Amid a steady uptick in gasoline prices and during a time when fuel economy is top-of-mind for consumers, the Kia Spectra and Spectra5 are standouts, leading the pack with high marks for their thrifty fuel-sipping ability combined with high style and class-leading safety features. Adding to Spectra and Spectra5's appeal, the line is recognized by The Car Book as a "Best Bet" in the Compact category and the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) for five-star frontal crash safety rating in 2008. Spectra5 also is recognized by U.S. News & World Report's Best Cars and Trucks for being an affordable compact wagon. In 2007, the Spectra model line received two distinctions from Edmunds.com ("Consumers Most-Wanted – Wagons under $25,000" and "Top 10 Cars under $15,000"). These accolades paired with the Spectra sedan and five-door's style, outstanding safety features and exceptional value are sure to continue to impress consumers in 2009.
Following Kia Motors' core philosophies of providing value, safety, warranty and fun to the driving experience, the Spectra line-up is available in several trim levels (LX, EX, and SX four-door; SX five-door) and offers a host of standard amenities to appeal to a wide range of consumers.
Spectra and Spectra5 vehicles are powered by a 2.0-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine, which features Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) and multi-port electronic fuel injection.
Producing 138 horsepower and 136 pound-feet of torque , the Spectra line-up offers a more powerful punch than Toyota Corolla and Ford Focus. Two trims are available for 2009: a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy for 2009 Spectra models is 23/30 M/T and 24/32 A/T (city/highway).
Built on a front-wheel-drive unibody frame, independent front suspension with MacPherson struts, standard coil springs and stabilizer bars work with an independent dual-link rear suspension to provide the optimal balance of ride comfort. An engine-speed-sensitive, power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering system adds the finishing touch for precise handling. In keeping with the sporty essence of the SX model line, a sport-tuned suspension and strut tower bar come standard to allow for more spirited driving.
Larger than Kia's entry level Rio, the Spectra line personifies a more grown-up exterior body with smooth, clean lines. All trim levels feature body-color exterior door handles, body side moldings and rear garnishes to create a sleek canvas on which to outfit aggressive subtleties such as clear-lens halogen headlamps with black headlamp bezels.
LX and EX models smile at onlookers with a front grille enhanced with a sportier blend of black and chrome. SX models are fitted with an aggressive black mesh grille and the addition of standard fog lights, a wing-type rear spoiler (SX four-door models only), side sills as well as unique front and rear fascias. To complete the bold SX look, 16-inch, five-spoke alloy wheels are matched with 205/50R16-sized premium tires, while 15-inch wheels and 195/60R15-sized tires are standard on LX- and EX-equipped models.
High-quality, full cloth-trimmed seats are merely quiet echoes to the Spectra and Spectra5's host of standard features that scream behind-the-wheel comfort and convenience. A six-way adjustable driver's seat, tilt steering column, 60/40-split folding rear seat, rear defroster and dual 12-volt power outlets in the center console are driver-conscious luxuries standard on every vehicle. Music aficionados are not forgotten with an AM/FM/CD audio system featuring six speakers and an auxiliary audio input jack for MP3 player connectivity as standard features. EX and SX models offer additional touches such as: power windows and door locks; remote keyless entry; air conditioning; dual front and rear cup holders; and floor mats. Spectra EX models also now include standard cruise control with optional sunroof and antilock brake system (ABS).
Upgrades for the Spectra and Spectra5 SX models include an interior fashioned with metal-finish trim and sport-cloth seats with matching door panel inserts. A leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob, metal sport pedals and cruise control are other standard features. An AM/FM/MP3 audio system with a six-disc in-dash CD changer and a power sunroof also are available as SX-only options.
With the four-door sedan boasting 97.0 cubic feet of passenger volume and the five-door providing a welcoming 98.1 cubic feet of passenger volume, the Spectra line offers more breathing room than the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, and Ford Focus. Storage space does not take a backseat either with an ample 12.2 cubic feet of cargo volume available in the Spectra, while 18.3 cubic feet is offered in the Spectra5. When the 60/40-split folding rear seats are folded flat, storage capacity in the five-door expands to 52.8 cubic feet.
All Spectra models now include active front headrests as standard equipment for 2009. Earning a five-star frontal crash safety rating in 2008 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) , Spectra and Spectra5 provide class-leading safety with an extensive, across-the-board list of standard technology, which includes: dual front advanced airbags, dual front seat-mounted side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, front and rear three-point seatbelts, front seatbelt pretensioners and force limiters, Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH), side-impact door beams, front and rear crumple zones and a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS).
Four-wheel vented disc brakes also are standard on EX and SX models while a four-sensor, four-channel ABS is an available option on EX models and SX four-door and five-door vehicles.