2009 Kia Spectra Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Kia Spectra

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
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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 23/30 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2009 Kia Spectra

  • Although the 2009 Kia Spectra provides solid performance, comfortable seats and a great warranty, the competition offers more in terms of safety, desirability and resale value.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Low price, comfortable and functional cabin, plenty of storage space, great warranty.

  • Cons

    Noisy engine at higher rpm, antilock brakes aren't standard, lackluster safety scores.

  • What's New for 2009

    The 2009 Kia Spectra gets just a few equipment changes. Active front headrests are now standard on all models, and EX models get cruise control as standard. Additionally, a sunroof can now be ordered for EX models.

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 23
  • cty
/
  • 30
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Love the car

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Kia Spectra EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I bought my Spectra 8 months ago with barely over 8,000 miles on it, I bought it because of the manual transmission and so far I love the car. The only trouble I have experienced is the cruise control won't always set, it goes to the dealership on Monday. Contrary to other reviews I get excellent mileage on my KIA. I commute 55 miles one way to work, I have gotten anywhere from 30-38 mpg depending on my driving habits (if you know what I am saying ;)). My in town mpg is even better, I regularly get 40+ mpg and have had as high as 52mpg in town. I recalculated 3x because I couldn't believe it! It's a great car and with the sunroof & factory rear spoiler and on it, it looks sporty too!




So far so good!

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Kia Spectra EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Bought this car brand new last August, so this is its first winter. So far so good! Honestly, no complaints (-:




Don't underestimate the kia spectra

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Kia Spectra EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Having traded in a 2002 Hyundai Elantra for my KIA Spectra, I expected some close similarities in these Korean cousins. My expectations were pleasantly met in getting behind the wheel of this great little economy car. For my Cash-for-Clunkers allowance for a 1999 Isuzu Trooper and my Hyundai trade-in, I drove away in my KIA Spectra EX for $10,000, including tax, title and registration. I have enjoyed the KIA Spectra experience from the moment I pulled off the dealer's lot.




Glad i bought this car

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Kia Spectra EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

This is my very first car and I know I made a great choice. It takes less than $25 to fill up my tank and I am good for the rest of the week. The interior is comfortable and I get compliments on the exterior. For a first car or something that in inexpensive and good to drive get this car. It is also roomy for my family of four.




Happy with kia

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Kia Spectra EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Looking for an inexpensive new car? Look no further. I just purchased the Spectra and couldn't be happier. Great warranty, fun to drive, and comfortable, compaired to my SUV, the gas guage doesn't move. Overall, I'm very happy with the purchase, and the Kia network of services.



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Full 2009 Kia Spectra Review

What's New for 2009

The 2009 Kia Spectra gets just a few equipment changes. Active front headrests are now standard on all models, and EX models get cruise control as standard. Additionally, a sunroof can now be ordered for EX models.

Introduction

Blame an almost stalled economy or fluctuating fuel prices, but no matter where you point the finger, the result is the same -- small cars have made a comeback. Suddenly, cars like the 2009 Kia Spectra aren't so easy to dismiss. As Kia's compact-car offering, the Spectra boasts a low base price, a comfortable interior and a highly impressive 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Don't look for the Kia Spectra to outclass or outperform favorites in the compact-car segment such as the Honda Civic, the Mazda 3 or even the Toyota Corolla. All of the previously mentioned competitors are more refined. They also offer a wider range of optional equipment; for example, the Spectra's lack of optional antilock brakes on low-priced models should be of great concern to parents who want to buy their college students their first new car. In its favor, however, the Spectra has plenty of standard features, and the Spectra5 version has a little dash of sport-wagon attitude to go along with its added cargo space. Value is another plus, since the Spectra is a couple grand cheaper than segment leaders. Spunky performance is also part of the deal if you opt for the manual transmission.

The bottom line is that there are better compact fuel sippers, and the Kia Spectra shakes out about midpack if you line them all up -- it's better than some but not as good as many. However, those on strict budgets will find much to like about the 2009 Kia Spectra.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Kia Spectra is available as a sedan or hatchback. The sedan may be had in a choice of three trim levels: LX, EX and SX. The hatchback Spectra5 is only available in the top-of-the-line SX trim. The base LX is bare bones -- most folks will likely go with the EX, which has air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, keyless entry and a CD/MP3 player with an auxiliary audio jack. The sporty SX adds a sport-tuned suspension, 16-inch alloy wheels, bigger tires, foglights, a rear spoiler, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, metal-finish interior accents and cloth sport seats. Major options include a six-CD changer and a sunroof.

Powertrains and Performance

Every Spectra comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 138 horsepower and 136 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, with a four-speed automatic transmission available on all models except the LX sedan. Fuel mileage ratings are 24 mpg city/32 mpg highway and 27 mpg combined for Spectras with the automatic transmission; manual models have ratings that are just a tick lower.

Safety

The Spectra comes standard with front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. Antilock brakes are optional for the EX and SX trims only. In government crash tests, the Spectra earned a perfect five out of five stars for front-impact protection and four stars for side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the Spectra "Acceptable" (second best) for frontal-offset safety and one ranking lower -- "Marginal" -- for side-impact safety.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2009 Kia Spectra offers a simple cabin layout with easy-to-use (and reach) controls and good build and materials quality. The seats are comfortable, and the storage cubbies and cupholders are generous in size. The overall look and feel of the interior is a few cuts above cars like the Ford Focus and Suzuki SX4. Kia didn't resort to any garish gimmicks to hide cheap materials, and the result is almost classy for a car in this price range.

If you need extra space, look at the Spectra5. It boasts an 18.3-cubic-foot cargo area and considerably more room if you lower the 60/40-split rear seats -- maximum cargo capacity is 53 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

The Spectra is pleasant to drive overall, and its four-cylinder engine is peppy enough for getting around town. It remains fairly quiet at lower revs, but linger in any one gear for too long, and engine noise becomes intrusive. The manual gearbox is adequate and perhaps preferable to the four-speed automatic, which does not provide the quickest of gearchanges. The SX versions offer tighter handling and stiffer suspensions, but even on these models, overall ride quality is quite comfortable.

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Talk About The 2009 Spectra

2009 Kia Spectra Discussions See all Started By

ata10
ata10
12-14-2007
The current Spectra is pretty old and Kia is already developing the next generation Spectra. Recently there were some spy shots of the mule taken....


himi1
himi1
08-19-2007
Congratulations on your new Spectras!Those are nice cars...you can have a look at the upcoming Kia coupe here. This might be the base for new 2009 Spectra. What do you think?...


marley0730
marley0730
08-09-2009
It looks great btw. I google 2009 Kia Spectra window tint and yours is the first picture to pop up on google images. You mentioned this car is a 2008. Well, it doesn't look an awful different from ...



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