2005 Kia Spectra5

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Key specs

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1 trim

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2005 Kia Spectra5 review: Our expert's take

By Alicia Collins

After driving around comparing cars for the past year, the Kia Spectra 5 is like having a plain vanilla ice cream cone; no nuts, no toppings, no cherry on top. There’s not much to this car and there’s nothing exciting to write about. I’m sorry to say it, but it’s just another car.

The only thing I can commend the Spectra 5 for is that it has accommodating headroom. My tall, long-legged husband doesn’t look like a sardine packed in its tin; he actually fits and is happy his shaved head doesn’t rub against the top of the car.

As for me, I can’t find anything particularly outstanding. The cargo space in the back is very small, just enough room to fit the stroller and not much else. The lack of cubbies and storage compartments has me piling junk on the passenger seat where it all slides off when I hit the brakes.

One thing Mother Proof mom reviewers have voiced strongly is the choice of leather seats over cloth. Sure, it’s less than pleasant when my skin sticks to it in the summertime, but the benefits out number the negatives. Like that fact that leather is super easy to clean; just wipe it down with a cloth.

There’s nothing worse than the smell of spoiled milk that has been fermenting in the cloth seats of a car. Trust me, I know this smell all too well. I deal with it every day I get into my own car, which has cloth seats. I’ve scrubbed it with those oxy cleaners and the smell returns. I’m going to have to cough up the money to get my car professionally cleaned to remove the stains of spilled milk. Why didn’t I get leather? Well, some cars just don’t offer it, like the Spectra 5. Be prepared for stains and strange smells when the kids infiltrate this car.

The controls for the music and AC are nicely organized in one area, all reachable from the driver’s seat. While there are six cupholders for this 5-passenger car, two of them are in the front doors (typical), two are in the center console (good) and two are in the back of the center console near the floor (not so good).

So, yawn, it’s just another car. Until I look at the price sticker and realize how affordable the Kia Spectra 5 is, not to mention its high gas mileage. Then I discover the quaint tissue holder in the center console. Ah, things are looking up. There’s nice space for a tissue box and plenty of room for some CDs and other stuff. OK, that’s a plus, but it won’t have me racing to the dealership to buy the car, even if I catch the sniffles.

*For more information on the Kia Spectra5 and its safety features visit Cars.com .

Let’s Talk Numbers LATCH connectors: 2 Passenger seating (including driver): 5

It’s the Little Things That Count Storage Compartments (puny, fair, ample, galore): puny Cargo/Trunk Space (puny, fair, ample, galore): fair

Sense and Style Family Friendly (not really, fair, great, excellent): fair Fun-Factor (None, some, good times, groove-on): none

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.5
  • Interior design 4.2
  • Performance 4.5
  • Value for the money 4.6
  • Exterior styling 4.5
  • Reliability 4.6

Most recent consumer reviews


Drove this off showroom floor in 2004

Over 250,000 miles was m husbands daily for 16 years No major issues routine work Brought daughter home from hospital n it and now she drives it as her first car


Great first car!

I’ve had this as my first car and it is great. Runs really well and has lasted me for over a year and I bought it at 194,000 miles and I use it daily. The only problem I’ve experienced is a problem with the gas tank.


215,000miles and still going

Best car I’ve owned so far would definitely buy again. 215,000 original everything and so glad I didn’t get a different car. Would recommend this car to anybody for any reason commuting first car.

See all 17 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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See all 2005 Kia Spectra5 articles