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.
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
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