2009 Kia Spectra

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Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
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Key Specs

of the 2009 Kia Spectra. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    26 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    138-hp, 2.0-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain:
    Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    5-speed manual w/OD
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

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

Notable Features of the 2009 Kia Spectra

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

2009 Kia Spectra Overview

By Cars.com Editors
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.

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. 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


Interior
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)
  • Cru...
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.

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. 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


Interior
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
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



Latest 2009 Spectra Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.2)
Performance
(3.8)
Interior Design
(4.0)
Comfort
(4.0)
Reliability
(4.1)
Value For The Money
(4.4)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

A decade later and it's still going strong!

by Suspenser from New York, NY on September 22, 2018

My wife and I bought this car almost a decade ago and it has been a workhorse for us. It's driven cross country multiple times and keeps kicking. The mileage has been great and the maintenance has ... Read full review

(5.0)

I have owned many kias and this car is great

by Nesbit satisfied owner from Rancho mirage ca on March 25, 2018

Love it! Fun car good looking too! Great color great performance, it moves out! Tight and well put together. Also kias great warranty love kias! Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2009 Kia Spectra currently has 0 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2009 Kia Spectra has not been tested.

Manufacturer Warranties

Backed by Kia
New Car Program Benefits
  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    120 months / 100,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    60 months / 60,000 miles

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

  • Powertrain warranty

    10 years/100,000 miles

  • Dealer Certification Required

    164-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All Program Details

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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