2009 Kia Spectra5

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$16,695

starting MSRP

2009 Kia Spectra5

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

  • Maneuverability and driving ease
  • Passenger room
  • Ride comfort
  • Quietness
  • Fuel economy

The bad:

  • Engine noise on hard acceleration
  • Rear legroom for tall passengers
  • Minimal ground clearance
  • ABS not standard
  • Resale value

1 trim

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

  • SX

    $16,695

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2009 Kia Spectra5 trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • Hatchback body style
  • 2.0-liter four-cylinder
  • Manual or automatic
  • Six standard airbags
  • Sport-tuned suspension

2009 Kia Spectra5 review: Our expert's take

Vehicle Overview
Kia’s Spectra5 hatchback, which is meant to attract younger buyers, is equipped with a sport-tuned suspension. A version of Kia’s Spectra sedan, the SX, features equipment that’s similar to the Spectra5; the Spectra sedan is listed separately in the Cars.com Research section. The Spectra5 competes with several models in a growing market of small hatchbacks. Notable competitors include the Toyota Matrix and Mazda3 hatchback.

New for 2009
The Spectra5 adds active head restraints that tilt forward in the event of a rear collision, greatly reducing the possibility of neck injury.

Exterior
The Spectra sedan and Spectra5 hatchback are similar in appearance. They’re both 68.3 inches wide, but the hatch is about 6 inches shorter at 171.3 inches long. The Spectra5 is about the same size as the Matrix, while the Mazda3 is a bit longer.

  • 16-inch alloy wheels
  • Body-colored mirrors, handles and bumpers
  • Rear spoiler
  • Automatic headlamps
  • Power heated mirrors
  • Optional power moonroof

Interior
The Spectra5 can seat up to five people. The hatchback has a folding backseat that can expand cargo volume beyond the basic 18.3 cubic feet to 52.8 cubic feet of cargo space. Passenger volume is 98 cubic feet, which makes the hatch slightly more spacious than the Mazda3 and Matrix.

  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter
  • Metal-finished trim and pedals
  • Air conditioning
  • Power windows and locks with remote keyless entry
  • Optional six-disc CD changer

Under the Hood
Like the SX sedan, the Spectra5 gets a sport-tuned suspension.

  • 138-horsepower, 2.0-liter inline-four with 136 pounds-feet of torque
  • Standard five-speed manual transmission
  • Optional four-speed automatic

Safety
Safety features include:

  • Seat-mounted side-impact airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Active head restraints
  • Optional antilock braking system

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.0
  • Interior design 4.0
  • Performance 4.0
  • Value for the money 5.0
  • Exterior styling 5.0
  • Reliability 5.0

Most recent consumer reviews

4.4

Love my Spectra5

I have had my Spectra5 for many years. Throughout, it has been super reliable and has needed very little maintenance. Really appreciate that it drives the same every day - it has a few quirks, but those never change - you just get in and go. I get 30 mpg city driving (no freeways) if I don't lead-foot, and 22 mpg if I do. This little love of a car holds tons of stuff, and has been such a charm. The turning radius is great, and it's peppy enough to get me around through traffic just fine. Great visibility as there are minimal blind spots. My only qualm is that it's a little lower to the ground than I'd like. It's now got 176,000 miles, and still just perfect: engine purrs, no oil leaks, no loud noise on acceleration (not sure what others are reporting), transmission and drive-train are perfect, and if you let your hands off the steering wheel, it stays straight in your lane with no pulling. My Kia (even after all these miles) runs like a top. Only maintenance has been a new battery, timing chain replaced (as scheduled maintenance), regular oil changes each 5,000 miles (synthetic). Currently hoping to replace it for another Spectra5 with fewer miles (these cars are hard to find but a real gem if you can find one). Despite the report is that the resale value is low, quite a few folks are waiting in the wings to take this car away if/when I ever sell it - that's because I do brag occasionally about how great my little Spectra5 is. So, I will have no issue selling this car to another buyer for a good price as there's absolutely nothing wrong with it. Plus, it's really cute and still looks modern, despite it being 8 years old now. Other friends of mine are either paying a lot in gas, have car payments, or constantly fixing this or that. Not me. My little car is paid for, demands no repairs, and is super-cheap to drive. Besides, it's a stylish, simple, cheap way to get around! Just love-love-love my little no-drama Kia!!

4.7

What Detroit should be selling.

My wife and I purchased our 2009 Spectra5 three months ago. Great little/big car. By this I mean a small package with lots of interior space. The fuel economy has been great considering it's a stick and I have a lead foot. The best thing about the car (it's red) is that it gets noticed. I personally watched this car evolve for 3 years before we bought it. It got better looking. It also handles like a dream if you know how to drive it. I have no regrets other than the fact that I couldn't have bought two at the time. People have complained about engine noise at high speeds. I have no idea what they're talking about. I say, turn the radio up. The only nick-pick I have about the car is the instrumentation. For crying out loud, the Rio has a better layout. The tachometer is hard to read in this dash. Message to Kia - Get rid of the dividers on the dash face. This car will be with us for a long time.

See all 2 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Kia
New car program benefits
Bumper-to-bumper
60 months/60,000 miles
Corrosion
60 months/100,000 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
10 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
165-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?