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Kia Spectra, Kia, Sedan, Wagon
#410 of 431 New Spectra's headrests rated "Acceptable" vs. competitor's "Poor"
Nov 16, 2004 (11:23 am)
Check out this excerpt and the full article.
The new Spectra's seats were rated in the second tier of performance.... heads and tails above the other more reknown competition (even the Hyundai products such as the Elantra!)
Here's a hand-edited excerpt of significant models and where they fell:
Cars rated on whiplash impact
By Earle Eldridge, USA TODAY
Kia Spectra 2005 models, all seats, active head restraints
Lincoln LS, 2003-05 models, all seats
Mercedes E-Class 2004-05 models, seats with head restraints that adjust automatically
Nissan Altima 2005 models, all seats manufactured after August, active head restraints
Saab 9-5 2005 models, all seats manufactured after September, active head restraints
Subaru Legacy 2005 models, all seats, active head restraints
Subaru Outback 2005 models, all seats, active head restraints
Audi A6 2005 models, all seats, active head restraints
BMW 5 Series 2004-05 models, sport seats, active head restraints
Acura TL 2004-05 models, all seats
Ford Focus 2001-05 models, all seats
Ford Taurus 2004-05 models, all seats
Ford Crown Victoria 2003-05 models, seats with adjustable lumbar
Infiniti Q45 2005 models, all seats manufactured after October, active head restraints
Lexus IS 2001-05 models, all seats
Lexus GS 2003-05 models, all seats
Lexus LS 2001-05 models, all seats
Lincoln Town Car 2003-05 models, all seats
Mazda 3 2004-05 models, base seats, seats with adjustable lumbar
Mazda 6 2003-05 models, seats without adjustable lumbar
Mercedes C-class 2004-05 models, seats with head restraints that adjust automatically
Dodge Neon 2001-05 models, seats with adjustable head restraints
Dodge Stratus 2003-05 models, base seats
Honda Civic 2003-05 models, seats with adjustable height
Honda Accord 2003-05 LX/EX models, standard seats
Hyundai Elantra 2001-05 models, all seats
Hyundai Sonata 2001-05 models, GL models
Hyundai XG350 2002-05 models, all seats
Infiniti 135 2002-04 models, all seats, active head restraints
Kia Optima 2001-05 models, seats that adjust manually
Lexus ES 2004-05 models, all seats
Mazda 6 2003-05 models, seats with adjustable lumbar
Mercury Sable 2004-05 models, all seats
Mitsubishi Galant 2004-05 models, cloth seats
Saturn Ion 2003-05 models, cloth seats and leather seats
Suzuki Forenza 2004 models, all seats
Suzuki Verona 2004-05 models, all seats
Toyota Corolla 2005 models, all seats
Toyota Camry 2002-04 models, leather seats
Toyota Avalon 2001-04 models, all seats
#411 of 431 Wallet Watchers: Sporty Spectra should earn Kia some respect
Nov 17, 2004 (8:57 am)
Wallet Watchers: Sporty Spectra should earn Kia some respect
Friday, October 01, 2004
By Don Hammonds, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
If you want to know why Detroit has struggled for so long to build viable, durable small cars, take a look at Kia.
Here's a relatively new Korean company that came to the United States in the early 1990s and promptly was derided by car consumers and journalists for the quality of its products. But it kept making improvements, and now is producing a top-notch compact car that should earn Kia much-deserved respect.
I'm referring to the 2004 Kia Spectra, an attractive, fun to drive and well-equipped little sedan that sells for less than $16,000. I did a quickie survey of car magazines and auto Web sites and not a single one had more than a nitpick or two about the new Spectra. And almost everyone marveled at how far this company had come.
The time span just happens to coincide with a period when American carmakers were pouring tons of money, time and energy into designing and selling sport utilities and trucks. Except for minivans, they mostly ignored sedans, which has left them playing catch-up now that the market for such cars has heated up, particularly in the wake of high gas prices.
Meanwhile, Kia clearly took all the criticism it got in stride, got busy and now is making a compact car that tops all American automakers' models except perhaps for the Ford Focus and Chrysler PT Cruiser. The Spectra isn't a bore to drive, doesn't cost a fortune and looks pretty cool.
.... for what my $.02 is worth, I think my Spectra EX beats both the Focus and the PT, esp. when the price is considered as part of the equation!
#412 of 431 Re: Wallet Watchers: Sporty Spectra should earn Kia some respect [spectraman]
Nov 17, 2004 (12:19 pm)
Can you let us know what it cost you before any fees, taxes. Can you give a break down?
#413 of 431 Re: Wallet Watchers: Sporty Spectra should earn Kia some respect [nw1997]
Nov 18, 2004 (7:27 pm)
My July 2004 sales price on a 2004.5 Spectra EX was broken down as follows: (in U.S. dollars)
$16,885 Suggested MSRP
$14,793 Actual sales price
+ 897 Sales Tax (6%)
$15,690 Sub-total 1
- 1,500 KIA Rebate
$14,190 Sub-total 2
+ 183 Misc fees / charges
$14,373 Total out-the-door price
for the car shown on this website:
Is that the information you were looking for?
P.S. A detailed options list for this car is in one of my earlier posts to this board.
