Last post on Oct 17, 2006 at 5:51 AM
You are in the Kia Spectra/Spectra5
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Kia Spectra, Sedan
#327 of 464 Spectra vs Elantra
Aug 20, 2005 (10:10 am)
I justed wanted to post my feelings and experiences of the Spectra vs the Elantra. I own a 2005 Elantra GT Auto which I bought in Jan 05. My girlfriend bought a 2005 Spectra EX Auto in June 05. Both are maxed equiped except the Spectra doesn't has ABS/traction control option (couldn't find anywhere in southern CA) and we didn't get the rear spoiler since its hideous looking - I guess its good if your into the rice scene.
I do get to drive her car every weekend when we get together so I have alot of direct driving experience between the 2 cars.
OK, here are my experiences
1. Elantra is definitely the better value. When pricing was done between the Elantra GLS and Spectra EX with the same options using real world prices (quotes from the dealers including any rebates) the Elantra was simply a better value. Elantra GLS was around $1500 less on average. In fact, when I was shopping for my GT in Jan I got 2 quotes that were less than what we paid for on the Spectra EX. And this was a fully loaded GT (moonroof, ABS/traction control, leather, auto). So you are probably wondering why my girlfriend didn't get the Elantra GLS. Mostly because I had a Elantra already and that we didn't want to see 2 of the same cars in my garage.
2. Its hard comparing the two in driveability since I do have a GT with the firmer suspension. My car is definitely better in the corners and its more sure footed at highway speeds. The Spectra is likely to rock a little by big trucks and large SUVs passing by
3. The Spectra EX has better road and noise isolation. I always thought the Elantra was probably the quietest small car out there (I owned a 2001 Elantra GLS but traded it for a 2003 Suzuki Aerio SX and now I am back to a 2005 Elantra GT) but the Spectra is now the quietest car I have driven in its price range. Especially at freeway speeds. Even with the moonroof open it is quieter than my Elantra. I am really impressed. Also at idle with windows rolled up there is more vibration coming into Elantra cabin than Spectra but not much.
4. Fit and finish between the Elantra and GLS are near even. Its really a toss-up here. If I had to give anyone a edge it would be the Spectra. The Spectra paint seems to be extremely thick when compared to the Elantra. My Elantra is Silver and the Spectra is White. When looking at the Spectra Silver on the lots I thought there paint jobs were better than on my Elantra.
5. I feel safer in the Spectra just on a subjective note. Comparing the slamming of the doors the Spectra has a bit more heft to it. Meaning to me that the side impact beams are probably heavier and stronger - I don't know this for a fact. The side curtain air bags also give me a better feel. One thing is that it took Hyundai around 5 years to finally bring the Elantra to acceptable ratings with IIHS where as it took Kia a little over year.
6. Interior style though subjective is something I also look at. The Spectra is definitely in my opinion the better one though it does have the edge since its generation is only a year old. Its the more modern looking interior. They use more contrasting plastics to give it a higher class look like a very light gray in the lower sections of the door and dash console trim to a dark gray on the top of the door armrest and dash console. Everything is well lit on the Spectra for night driving. Maybe even too glaring for some. Compared to my Elantra at night it looks depressing. This is probably because of the color they chose to light up the interior of the Elantra - purple and green compared to the white of the Spectra. Another thing is the radio. The radio in the Spectra is a 2 DIN unit which I really like. Buttons are much bigger and easier to use. I like having the 2 DIN unit because it doesn't make the car appear as though it is missing something or an after thought. I wish they had put a cover in the Elantra like they did with the 04 GT when they had the Kenwood radios in them.
6. Since I am not an audiophile I can't say much about the radio. The Spectra seems quite flat on FM channels compared to the Elantra. However, on the Spectra on the FM channels it seems more livelier - more base and treble. Both are equal on the CD front.
7. Gas mileage. I would never have suspected this since they both use the same engine and pretty similiar transmissions (if not the same) but the Spectra gets better gas mileage. Remember both are autos. The Spectra is averaging arounding 29 MPG with 75% hwy and 25% city. This is with 2100 miles so it should get better as we approach 15K miles. My Elantra is getting around 26 MPG with same hwy/city spread. And sadly to say I am a very conservative driver compared to my girlfriend (probaly has to do with my age difference with her- 20 years older). My Elantra has 8500 miles on it. We use the same gas from Costco here in Southern CA. I measure everything at the pump. The GT has a MPG indicator that is the most inacurate. It always shows me being at 31.0 MPG. Though I have never come close obtaining that by the measuring at the pump method. Highest I ever recorded was 29.5 mpg
8. Spectra seems to have much better pickup/acceleration than the Elantra. The Elantra seems very slugish at times when I step on it. Maybe the programming between the 2 are different.
