2003 Kia Spectra Overview


Looking for a Used Spectra in your area?

CarGurus has 958 nationwide Spectra listings starting at $2,495.

Average user score
4 5 stars
Based on 8 reviews

2003 Kia Spectra Overview

As a replacement for the Sephia, the 2003 Kia Spectra doesn't pretend to be anything but a compact economy car, aimed at first-time buyers or city commuters who don't want to spend a lot on gas. Kia's other big draw is its 10-year/100,000 mile warranty, though some drivers report running into problems with Kia finding loopholes to not actually honor that warranty.

The 2003 Spectra gets few alterations this year. Available as a base and LS sedan or GS and GSX hatchback, all are powered by a 1.8-liter DOHC I4 engine that gets downrated to 124-hp this year. A 5-speed manual is standard and 4-speed auto tran is optional. New for 2003 is a standard CD player across the line, an illuminated ignition, and upgraded climate controls. Air conditioning is not standard across the line, however, and the base sedan can only order it as an option. The hatchbacks get a new intermittent rear wiper for 2003, and soundproofing has been added to help reduce road and wind noise. Both the LS and GSX trims carry more power features, as well as tilt steering and a tilt cushion for the driver's seat. ABS brakes are offered on both these models. Dual front airbags are also standard for every Spectra, but side ones are not available.

The 2003 Spectra makes no pretenses at being fun or sporty or luxurious. As a first car, it serves drivers well, and many like the low cost, good fuel economy, and surprisingly agile handling. The interior is comfortable, though rear legroom suffers and the quality of materials used leaves a lot to be desired. Dings and scratches show up easily. Owners would love to have more power and bigger tires as well.


What's your take on the 2003 Kia Spectra?

  • Report

2003 Kia Spectra Top Comparisons

Users ranked 2003 Kia Spectra against other cars which they drove/owned. Each ranking was based on 9 categories. Here is the summary of top rankings.

2003 Kia Spectra vs:

    Have you driven a 2003 Kia Spectra?  
    Rank This Car

    Cars compared to 2003 Kia SpectraPeople researching a 2003 Kia Spectra contacted a dealer about


    Looking for a Used Spectra in your area?

    CarGurus has 958 nationwide Spectra listings starting at $2,495.

    Have questions?   Ask a question

    Kia Spectra Questions

    How Do I Get Into The Panels On The Dash Behind Oem Cigarettel Lighter ?

    I have a 2003 Kia Spectra and I need to replace the OEM cigarette lighter. Unfortunately the design has been changed so the new one just does not want to pop back into dash. This style has 3 electric ...

    1 view with no answers yet

    Ac System To My 2003 Kia Spectra

    Hope I picked the right trim. I know it is a 2003, 4 door, regular sedan looking car. Today my kia spectra decided to start blowing hot air when I turned on the ac. Does anyone know where I can chec...

    1,073 views with 4 answers (last answer 3 weeks ago)

    My 2003 Kia Spectra Rn 10 Fuse Keeps Blowing

    I've tried an tried to fix this I'm lost the Rn fuse for my kia spectra keeps blowing out so my whole right side running lights are out no bulbs are loss check. Ps. Need help.

    7 views with 1 answer (last answer 3 weeks ago)

    Misfire Cylinder In 2003 Kia Spedctrum

    3 views with no answers yet

    Door Lock

    my passenger side door on my 2003 kia spectra is locked and now i can't get it unlock from the inside or outside and i need to get it where it can open

    6 views with 1 answer (last answer 3 months ago)