2005 Kia Spectra Review

Used Spectra for sale
List Price Estimate:$1,155 - $2,449
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Kia Spectra model years
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Low price, spunky engine, well-finished interior, standard side-curtain airbags, excellent warranty.
  • Obtrusive engine noise at high speeds, ABS not available on LX model.

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

2005 Highlights

A five-door hatchback model dubbed the Spectra5 joins the lineup, along with a sporty SX sedan. Both models come with a front spoiler, black mesh grille, black headlight bezels, upgraded tires, 16-inch alloys, side sills, rear valance panel and rear spoiler. Inside, there is leather wrapping for the steering wheel and shift knob, gray sport cloth upholstery, metallic trim pieces and metal pedals. A sport-tuned suspension is also included, and models with a manual transmission get a front strut tower bar as well.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2005 Kia Spectra.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

5 out of 5 stars
Soldier of a car.
EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A)
I bought this car with no choice. Mine was stolen, left with little time I bought a 2005 Spectra EX for $3800. It had 98k miles. That was in 2011. I still own it, with 180k+ and she's magnificent. The little 2.0 has power on the highway, without having to go up high in the powerband. The tall gears in the automatic gearing kill performance, manuals are quicker by far. Mine hits 60 in 8.8 seconds with a 4 speed auto, and shes topped out at 126mph. I guess that's about average. The stereo is surprisingly good with a 120 watt 6 speaker setup, as well as interior materials. I previously owned a Honda and Kia is quite close with their quality. I don't care what ANYONE says, Kias are damn good vehicles.
3.5 out of 5 stars
2005 Kia Spectra
EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A)
I bought the car with 44,000 in 2007, and at 85,000 the engine became completely clogged with oil despite regular oil changes every 3,000-5,000 miles. The manual recommends changing the oil every 7,500. A Kia dealership just said to change the oil every 1,000 miles, to clear the clog but that didn't work, and I had to replace the engine. After the replacement, I've since learned this has been a problem with this particular engine, and Kia has stopped making it.
4 out of 5 stars
185,000 Miles!! ***UPDATED*** 210,000 miles!!
Chad Stevens,03/03/2015
Spectra5 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
I am the 2nd owner of this car. Bought it in 2013 with 160,000 miles for 3k. The car's exterior was in reasonable condition, minor wear and tears,dents and dings. Mechanically she was sound. After a few thousand miles, the radio went, Clutch went, brake caliper froze up, replaced the timing belt. However, at 160,000 miles those items are expected to be replaced. Since then, everything has been great, except the transmission synchronizers are starting to fail. I still use this car as my daily driver, and commute my daily 48 miles. To date i have 186,458 miles on it. Not bad for KIA. I may just buy another when this one finally decides to rest. And for sake of argument, i drive very spirited. ***Update*** Up to 210,000 miles. a small section of my exhaust rusted off, replaced it for $100. No other mechanical failures yet!!
4.88 out of 5 stars
100,000 miles
EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
I've read through plenty of reviews, and the one thing I am noticing is that people are putting automatics in with the manual transmission, don't be daft please. The 2.0 DOHC 5spd standard transmission is great. I have over 100,000 miles on my car as it sits now still with the original clutch, and trust me when I say I haven't been overly kind to my car. I have beat on it, driven long distances and over all drvien this car as if it were a rally car or enduro car, including some slight off roading and it still starts up with out arguement and gets up and goes like a propper little sprinter. I unexpectedly fell in love with the little bugger, and I expect the romance to continue on for awhile.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2005 Kia Spectra

Used 2005 Kia Spectra Overview

The Used 2005 Kia Spectra is offered in the following submodels: Spectra Sedan, Spectra Wagon. Available styles include SX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A), LX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A), EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A), Spectra5 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 4A), LX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), Spectra5 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 5M), EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), and SX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M). Pre-owned Kia Spectra models are available with a 2.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 138 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2005 Kia Spectra comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic. The Used 2005 Kia Spectra comes with a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 10 yr./ 100000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2005 Kia Spectra?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2005 Kia Spectras are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2005 Kia Spectra for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2005 Kia Spectra.

Can't find a used 2005 Kia Spectras you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Kia Spectra for sale - 3 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $13,197.

Find a used Kia for sale - 4 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $24,075.

Find a used certified pre-owned Kia Spectra for sale - 1 great deals out of 6 listings starting at $9,044.

Find a used certified pre-owned Kia for sale - 8 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $16,922.

Should I lease or buy a 2005 Kia Spectra?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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