After looking through the “Driving” binder, I found what I was looking for: we already had the Spectra on the test (ЗР, 2000, No. 10). True, it was a purebred "Korean" for $ 18, 000, brought in by an unofficial dealer.
Thanks to the Russian assembly, foreign cars are becoming more affordable. But to call them inexpensive language does not turn. Judge for yourself: in America, KIA Spectra cost (until it was replaced by a more modern model) $ 11, 900. In the basic, by American standards, configuration: with a 1.8-liter engine with a capacity of 124 liters. with. and a CD player. A car with Izhevsk VIN costs exactly the same. Alas, she has different “horses”, but no “music” at all … Besides, more recently, they asked for $ 1, 000 more for her: obviously, the stagnation of sales prompted me to make a discount. However, let’s put aside emotions - we will analyze the Spectra.
While the car dealership manager rips off countless patches of protective film from the instrument panel, door trim and removes polyethylene from the Spectra seats in dingo colors, there is time to make out the car. A little old-fashioned, but completely organic appearance. A typical “Korean” of the early 90's: does not cause much enthusiasm, but there is no rejection either. Smooth, albeit not the narrowest gaps between the body panels, good quality paint. To say that the merit of the Russian manufacturer - IZh-Avto - lies in this is deceiving. Until the end of last year, only about five hundred cars were assembled there, and they are not involved in welding or painting in Izhevsk yet - the “spectra” come from Korea.
They say the first impression is the surest. Going down the ramp of a multi-storey parking, I got it! The narrow "coil", laden with machines, forced to work actively with a thin slippery steering wheel. Why is it so heavy - at four revolutions from lock to lock? A crease in suspicions was confirmed by a listing of the basic configuration: there is no power steering at all. This is the number! With all desire, I could not recall competitors more than 10 thousand dollars deprived of this device.
On the go, the effort on the steering wheel, of course, is noticeably lower than in a stationary car - life is getting better! However, only until the first sharp turn. When you try to enter the car into a turn, the steering wheel fiercely resists, and then suddenly yields, completely puzzling. At this point, the feed begins to overtake the nose …
Another revelation awaits at the exit of the turn, when the steering wheel has to be returned to its original position. In this mode, the concept of feedback with respect to the "Spectrum" loses its meaning. Perhaps Kumho tires made their “contribution”? I do not want to think that these are the features of the Russian assembly.
Blots in handling are particularly annoying amid a good engine. The only thing that can be blamed is the obsessive baritone with an intensive set of speed and slight vibration on the pedals and steering wheel. Otherwise, no questions. With a volume of 1.6 liters, the motor is quite tractive and lucky, starting from 1500 rpm (thanks to the “short” main pair). For the sake of experiment I even started off with the second - I did not hear much discontent from under the hood.
The motor does not turn sour to almost 6000, but I don’t really want to bring the “singer” to such speeds. It is much more pleasant to switch to an elevated one in advance and calmly roll around the eternally crowded city, since the gear shift also does not raise questions. The designers did not become wise and made the lever moves large, but it is rather difficult to make a mistake with the choice of gear.
When discharging gas, the car bites its nose slightly, but with a quiet ride, the soft suspension gives real pleasure, swallowing small irregularities of the coating and gently rocking on more serious potholes. Oh, where are you, a CD player as standard?
Having traveled half the city in search of a place for shooting, they finally approached the embankment of the Vodootvodny Canal. While the photographer clicks the shutter, look around in the cabin. No wonder we compared the prices of Spectra on different continents: the speedometer here is digitized not only in kilometers per hour, but also in miles! The influence of the Japanese "progenitor" of many KIA models is also noticeable: the steering column switches familiar from Mazda, the instrument panel, again, in the spirit of some kind of "323rd" - not bad! No complaints, but neatly.
And the fact that the interior is dull gray, like an autumn day near Moscow, is not so scary. But I was able to sit behind the wheel with a growth of 180 cm with a margin, and in the back seat I did not rest my knees in the driver’s back.
The rear seat back folds up in a 2: 3 ratio, opening up access to the trunk. A “storage room” of 410 liters is another joy for lovers of country life, and it can be unlocked not only with a key, but also with a lever from the passenger compartment. The full-size spare tire hidden in a niche inspires confidence. The only thing that can cool the summer zeal of the owner of the Spectra is a small, even by passenger standards, ground clearance.
“Well, how do you like the machine, did you like it?” - the smart mechanic from the car dealership, where they took the car for the test, was baffled. To answer “no” is to lie. To agree - to tweak the soul. Like many inexpensive cars, the KIA Spectra does not shine with individuality or driving performance. But all this was forgiven to her, if not for the poverty of the basic version. I think that a lot of buyers will prefer the Nexia, even if it’s archaic, but equipped with a power steering and air conditioning, to stay with winter tires. After all, if you raise the bar equipment, then for the "Spectrum" will have to pay 13 300 dollars. This raises another question: maybe just add and buy a Focus? Or take the line for Viva?
PS When the number was made up, a message came that the management of IZH-Auto allocated funds for the purchase of welding and painting equipment. Perhaps, with the start of full assembly and localization of production, the price of the Spectrum will decrease. Perhaps, only under this condition the plant will be able to fulfill the plan - to realize 8 thousand "spectrum" by the end of 2005.
The model debuted in Korea in 2000, in Europe it was sold under the name "Sephia." In 2004, about 500 vehicles were assembled in Izhevsk; in 2005, mass production is planned.
Engine: 1.6 liter gasoline (101 hp).
Transmissions: 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic.
Options: 4 options.
Price in Russia: $ 11, 900–14, 990.
Kia Spectra is a good chance for IL-Auto to take a step forward and organize the production of a much more modern car.