Thursday, May 15, 2008

Kia Spectra 2008 Review

Kia is one of the oldest motor companies of South Korea. It has been producing cars since 1944. Today, Kia Motors Corporation has factories in 13 countries and sells more than 1.1 million vehicles around the world. Kia Motors is renowned for its high quality customer service and reliable cars. Kia Spectra 2008 is the latest addition in the Spectra family.

The first produced Kia Spectra hatchback and sedan were not very successful. The cars looked well and had good controlling but they were poorly constructed. Today, things have become different. The spectra model gives the best value. reports:

The current Kia Spectra debuted midway through the 2004 model year and represents the nameplate's second generation. The five-door Spectra5 hatchback was introduced for 2005. Like most compact cars, the Spectra seats four comfortably, five in a pinch. Both body styles feature a 138-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that provides spirited performance around town but feels a little winded during highway passing maneuvers. A standard five-speed manual transmission routes power to the front wheels, and a four-speed automatic is optional.

Currently, the sedan is offered in two trim levels -- Spectra EX and Spectra SX (previously, there was an LX model as well). The Spectra5 hatchback is available in a single SX trim. Although it occupies the bottom rung of the ladder, the EX sedan is well appointed with supportive seats, high-quality materials and amenities like air-conditioning, a six-speaker CD stereo, full power accessories and keyless entry. The SX model adds upgraded interior and exterior trim, along with firmer suspension tuning and bigger wheels and tires to impart a sportier attitude.

The new Kia Spectra 2008 comes with 4-speaker AM/FM/ CD stereo system with equalizer, portable MP3 player audio inputs, dual 12V power outlets, and digital clock. The car connection reports:

A front-driver with unibody construction, the Spectra uses MacPherson struts up front and a multi-link rear suspension to deliver a balanced ride and decent handling. The SX model comes with a sport-tuned suspension and a brace across the front strut towers for better rigidity and thus, better handling.

Standard equipment on the Spectra includes dual front, side, and curtain airbags. Anti-lock brakes are an option on the SX.

Other gear includes a tilt steering column; a 60/40 split-folding rear seat; a rear defroster; and dual 12-volt power outlets in the center console. An AM/FM/CD stereo with an auxiliary audio input jack is also standard.

The EX and SX models get standard power windows and door locks; keyless entry; air conditioning; and floor mats.

The Spectra5 SX model also adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob, metal sport pedals and cruise control. An AM/FM/MP3 stereo with a six-disc in-dash CD changer and a power sunroof also are SX-only options.


  • Wheelbase: 102.8’’
  • Fuel efficiency: 32 mpg
  • Length: 177.2 in.
  • Width : 68.3 in.
  • Height: 57.9 in.
  • Cargo volume: 12.2 cu. ft.

Kia Spectra 2008 is a great car in terms of convenient and comfort. Times &Transcript reports:

Comfort and convenience continue to play a major role in Kia’s overall commitment to complete customer satisfaction, and the Spectra’s seating accomplishes that with maximum appeal. With 60:40 split-folding rear seats, 6-way adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support (full cloth seat trim), and front and rear height adjustable headrests, settle in for a soothing and unforgettable ride.

And talk about a spacious interior! The 2008 Spectra offers plenty of head, shoulder, leg and hip room, with an amazing passenger volume of 97 cubic feet. As for cargo room, you don’t have to leave anything at home with 12.2 cubic feet to store it in.

Kia Spectra 2008 is available in five gorgeous colors: deep ocean blue with grey interior; black orchid with grey interior; spicy red with tan interior; bright silver with grey interior and ice blue with grey interior.

On the outside, Kia Spectra 2008 comes with 15” steel wheels with full wheel covers; body color rear garnish, bumpers, side mirrors and door handles; front and rear mud guards; tinted windows, and available tilt and slide sunroof. Cars Direct says:

The Kia Spectra makes a styling statement, not a busy, fussy one, but one that's clean, with sculpted character lines and interesting surface planes that set the car apart from the look-alike, safely conservative econo-box class. The EX model's fog lights are round, adding perceived height to the front end. Headlight housings taper upward at the outer edges, drawing the eye more naturally into the hood's increased slope. The sporty EX and Spectra5 are distinguished by a more assertive front end highlighted by a black mesh grille, blacked-out headlight surrounds and a deeper front spoiler. A sharp groove etched into the side accentuates Spectra's wedge shape. Embedding the door handles in the groove reduces clutter. Clearly defined fender blisters add sportiness to the wheel openings. One stylistic hiccup is the rear fender blister, which isn't as well proportioned to the surrounding body panel as is the front blister and leaves the rear wheel looking undersized. Badging is minimal, confined to a Kia logo centered in the grille and above the rear license plate. further says:

Interior Design and Special Features:
The 2008 Kia Spectra offers a simple cabin layout with easy-to-use (and reach) controls and good build and materials quality. The seats are comfortable and the storage cubbies and cupholders are generous in size. The Spectra5 boasts an 18.3-cubic-foot cargo area, whereas the sedan's trunk only offers 12.2 cubic feet of space.

Driving Impressions:
The Spectra provides a very pleasant drive overall. The four-cylinder engine has enough muscle for smart response right off the line for getting around town. Unfortunately, engine noise is a bit intrusive at higher revs. The manual gearbox is adequate, but the four-speed automatic does not provide the quickest of gearchanges. The SX versions distinguish themselves with tighter handling and stiffer suspensions while still providing an overall soft ride quality.

The new Kia Spectra 2008 comes with high safety standards. The car has steel unibody construction, dual front airbags. It has 3-point height adjustable seatbelts with pretensioners. Kia Spectra 2008 comes with 4-wheel disc brakes and 4-wheel Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS). Other safety features of Kia Spectra includes: anti-theft ignition immobilizer, auto-off headlights, rear window defroster, variable intermittent windshield wipers, emergency trunk release handle.

Another important aspect of Kia Spectra 2008 is that it is childfriendly. It comes with lower anchors and tethers for children (LATCH) and rear child safety door locks.

Last but not the least, Kia offers five year/60,000 mile basic warranty and powertrain warranty for the first 10 years or 10,000 miles.

Related articles:

Times & Transcript

Edmunds (1)

Edmunds (2)


The Car Connection

Cars Direct