UK/Canadian measure.
Best I have EVER got was 34mpg. This car is a pig on gas.

Car is back to the dealer on Friday again, wish me luck.

If all these problems would go away I would love this car. Until then, if then, I can't recommend this car.

ddire
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Originally posted by ddire@Aug 16 2005, 08:30 AM
If all these problems would go away I would love this car. Until then, if then, I can't recommend this car.

ddire

I think you are the exception and not the rule. How many miles you have?

My 2003 Sorento EX has been impeccable, and we love it. (46k)

The 2005 Spectra5 also has been flawless and I couldnt be happier with my purchase choice. (7k)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
282 Posts
A Spectra is a good, solid choice. A few others you may want to look at (just to "cross them off your list") are the Hyundai Elantra (which shares a lot of running gear with the new Spectra), Suzuki Forenza/Reno, and Suzuki Aerio. I haven't bought yet myself, but these are all on my list. Your post sounded like my experience with the Reno and Aerio- I went to the Suzuki dealer just for the sake of crossing them off my list and ended up greatly surprised by both. To be honest, I don't know what I'll buy.

I need to wait at least a few more weeks, though, to get some stuff in order, and I could wait as long as the end of the year if I wasn't getting the deal I wanted. Anyway, good luck on your choice!
 

·
Registered
2007 Optima, 2007 Sorento
Joined
·
716 Posts
I own a '02 Optima LX V6 and extremely pleased with it. The new Specras are very nice and seem to be built very well too. I have owned smaller cars in the past along with Toyotas and Nissans but the Optima has been my favorite by far. I have a great dealer for aftersale service and support and perhaps that is another good reason why my experience with Kia has been so good. I love the looks of my Optima and the quality is nearly as good as my old Camry, maybe better in some ways. Kia is getting better each year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Part of my issue with why I did not purchase another Spectra is the dealer, Steven Toyota of Harrisonburg, VA owns the Kia dealer. All service is done at the Toyota dealer and is horrible.

If the dealer had been better, I might have given the Spectra another try.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Ahh Elantras, ... I'm sad to say I can't sit comfortably in Hyundai's. I wan't to, but I'm too tall w/ most of my height in the legs. Anything less then their SUV and my knees steer the wheel... You can image the surprise when I was able to COMFORTABLY fit in the Spectre w/ room to spare. I will see how the Suzuki fares tomorrow.

Took another Spectre test drive w/ wife today. This time w/ 5 speed manual. Still nice. Noticed one minor annoyance; The rear seats didn't seem to come down flush to make an even cargo bay floor. Shifting was a bit disjointed..took a bit of effort to work the stick thru into specific gears. Seemed like a subtle resistance to me. Is this normal? While I couldn't really care, ****, it left the wife feeling cold.

My fault for it too. Just for the **** of it, we took an impluse test drive of a WV GTI while on the way to the Kia dealership. The shifting in it was like butter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Originally posted by KiaNewbie@Aug 16 2005, 08:23 PM
Took another Spectre test drive w/ wife today. This time w/ 5 speed manual. Still nice. Noticed one minor annoyance; The rear seats didn't seem to come down flush to make an even cargo bay floor. Shifting was a bit disjointed..took a bit of effort to work the stick thru into specific gears. Seemed like a subtle resistance to me. Is this normal? While I couldn't really care, ****, it left the wife feeling cold.
What version you drive? The Spec5, EX, LX? Did you raise the lower seat first, before lowering the back? i.e.: the seat cushion, hinges on the lower front and they tumble up, then the seat back hinges on the lower rear and they fold down to make an even cargo floor, on both my Sorento and Spec5.

The shifter in the spec5 is smooth, no issues, and shifts comfortably. While no Ferrari, Acura, or BMW, it shifts as good or better than any Civic, Corolla, or Mazda I have driven, and WAY better than American offerings.

I suppose comparing apples to apples it is on par, to slightly better than average.

