2003 Kia Spectra Reviews

2003 Spectra New Car Test Drive

The following review is for a 2002 Model Year. There may be minor changes to current model you are looking at.


Last year, the Kia Spectra was a hatchback version of the Kia Sephia, a 4-door compact sedan significant for being Kia's first model sold in the U.S. under its own nameplate, dating back to 1993. This year the Sephia name is gone, absorbed into a lineup bearing the Spectra name. So now there are Spectra sedans and hatchbacks. 

All Spectra models receive freshened styling for 2002. 

The base Kia Spectra sedan lists at just $10,995. Kia sweetens the deal with a warranty program that extends basic coverage to five years or 60,000 miles, and powertrain coverage to 10 years or 100,000 miles; it also includes five-year/100,000-mile rust perforation protection, and a five-year/unlimited mileage roadside assistance plan. 

At that rate it's hard to avoid looking at a Spectra. 


Kia Spectra lineup consists of two body styles: a conventional four-door sedan and a hatchback with four passenger doors and a quasi-fastback roofline. 

The base trim model is just called the Spectra ($10,995). An AM/FM/cassette stereo is standard, but air conditioning ($960) is optional. 

LS sedan ($12,595) adds air conditioning, power windows, mirrors and locks as standard equipment. LS also allows the buyer to add options including a sound system with a CD player and a CD changer, antilock brakes and cruise control. 

GS ($11,395) is the base-level hatchback. Air conditioning ($960) is optional. 

GSX ($13,195) comes standard with air conditioning, alloy wheels, power windows, and central locking, plus a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescope steering wheel and an aggressive-looking body kit. 

All Spectras are powered by a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine rated 126 horsepower. They come with a five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic transmission ($975) driving the front wheels. 

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