2002 Kia Spectra Overview


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17 national listings
GS Hatchback
13 national listings
GSX Hatchback
7 national listings
8 national listings

Kia Spectra Experts

#1 Christina Ruggiero
Christina Ruggiero
Reputation 270
#2 Jeffrey Foster
Jeffrey Foster
Reputation 190
#3 Christopher Taza
Christopher Taza
Reputation 160
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Average User Score

3.75 stars

Based on 12 reviews

2002 Kia Spectra by Melissa
 — this is one dependable car, from my perspective. It has a 4 cylinder engine and has good braking and handling . Although the car is lightweight, so if it is windy outside, then you will notice som... Read More
Pretty Good by Maegen
 — I love my car because it goes VROOM VROOM! but as far as the car itself, it has been beat up but for all its been through its been a prety good car and been in pretty good shape. it was cheap and it s... Read More
Kia Spectra by Nancy
 — I love my car she has gotten me all over the US. My husband is a pipeline suryvor, I drive 2 where ever he works, I bought this car with 11 miles on it 2day it has 60,000. I LOVE MY CAR!!! Read More

2002 Kia Spectra Overview

Overall User Score

3.7 out of 5 stars3.7 out of 5 stars3.7 out of 5 stars3.7 out of 5 stars3.7 out of 5 stars3.75

Based on 12 reviews

2002 Kia Spectra

It's hard to say goodbye, but in 2002 Kia's first American model, the Sephia sedan, was no more.  Actually, it was rebadged as the 2002 Kia Spectra sedan, joining the Spectra hatchback as the economy compact offering in the Kia lineup.  The 2002 Spectra sedan came in base and LS trims, which mirrored the GS and GSX trims of the sportier hatchback.  For 2002, both models received new front and rear lights and a new grille, with the LS getting additional grille chrome accents.  Foglights were now standard on both the LS sedan and GSX hatchback.

The powertrain remains the same -- a 1.8-liter, 125-hp DOHC I4 engine and standard 5-speed manual or optional 4-speed automatic.  Both the base sedan and hatchback are sparsely equipped, with 14-inch tires, intermittent wipers, power steering, and a cassette player.  Opting for the LS or GSX adds power features, air conditioning, cruise control, alloy wheels, a tilt steering wheel, and adjustable seat cushion for the drivers.  The GSX hatchback also adds a rear spoiler, rear window wiper, air dams, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, to give the impression of a sportier ride.  Seats in all models split-fold 60/40.  On the outside, both cars look very similar, and it's hard to tell which is the hatchback.  A slightly more sloped roofline and the rear hatch opening are the telltale signs.  The hatch liftgate offers a cubic foot more of cargo space than the sedan.

The backseat is cramped for adults, but the 2002 Spectra makes a good personal starter car or first family car.  The base price and long-term warranty are the biggest highlights, but owners also say the handling and steering are surprisingly agile and smooth.  Front seats are comfortable, gas mileage is good, and the hatchback cargo space is large for a compact car.  Downsides include many mechanical and electrical problems.  Poor quality materials get scratched and dented easily, and flaking paint is unattractive.  The trunk release sticks and the tires are not big enough for the car and therefore wear quickly.


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Picture of 2002 Kia Spectra GSX Hatchback, exterior
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Looking for a Used Spectra in your area?
CarGurus has 1,392 nationwide Spectra listings starting at $1,550.

Kia Spectra Questions


I Have A 2002 Automatic Kia Sprecta.

When I am driving the car shifts ok until about 3rd gear. Is it the transmission or can it be something else. Thank you

1 view with no answers yet

I Have A 2002 Kia Spectra The Transmission Is Not Shifting Right It Does S...

7 views with 1 answer (last answer 2 weeks ago)
Patrisha Jones

2002 Kia Spectra Wont Start Since Being Put On A Computer

2002 Kia Spectra wont start since being put on a computer. A mechanic put a friends Kia on a computer to read the codes and disconnected the battery and reconnected it to clear the codes. Now the c...

18 views with 3 answers (last answer 3 weeks ago)

If You Have Any Suggestions Please Help!

~About Car~ ---Make: Kia ---Model: Spectra ---Year: 2002 ---Miles: Around 170k ~Time Owned; ---5/6 Years. ~Maintenance; ---Very basic/poor. ~*Initial* Problem; --- Made funny noises while I was ...

28 views with 4 answers (last answer about a month ago)

Drivers Door Freezes

When I is cold outside. The drivers door handle and lock freeze shut. Cannot lift door handle. Key may insert but will not turn.

14 views with no answers yet