• (4.1) 24 reviews
  • Inventory Prices: $2,434–$7,762
  • Body Style: Sedan
  • Combined MPG: 26
  • Engine: 138-hp, 2.0-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission: 4-speed automatic w/OD
2009 Kia Spectra

Our Take on the Latest Model 2009 Kia Spectra

What We Don't Like

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

Notable Features

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

2009 Kia Spectra Reviews

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


Average based on 24 reviews

Write a Review

Good basic car if you are looking for a deal.

by Boat-car from Louisville, KY on December 12, 2017

This car was very basic, without power windows, doors or seats. Very zippy for a four cylinder and easy to park. Seats are not terribly comfortable, but it's a very basic car.

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3 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2009 Kia Spectra trim comparison will help you decide.

Kia Spectra Articles

2009 Kia Spectra Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $4,100 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage





Roadside Assistance Coverage


What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained


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.


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.

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).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

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.

Other Years