New Kia Ratings

Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.

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    2002 Kia Optima - LX V6 (A4)

    Pros: Price

    Cons: Fuel indicator

    Advice: Don't pay MSRP

    Had car for 6 weeks/1200 miles. Acceleration is there is you press the gas pedal hard enough. I drive to/from work 23 miles each way. No complaints. I don't drive the car hard, and the cars in front of me tend to leave a large gap for other commuters to cut in front of me. Comfortable ride. Took 2 weeks to adjust the seat just the right way. I paid $14,450 for a 2001 in May 2002. The dealer has one lying around. Had 500 miles on it. For the money, I am getting a whole lot of car. This one is a keeper. Saw comparable Sonata for $2000 more. Personally, I like the exterior of Optima. My wife thinks the Sonata is cuter. Look for the LX V6. You can't go wrong.

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    2002 Kia Spectra - GS (M5) Liftback

    Pros: The body styling.

    Cons: The long shift throw in the manual 5 speed.

    Advice: Do your homework on the price, comparison shop with you local Kia dealers and try to buy when the factory is offering incentives like $2000 cashback or really low APRs.

    The price to performance factor is outstanding. The 5 speed manual has a lot of zip and can sustain good highway speeds without the feeling of overtaxing the engine. The automatic is a little less spunky but it still extremely driveable. I bought my wife's Spectra GS with the automatic transmission, she loves it. With the power band really starting around three thousand RPM, the car really likes to be revved and is quite responsive on the throttle when you need it to go. This is especially good on highway entry when there is a lot of traffic and not much room. There is also little performance lag with four adults in the car and AC running. It makes a great carpooler. As far as the option packages for the Spectra goes, get the standard model with air and then have a reputable autoshop ad in the extras. A base GS Spectra with air is around $12,000 depending on what you can get your local dealer down to. The GSX is around $14,500 with air, alloys and power windows and locks. Therefore you have about a $2,500 savings between models. For about $1,500 I put in power locks with a keyless entry, got a set of American racing rims, OEM fog lights and window tinting. Power windows are about $600 installed, but I found that I rarely even use my windows so I haven’t done anything about that yet. The sound system is not a factor with this car, no matter which one comes installed it could use immediate replacement. The factory system is fine if you want to use the car for a grocery getter, but anyone who has a need for decent sound will want to replace the factory system. Kia really hit the mark with the GS hatchback models, the interior is roomy and the storage is close to a small station wagon. With the rear seats down and the sectional divider temporarily removed, a boxed 36” TV was transported home with along with a days shopping at the mall without any problems. With a refined styling and pricing in the mid to low teens, the Spectra hatchbacks are really worth checking out when in the market for a car. A new Spectra is about the same as a used Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla. Plus Kia offers the 10year 100,000 mile powertrain warranty, 5 year 60,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty and 5 year 60,000 roadside assistance, as well as having a fairly unique travel assurance program promising to reimburse specific expenses incurred due to a breakdown.

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    2002 Kia Rio - (M5) Sedan

    Pros: the radio

    Cons: the gas milage

    Advice: ture and just walk away

    I bought the car new and i have had i for a 1 year and it has been in the garage 3 times. I would not advise anybody to buy one. You'll just wast your money.

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    2002 Kia Sedona - EX

    Pros: sun roof and CD player

    Cons: reliability

    Advice: Go for less features and get another make of van

    I was thrilled to find this van with all the features, low price, and great warranty. Too good to be true? Yeap. I had my first Sedona that I bought in October 2001 towed to the shop at least 4 times. Finally, the dealership gave me another Sedona because the first one was a lemon and I spent a lot of my time in a compact rental car. Kia customer service would not respond and they will not even tell you who the Service Representative is. Needless to say, the new Sedona worked for a week before the check engine light started coming on. Transmission is mushy. Next time, spend the extra money on a Dodge or Honda. I have less than 1,000 miles on this newest one and I'm looking to trade it in on something reliable. Warranty is great...you'll need it. I am very disappointed in this manufacturer's customer service and workmanship.

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    2002 Kia Spectra - GSX (M5) Liftback

    Pros: Easy access to the controls

    Cons: It needs a keyless entry

    Advice: Kia may not be a 'big' name, but all you're paying for in other cars is the name.

    I purchased my Kia after researching and test driving more than 6 other cars in its class. It has all the features I want, a great warranty and it was the least expensive. I would like a little more power, the automatic engine doesn't seem to have enough torque at times. I also wish it had remote keyless entry, ah well, it was only $14,000. Overall, I am very pleased. I am confident that it will last me through college and beyond.

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    2002 Kia Sportage - (M5) 4x2 4dr

    Pros: I love the look of it

    Cons: You have to slam the back wheel an average of 3 times to get it to stay shut.

    Advice: If you plan on an alarm system, they usually come with automatic door openers. Don't spend the extra for that feature up front.

    I've owned my Sportage for a couple of months now. I really enjoy it and got a good price so I'm pleased overall. There is something that you should know before buying. The 10yr/100,000 bumper to bumper warranty that they offer is misleading. In truth, they only give you a 5yr/50,000 warranty and you have to purchase the other 5yr 50,000 at a steep price($1,200 or more if I remember correctly). That was a shock when we got into the finance department. Our dealer has been very helpful and has taken care of us well. I hope your experience is the same.

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    2002 Kia Sedona - EX

    Pros: Seating Flexibility

    Cons: Nothing

    Advice: EX models go quickly - be prepared to buy when you test drive.

    An amazing value. Sedona is comfortable, performs well, and costs $5-8K less than closest competitors that aren't as well equipped. We put 15,000 miles on it in six months and like it more now than when we first test drove it.