I bought my Spectra SX new in July of 2009. It was priced to move since the brand new 2010 Forte was hitting the market. If I could have afforded to spend more I would have likely gone with the Honda Fit. Imagine my surprise 8 years later that my Spectra is still going strong with no major issues. It has proven to be an enjoyable car that is darned reliable.
This car saved my life, along with three passengers, when a drunk driver crossed into our lane. Its responsive handling allowed us to avoid a head-on collision, and the side-airbags minimized the seriousness of our injuries. Everyone in the accident thanked me for choosing this car after putting its safety to the test.
This car was pretty great for when I had it. I bought it used last year. There were no major issues and it was an overall awesome car. Unfortunately, I got into an accident a couple of months ago where someone hit my front right wheel/door side head on. I was going about 40-50 and he had just pulled out, so I'd say about 15 or so. The damage didn't look too terrible except that the wheel and door were bent inward, the center dashboard popped out, and the passenger airbag broke the windshield (no glass was actually shattered). It turned out that the frame ended up being twisted inside along with the other problems I mentioned which totaled it out. My passenger and I were safe at least!
I wanted a fuel efficient, inexpensive vehicle, with all of the up to date features (such as cruise control, CD, aux outlet) and I got all of that in this Kia. My only regret is that I had waited until the end of the year to get the Kia Forte!!
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!