2009 Kia Spectra

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starting MSRP

2009 Kia Spectra

Key specs

Base trim shown


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

3 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

  • LX


  • EX


  • SX


Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2009 Kia Spectra trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • 2.0-liter four-cylinder
  • Manual or automatic
  • Six standard airbags
  • Sporty SX model available

2009 Kia Spectra review: Our expert's take

Vehicle Overview
The Spectra hasn’t changed much for 2009; Kia restyled the exterior and interior for 2007. Trim levels include the base LX, the uplevel EX and a sport-tuned SX. The SX is similar to the Spectra5 hatchback, which is listed separately in the Cars.com Research section. The Spectra competes with small sporty cars like the Ford Focus, Honda Civic and Mazda3.

New for 2009
The Spectra adds active head restraints that tilt forward in the event of a rear collision to reduce the odds of a neck injury.

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. It measures 177.2 inches long and is 68.3 inches wide — about the same as the Honda Civic and Mazda3 sedan and about 2 inches longer and wider than the Focus sedan.

  • 15- or 16-inch wheels
  • Standard automatic headlamps
  • Standard body-colored mirrors, handles and moldings
  • Fog lamps standard on SX
  • Power, heated mirrors standard on EX and SX
  • Optional moonroof on EX and SX

The Spectra sedan holds five people on front bucket seats and a 60/40-split folding rear seat. There’s 97 cubic feet of passenger volume, making the Spectra the most spacious of the group. Trunk space totals 12.2 cubic feet, which is smaller than the Focus sedan, about the same size as the Civic and slightly larger than the Mazda3.

  • Cloth interior, with unique cloth interior for SX
  • Optional air conditioning (standard on EX and SX)
  • Cruise control standard on SX and EX models
  • Power windows, locks and keyless entry standard on EX and SX
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel standard on SX

Under the Hood
Only one power plant is available for the Kia Spectra:

  • 138-horsepower, 2.0-liter inline-four-cylinder engine with 136 pounds-feet of torque
  • Five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission
  • Sport-tuned suspension standard on SX

Safety features include:

  • Standard front seat-mounted side-impact airbags
  • Standard side curtain airbags
  • Standard active head restraints
  • Optional antilock braking system only on SX

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.1
  • Interior design 4.1
  • Performance 3.9
  • Value for the money 4.4
  • Exterior styling 4.3
  • Reliability 4.2

Most recent consumer reviews


Reliable and durable car

Very reliable and durable car . It now (8/2020) reaches 172 miles without any major issues. Very efficient in gas even with air conditioning. And especially in highways. I am doing basic maintenance. And changing engine oil every 3-5k miles.


Great car. Great on gas.

This is an awesome car. Reliable. Good on gas. I would love to own a car like this again. A very good car for a first car


Very reliable car. Great gas mileage.

Used as a commuter car it gets 29 mpg combined. 56 mpg on the highway w/air running during the summer. Holds 4 adults. The 2.0 liter engine performs well, just change engine oil every 5,000 miles. Great in the winter too.

See all 32 consumer reviews


New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Kia
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
5 years or newer/less than 60,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
12 months/12,000 miles
10 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
165-point inspection
Roadside assistance
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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