View Local Inventory
Save

2006 Kia Spectra

Change year or vehicle
$1,566 — $5,834 USED
Sedan
5 Seats
29 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 3 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Ride comfort
  • Fuel economy
  • Driving ease
  • Headroom
  • Price

The Bad

  • Engine noise during hard acceleration
  • Acceleration with automatic
  • ABS not standard
  • Resale value

What to Know

about the 2006 Kia Spectra
  • 2.0-liter four-cylinder
  • Manual or automatic
  • Six standard airbags
  • FWD layout
  • Sporty SX model available

We’re looking for the best deals on a Kia near you…

Are you looking for more listings?

Change location

Please enter a valid 5-digit ZIP code.

Search Again

— OR —

Sign up for listing notifications

Sign Up

2006 Kia Spectra Review

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
Kia introduced a redesigned Spectra compact sedan as a late 2004 model. The new Spectra was larger than its predecessor and featured more power and six airbags.

Fitted with variable valve timing, the Spectra’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder develops 138 horsepower (or 132 hp in Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle form).

Kia has dropped the LX trim level for the 2006 model year, which leaves the EX and the sport-tuned SX, which has similar equipment to the Spectra5 hatchback, in the lineup. Even though the Spectra’s basic platform is shared with the Hyundai Elantra, the two companies share no manufacturing operations. A revised four-speed-automatic transmission is available, though Spectras in states with SULEV requirements will get Kia’s old four-speed automatic. The fog lamps and moonroof have been removed from the EX sedan. Cruise control has been added to the SX’s standard-equipment list. Floormats and a cabin air filter are now standard on all models.

A Spectra5 hatchback joined the sedan body style as a 2005 model. The Spectra5 is listed separately in the cars.com Research section.

Exterior
Kia promotes the Spectra’s sculpted appearance and the more aggressive look it has over many of its rivals. Large, angular headlights flank the grille. Full-length body creases are meant to impart a sense of motion.

Built on a 102.8-inch wheelbase, the Spectra stands 57.9 inches tall and measures 176.4 inches long overall. Spectras have a four-whee...

Vehicle Overview
Kia introduced a redesigned Spectra compact sedan as a late 2004 model. The new Spectra was larger than its predecessor and featured more power and six airbags.

Fitted with variable valve timing, the Spectra’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder develops 138 horsepower (or 132 hp in Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle form).

Kia has dropped the LX trim level for the 2006 model year, which leaves the EX and the sport-tuned SX, which has similar equipment to the Spectra5 hatchback, in the lineup. Even though the Spectra’s basic platform is shared with the Hyundai Elantra, the two companies share no manufacturing operations. A revised four-speed-automatic transmission is available, though Spectras in states with SULEV requirements will get Kia’s old four-speed automatic. The fog lamps and moonroof have been removed from the EX sedan. Cruise control has been added to the SX’s standard-equipment list. Floormats and a cabin air filter are now standard on all models.

A Spectra5 hatchback joined the sedan body style as a 2005 model. The Spectra5 is listed separately in the cars.com Research section.

Exterior
Kia promotes the Spectra’s sculpted appearance and the more aggressive look it has over many of its rivals. Large, angular headlights flank the grille. Full-length body creases are meant to impart a sense of motion.

Built on a 102.8-inch wheelbase, the Spectra stands 57.9 inches tall and measures 176.4 inches long overall. Spectras have a four-wheel-independent suspension and front and rear stabilizer bars. EX sedans roll on 15-inch tires.

A sport-tuned suspension with 16-inch wheels is used on the Spectra SX sedan. The installation of a strut tower bar is said to improve handling. SX design touches include a rear spoiler, fog lamps, a black mesh grille and blacked-out headlights.

Interior
The Spectra sedan holds five people on front bucket seats and a 60/40-split, folding rear seat. Trunk space totals 12.2 cubic feet.

Air conditioning, power windows and locks, remote keyless entry and heated power mirrors are included in the EX sedan. Extra features in the SX sedan include a perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob, aluminum pedals and metal-finish trim.

Under the Hood
The Spectra’s 138-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder teams with a standard five-speed manual or the optional, revised four-speed-automatic transmission. In the five SULEV states, Spectras with the old automatic have an environmentally friendly SULEV rating, but that engine is rated at 132 hp.

Safety
Antilock brakes are optional. Seat-mounted side-impact airbags and side curtain-type airbags are standard.

Driving Impressions
Similar to earlier import-brand models, the Spectra steers with a pleasantly light touch and maneuvers smartly. This is a generally enjoyable car that exhibits no more body lean than other sedans in its league, but it lacks a feeling of tight control. The tires aren’t likely to squeal when cornering, though the Spectra might “plow” through curves.

On most surfaces, the ride is satisfyingly smooth. The SX sedan is tauter, with no penalty in ride comfort.

Acceleration reaches past adequate with an automatic transmission, but passing yields a lot more blare than response. Kia’s easy-shifting manual gearbox works with little effort and helps extract the most power from the engine.

The seat bottoms are short, and cushioning feels adequate but not abundant. You get plenty of headroom, elbowroom and legroom. Scalloped front seatbacks help give backseat riders more knee space than some small cars offer.

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.0
24 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.0)
Performance
(3.8)
Interior Design
(3.5)
Comfort
(4.0)
Reliability
(4.3)
Value For The Money
(4.1)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Door handles exterior / interior and engine light

by Bless the Lord 😄 from Theodore, AL on September 15, 2019

We have owned it since 2012, because the engine light didn’t come on to warn us! We had to have a motor and radiator installed. Also all the door handles had broken, right behind each other! Which we ... Read full review

(4.0)

Fun car with lots of pep in it!

by cbau19 from Seattle, WA on August 26, 2019

Comfy cloth seats, plenty of trunk space and leg room too! Loved how much arm space there in in the front seat. We upgraded the sound system and now it's bumping! Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2006 Kia Spectra currently has 1 recall


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2006 Kia Spectra has not been tested.

Latest 2006 Spectra Stories

Change Year or Vehicle

0 / 0 0 Photos
0 / 0

Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Spectra received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

What's your location?

To find the best deals near you, please enter your ZIP code.