Maye I got a car finished on a midday Wednesday in the middle of the month... :lol:
YMMV
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
282 Posts
Originally posted by KiaNewbie@Aug 16 2005, 09:23 PM
Anything less then their SUV and my knees steer the wheel...
The Hyundai Tucson is a pretty good little SUV for a very reasonable price.  It's a little more than I want right now, but it is tempting.
I will see how the Suzuki fares tomorrow.
Let me know what you think; I'm curious as to whether you like the Reno or if I was just nutty for liking it.
Noticed one minor annoyance;  The rear seats didn't seem to come down flush to make an even cargo bay floor.
You realize the rear seat benches fold forward (actually, they kind of pop up out of place and swing forward) and allow the seat backs to go all the way to the floor? Some salesmen are not aware of this in my experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the seat info (doh!)...It works that way on my Escape too. The sales rep probably should of shown me that when I was fumbling. His loss. It was the manual Spec 5 I drove - and from what I understand it only comes in one trim, anyway.

I had previously test driven an auto Spectre 5 and a manual Spectre 4 dr (? LX ?). Both felt really really good. However, had not specifically tested a manual in a Spec 5 (first dealer had none on the lot), so figured it was prudent to do so at a second lot.

I think yet another test drive may be the key. It may be that this 5 speed spectre 5 had some issues ( It did have 60 miles on the clock and a big discounted price on the windsheild). Gotta win back the wife on this one..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Yep, the Spec5 is top of the line trim in hatchback form, with the sportier suspension/strut bar, larger roll bars, lower profile tires, ground effects, etc. The SX is the sedan version equiiped the same.

The EX/LX trim are also sedans, but they are a LOT softer suspensions, higher profile tires, and the lower and mid-level trim packages. Decent cars if you dont care about the spotier feel.

I wasnt interested in the auto at all, so I never drove one. This vehicle purchase was all about a manual, and from what I found when I looked is that they are DIFFICULT to obtain, especially with cruise and a sunroof, in some of the brighter color choices. I searched and searched for a couple weeks before finding the exact color/options choice available.

When I did, I made a well educated/informed decision and had a decent offer that was accepted. Essentially invoice pricing and was in and out of the dealership in 35 minutes. The longest part with the process was the financing paperwork and taking delivery.

I have new found respect for KIA. We took a chance in late 2002 when we bought the brand new to market Sorento, and have been VERY happy with our choice and the quality.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Doohickie: Just got back from the Suzuki dealership. Tested the Reno & AerioSX and
your're right about the surprise factor. The Kia sales rep who keeps calling (& calling & calling) , won't want to hear it, but I wasn't completely turned off.

One thing for sure..they come across as suprisingly un-cheap and comfortable for the price. I'm a big guy and it's a rare thing when I find a car that I can be comfortable in. Couldn't really gripe, but if pushed, the Reno while very solid, seemed too sluggish. The performance wasn't anything near the Spectre IMHO (I've been spoiled ).. The AerioSX (stick) on the other hand was fun; really almost too fast off the line w/ it's 155 hp. The styling (ie pedal placement and visibility) made it a tad bit more work to drive. But throw in a low price and finance cost, a pure Japanese build, and a fully transferable warrantee, and wow, it starts to be compelling.

post script..just read this on a review: Built in South Korea by Daewoo... Stupid me for taking a SalesRep claim at face value.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
282 Posts
The Reno is built by Daewoo in Korea.

The Aerio is 100% Japanese, built by Suzuki in Japan.

Maybe it's different with stick vs. automatic, but I found the Reno to be more spirited, at least off the line, than the Spectra5. The *sound* of the Reno's engine was very nice, too. It never seemed buzzy to me. I attribute that to the target market of the car in other places in the world. In China, it's sold as the Buick Excelle, so maybe they add extra sound insulation to get that luxury car feel, and didn't bother to take it out for the American market. The Excelle (=Forenza & Reno) is a 100,000-unit per year car in China. Both Suzukis have the power to surprise though, don't they?

You may note that Suzuki, Kia & Hyundai all have 100,000 powertrain warranties. while Suzuki's is transferrable, it only lasts 7 years (vs. 10 for the other two) and the basic bumper-to-bumper Suzuki warranty is only 3 years/36,000 miles. While the Kia & Hyundai powertrain warranties are not transferrable, their basic bumper-to-bumper lasts for 5 years/60,000 miles. If you plan to sell the car in the first 3-5 years, Suzuki is probably a better deal, but if you intend on the keeping the car 8-10 years yourself, the Hyundai & Kia warranties are clearly better.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top