2006 Kia Spectra Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Kia Spectra Sedan

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Kia Spectra Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 138 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 22/30 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2006 Kia Spectra

  • With its lengthy equipment list, high-quality interior and better-than-average performance, the 2006 Kia Spectra sedan and hatchback are an excellent low-cost alternative to a Civic or Matrix.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Low price, large backseat, comfortable ride, lots of storage and cupholders, standard side curtain airbags, excellent warranty.

  • Cons

    Engine is weak and buzzy at higher rpm, soft handling on EX model.

  • What's New for 2006

    The base LX sedan has been dropped, and the EX no longer features foglamps or rear disc brakes. On the plus side, all models now come with floor mats and a cabin air filter, while the SX and Spectra5 gain standard cruise control. The optional four-speed automatic transmission has been redesigned this year for greater durability and smoothness (although models with SULEV emissions still use last year's unit).

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (6 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Excellent

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Kia Spectra EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I bought my kia in 2006, new. I loved the way it drove, and with the manual transmission, I managed to get 40 miles per gallon with it. I loved the way it handled and the horse power I got from it. I had no problems getting up to speed with it, and I had no service issues with it. When I was rear ended in February, it was totaled by a Toyota Tundra, going 70 mph, and even the passenger compartment was protected. I didn't have any rear passengers, but after the way the car looked, if it had been another brand, I'm sure someone would have been hurt worse or even killed. I bought another spectra to replace it, and would gladly do it again.




Love it, but it's not

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Kia Spectra EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I love the almost every inch of this car. It has treated me very well over the past 2-1/2 years. I have about 21k on it. As far as gas mileage is concerned I'm not sure where I'm lacking because I only drive 50 miles per week and I use 1/2 a tank (about 19 stoplights though). It's all city, but that's horrible. For highway in moderate traffic I use a quarter of a tank over 60 miles. It's a great modest car, very reliable, low maintenance and very affordable. There are some features I would like to see standard on the EX, though. It's a great car for those who have young children due to it's safety features and it's got a killer warranty.




So overwhelmingly bland.

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Kia Spectra EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

This car is absolutely perfect for someone who does not want to stand out from the crowd, and revels in mediocrity. Though I'd imagine, with it's fuel economy, it would also be fantastic for college students, single mothers, environmentalists and those who are interested in saving money regardless of what the cost to style and performance is.




I bought a lemon 2

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Kia Spectra EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I bought my car in May of 2006 brand new off the lot for $17,500. After Driving the car for a couple of days I noticed a terrible vibration coming from the front of the vehicle. The steering wheel vibrated so bad that I hated driving this car. When I mentioned this problem to the dealer I was told that the engine was just to big for the car! I have had the car looked at by 2 different dealers in the last year and a 1/2 since I owned because of many issues, ranging from poor gas mileage, vibration and loss of power. My car has now been in the shop for over a week and am now being told that YES there is a problem but they simply do not know what it is. They are working to resolve....



1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Safety questionable

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Kia Spectra EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I recently was in a bad accident with my Kia Spectra 2006 has no more than 9,000 miles. I hit an oncoming vehicle with my left front into their left front at 60 miles per hour. My front end is pushed in and ripped most of it off and none of the air bags deployed. The auto body shop along with the Deputy on the scene stated there is no reason that the air bags should have not went off. This incident is currently under investigation with Kia. I have three young children and I bought the car because it was supposed to be a safe car, and then this happens. I have a friend that also just got into an accident, rolled his Kia and the air bags in that vehicle did not deploy either.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Better then those expensive cars

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Kia Spectra EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I was very very skeptical about getting this car at first. I mean, come on. a KIA! But in the end I fell in love with it. The car is very good looking, but is obviously a carbon copy of the Civic, just park your next to one you WILL see it. Very well built, doors feel sturdy, everything feels well built and tight. There is no rattling at all even when going over hard bumps and potholes. The car feels very powerful, though not so much in 1st gear. I drive with a lot of friends in the car to classes and it still feel very strong with 4 grown men in the car. It is very very very quiet on the highway even when hitting speeds of 80 mph, where most cars get the windy noise.



Full 2006 Kia Spectra Review

What's New for 2006

The base LX sedan has been dropped, and the EX no longer features foglamps or rear disc brakes. On the plus side, all models now come with floor mats and a cabin air filter, while the SX and Spectra5 gain standard cruise control. The optional four-speed automatic transmission has been redesigned this year for greater durability and smoothness (although models with SULEV emissions still use last year's unit).