9. Exterior looks, like the interior look, is subjective. I like them both. The Spectra was kinda of weird to me when I first saw it but its one of those designs that looks better in person. Anyway, a tossup here.
Hope you enjoy and happy motoring.
#328 of 464 Noteworthy addition to my Spectra EX....
Aug 24, 2005 (6:18 am)
For all you current generation (or potential) Spectra owners out there:
Check out how a WheelSkins "EuroPerf" leather wheel cover looks on my car:
WheelSkins allow you to custom order the style and color(s) of your cover, and it is custom fitted to your wheelsize.
Just put the word "wheelskins" into Google, and you'll find a bunch of outlets online. Not all of the pricing is the same though. The same cover that the actual WheelSkins site listed for 54.99 (plus shipping) only cost me $39.99 (plus shipping) at an authorized "E-tailer".
The cover is very high quality, soft and comfortable, and went on like a glove. The standard Spectra wheel has a fairly rough surface (which probably isn't a bad idea for enhanced gripping), BUT this cover adds the finishing touch to a very classy interior. It definitely feels like I'm driving a much more upscale car.
#329 of 464 Re: Noteworthy addition to my Spectra EX.... [spectraman]
Aug 24, 2005 (6:56 am)
Well... there's more than one way to skin a cat!
Here's the same photo from another free server provider:
Aug 24, 2005 (8:34 am)
looks good, the steering wheel cover, and the rest of the interior I could see there.
Question for ya: is your 2004 1/2 Kia Spectra sedan a color Kia calls Violet Mist, BTW? My 1999 Kia Sephia was Violet Mist, a color that wasn't my first choice but looked really good, though. It looked lighter or darker depending on the way it was reflecting or not reflecting sunlight. This question goes back to the last shot you put on Edmunds of your Spectra that showed the spoiler and rear view. If it's not Violet Mist, what color is it? Thanks in advance and keep enjoying your Spectra!
#331 of 464 Re: spectraman... [iluvmysephia1]
Aug 24, 2005 (9:29 am)
Hey there iluv!
My car is actually KIA's "Sand" (gold) color.... with the photos taken at dusk the night there was a really cool sunset in my neck of the woods. Everything had a rosy glow that night.
It's a really nice color, with very nice metalflake. It really looks good in the direct sunlight.
Aug 24, 2005 (9:45 am)
what ya mean, there. Which brings to thought the happy thought that Kia paint jobs are really pretty good and hold up well. Which reminds me, I bought some wheel cleaner for my Sportage 4x4 and need to shine them up. Enjoy your Spectra and everyone everywhere enjoy your Kia's. I just like them more all the time!
#333 of 464 kia 2002 ck engine lite
Aug 27, 2005 (3:24 am)
was on way home from work when engine lit came on when got gas was sure cap on tite 3 time turned it had it cked by sonin law couldnt find why it was on can you suggest what it could be and what to do they are closed its sat thank u cant take in to monday and will it be under warrentee thanks all help appreciated
#334 of 464 05 spectra EX
Aug 27, 2005 (4:56 am)
4500 miles now. fuel economy got a little better its upto 28 now. but not anywhere near 34 that the epa thinks it should get. Had my first oil change done at a local quick lube. As i was watching the guy take the oil filter out the oil dripper all over the rear inside end of the bumper. the bumper is open ended and oil filter is located right on top of it making a mess at every oil change. only a korean engineer can design something like this. anyways the problem with driver's seat not being able to push back to the rear is just taking its toll. my leg is aching even after a 20 minute drive. this car is recommended only for those with short legs or short in general. Not good for anyone over 5'5".
#335 of 464 Re: 05 spectra EX [kwinn]
Aug 27, 2005 (8:29 am)
Is your driver's seat broken and can't be pushed fully to the rear, or are you saying that it just doesn't go back far enough? Is your car a U.S. or Canadian spec? I take it that you have the 5-speed too, right?
I'm 6' with a 31" inseam, and I find the legroom in my EX just fine when pushed completely back on the track. Does the driver's side go back as far on its track as the passenger side seat does?
Thanks for the info about the oil filter configuration. I just had my oil changed at the dealer and I'll have to look and see if they cleaned that area properly.
#336 of 464 Re: 05 spectra EX [spectraman]
Aug 28, 2005 (6:51 am)
the drivers seat goes as far back as the passenger seat however that is still not back enough for a 5' 8" person like me.. i will play with it today to find out if its broken or not.. but it seems as if it dont go any farther as i have played with it before. mine is a US spec automatic. my knees are aching even after a short drive.. i hope i can move it back further will update the forum if i can...