#414 of 431 Re: Wallet Watchers: Sporty Spectra should earn Kia some respect [spectraman]
Nov 19, 2004 (7:48 am)
Thanks Spectraman. Am I correct when I state that both Hyundai uses the Same engine and trannies like KIA? Also, what is the expected miles that one can get out of these vehicles. Reason being, a friend of ours owned a 2000 Elantra and during the 100K miles warranty the transmission was replaced at 90K, then the engine started giving problems at 101K, (wouldn't start at times). Battery was replaced recently and he followed the maintenance schedule. He ended up trading it in for on 05 Sonata, could never understand that thought. Throughout the few years he owned it, he was back and forth to the dealership for things that should not be wearing out prematurely. Can you or anyone give me some type of reliability data for this vehicle? I would expect if we purchased the 2005 model, it would be for commuting, probably 170 miles a day. I would like to say this vehicle would be trouble free for at least 300K miles. Am I expecting too much?
#415 of 431 Re: Wallet Watchers: Sporty Spectra should earn Kia some respect [nw1997]
Nov 19, 2004 (12:11 pm)
Wow..... you want 300+k "trouble free" miles, eh? That's a TALL order for any car maker.
I don't know what the projected life of my Spectra is, but I'd say the odds are low that anyone will get even 200k miles out of one that are "trouble free".
I'm not sure of any car (other than maybe some old Volvo's I've heard people singing the praises of) that will go that many miles without some major components being rebuilt.
Your mileage demands (170+ a day) are pretty high by my standards. I would have to say that you may be better off continuing your online research to determine what brand/make of car can take that kind of punishment, and then pick the most affordable from your narrowed down list.
Here's a little blurb about the Beta motor that I found online... for what it's worth.
Hyundai (aka KIA) engineers selected a 16-valve configuration with twin overhead cams for optimum efficiency and durability, as well as performance. The beta engine utilizes an advanced pent-roof combustion chamber with tumble port design and dual-aperture spray injectors, along with hydraulic valve lash adjusters. The engine's multi-port electronic injection system is designed to provide the precise amount of fuel required in given operating conditions. The engine's knock control system allows for a higher compression ratio, which further improves output. Other advanced features include a completely integrated distributorless ignition and sophisticated engine control unit.
Hyundai engineers minimized engine friction by using silicon-impregnated pistons and other lightweight parts. By mounting the engine block on a single fluid-damped motor mount and resting the transmission on just three points, they reduced both weight and vibration. Even greater weight reduction was achieved by using composite materials in the engine head cover, air cleaner, water pump impeller and twin tower ignition coil.
Here's an article about a '94 Honda Accord that went over a million miles:
#416 of 431 Re: Wallet Watchers: Sporty Spectra should earn Kia some respect [nw1997]
Nov 19, 2004 (1:58 pm)
Trouble-free for 300k miles, including the starter and battery? Yes, I'd say you are expecting too much. I've seen, for example, posts in these discussions from a Lexus LS400 owner who has only 80k on the car but wants to buy another because of several problems, including an instrument cluster that will cost $1250 to replace. At least Hyundai/Kia's warranty covers things like engines and automatic trannies for 10 years/100k miles. The typical engine is engineered to last less than 200k miles without a major problem. Hyundai's next-gen engines, which they are using on the NF Sonata and will use on the next-gen Accent, Elantra etc. (and Kias of course) are designed to go 300,000 miles on average without a major problem.
#417 of 431 And 300,000 is gonna outlast most people's
Nov 19, 2004 (7:00 pm)
attention spans for their own rigs, know what I mean? The manufacturers know that, of course they do. Now, if one can control their new car impulse buying then they can really score with a HyunKia engine that will last them out 300,000 miles. Incredible but not impossible, huh? I mean, as we've discussed carburetors and the Saudi Arabian oil situation over the years the argument constantly comes up that man has the technology to engineer a car that will get 300 miles to the gallon. Surely man can engineer an engine that will last 300,000 miles. Hyundai and Kia are shooting ever so nicely to the top of the heap. If more Americans would wake up to their building prowess and buy one maybe then we'd see fewer mundane looking Honda's, GM's, DCX's and Subaru's on the road. One can only hope. Have some pride, really.
Nov 20, 2004 (4:46 pm)
If I wanted to get 300K out of a new car, I think I would special-order a stripped Toyota Echo -- manual steering, crank windows, etc. There's just less stuff to break. Either that, or try to get hold of a new Crown Vic Police Interceptor (without the lights and sirens, of course!) Sometimes they pop up on eBay when a municipality orders too many. Those are built to take a lot of punishment.
Nov 20, 2004 (10:50 pm)
I wouldn't go so far downmarket (as an Echo) for something reliable in the long term. I have a Tercel and know of many others, and at an age of 15 and with many miles (I dont' know of any above 200k though) they're only alright. They keep their "refinement" much better than other budget cars of the early 90s (except the Civic, from what I've seen first-hand), but they do have their problems. You do get the feeling that Toyota couldn't build a budget car without cost-saving measures that affect its longevity. Not to mention that a weak engine will have to work hard when carrying additional weight or going uphill.
Basically, I feel that cheap cars can be made to last forever, but aren't originally built to do so.
Current Elantras seem to be reliable mechanically, but not so much on their trim and additional fluff. I'd be wary of that in the Spectra too, and taking good care of it will probably make a bigger difference than it would in a Toyota or Honda.