Introduction

The Spectra's origins in the U.S. market date back to 1994 when the compact Sephia sedan was introduced. In 2000, Kia added a five-door hatchback companion called the Spectra in an effort to reach out to younger drivers. In 2002, the Sephia sedan took the name "Spectra" as well. Although decently equipped, neither the Spectra sedan nor the hatchback had the level of refinement or quality necessary to get the attention of Civic and Corolla buyers. However, a groundbreaking redesign came midway through 2004 and established the Kia Spectra as the value leader in the economy car segment. Roomy, well equipped and for the most part pleasant to drive, the Spectra is worth the attention of anyone shopping for an affordable compact car.

A 138-hp, 2.0-liter engine is standard, and it's tuned to deliver a healthy dose of torque right off the line, allowing the Kia car to get around town and merge into freeway traffic with ease. Unfortunately, the engine begins to run out of steam at midrange rpm and gets a bit noisy in the process -- this is one of the few areas in which the Kia Spectra doesn't match up to the Civic and Corolla. Ride quality is excellent for an economy car, though, as the suspension dutifully absorbs bumps and grooves. Handling is soft yet predictable with the standard suspension, but you can get a tauter setup by opting for the SX sedan or Spectra5 hatchback, which also provides extra body cladding and sportier interior trim.

Inside, the furnishings are nothing too exciting, but a simple control layout, above-average build and materials quality and standard side curtain airbags count for plenty in this segment. So do comfortable seats, and the Kia Spectra offers plenty of room for both front and rear occupants. A vast selection of trays, bins, pockets and containers provides a spot for anything you happen to be carrying, while six large cupholders make road-trip dehydration a thing of the past. Although class leaders like the Civic and Mazda3 are still a few steps ahead of the Spectra when it comes to performance and refinement, we think highly of this Kia car. If you're looking for a well-rounded economy sedan or hatchback, the 2006 Kia Spectra is definitely worth a test-drive.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Kia Spectra sedan is available in EX and SX trims, while the five-door Spectra5 hatchback is available in one trim only. The EX features air conditioning, six-speaker CD stereo, height-adjustable driver seat, tilt steering wheel, a 60/40 rear seat, power windows and locks, heated power mirrors and keyless entry. The SX sedan and Spectra5 hatchback add front and rear spoilers, side sills, rear valance, black grille, black headlight bezels, upgraded tires and 16-inch alloys and a sport-tuned suspension (on manual transmission models, a front strut tower bar is also included). Inside, leather trim on the steering wheel, shift knob and parking brake handle add a sporty touch, as do sport cloth seats, metal-look trim and metal pedals.

Powertrains and Performance

The Kia Spectra features a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine with 138 hp and 135 lb-ft of torque (132 hp and 133 lb-ft with SULEV emissions equipment). Buyers can choose a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is a respectable 25 mpg city/33 mpg highway.

Safety

Four-wheel disc brakes are standard on all models except the EX, which has rear drums. Antilock brakes are optional. All Spectras feature standard front-seat-mounted side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. In government crash tests, the 2006 Kia Spectra earned a rating of four stars (out of five) for front-impact protection. It also earned four stars for front-occupant protection in side impacts. Rear-seat side-impact protection rated a mediocre three stars. In IIHS testing, the Spectra rated "Acceptable" (second best) for frontal-offset safety and "Poor" for side-impact safety.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Kia Spectra offers a simple cabin layout with logically arranged controls and above-average build and materials quality. The front seats are downright comfortable with enough shoulder, hip- and legroom to accommodate large adults. There's plenty of legroom in back as well, and the rear bench is generously cushioned. A vast selection of trays, bins, pockets and containers provides a spot for anything you happen to be carrying, while six large cupholders make road-trip dehydration a thing of the past. The sedan's trunk capacity is bit small for this class at 12.2 cubic feet, but the Spectra5 boasts an accommodating 18.3-cubic-foot cargo area (52.8 cubic feet with the seats down).

Driving Impressions

The 2.0-liter inline four provides enough muscle around town for the small sedan and hatchback, but feels less spirited during high-speed maneuvers. Another downside is that engine noise can be obtrusive at speeds of 70 mph and above. The manual gearbox is easy to shift, but the automatic transmission can be a tad slow to come up with downshifts. The EX sedan offers a smooth ride, strong brakes and competent if not exactly sporty handling. The Spectra5 and SX sedan kick it up a notch with tighter handling while also retaining the supple ride quality of the less sporting EX sedan.

Talk About The 2006 Spectra

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 22
  • cty
/
  • 30
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs