What Changed for 2008:
- Four-door, automatic-transmission Spectra LX added
- Black radiator grille with chrome accents (LX, EX models)
- New gear-shift knob
- New-design gauge cluster (LX, EX models)
- Audio system now includes auxiliary jack for MP3 players
began supplying its Festiva and Aspire models to Ford in the 1980s, and its Sephia model, introduced to the U.S. in 1994, was Kia's version of the previous-generation Mazda Protg. For many buyers, the Sephia was their first introduction to inexpensive South Korean cars. The Spectra first appeared in the 2000 model year as a 5-door hatchback version of the Sephia. In 2002, Kia dropped the Sephia nameplate; both sedan and hatchback versions were known from that point forward as the Spectra. Kia introduced a revised Spectra sedan in mid-2004 and a new hatchback-known as the Spectra5-in 2005.
After freshening the styling of its Spectra sedan and Spectra5 hatchback models for 2007, Kia makes minor changes to the compact car's exterior and interior for 2007. The biggest news is the addition of the 4-door Spectra LX with an automatic transmission.Model Lineup
The 2008 Kia Spectra sedan is sold in LX, EX and sporty SX trim levels, while the hatchback is available exclusively in SX trim. LX and EX models get a new grille design for 2008, which blends black paint and chrome. All models include a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD player, tilt steering, a split and folding rear seat and a 6-way adjustable driver's seat. EX and SX models come with air conditioning; power windows, locks, and mirrors; floor mats; and remote keyless entry. SX models add a sport-tuned suspension and feature an added strut tower bar for a firmer ride, Kia says. The Spectra SX also features a black mesh grille, front fog lights, unique front and rear fascias and a rear wing (sedans only). Inside, they add metal trim, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, metal sport pedals and cruise control. While LX and EX models have 15-inch wheels and tires, SX versions have standard 16-inch tires. Cargo capacity in the 5-door Spectra expands to 52.8 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded.Powertrain
Power for the front-wheel-drive 2008 Kia Spectra comes from a 138-hp, DOHC, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with continuously variable valve timing (CVVT). A 5-speed manual transmission is standard and a 4-speed automatic transmission is now optional on all models, including the base LX. Fuel mileage, using the new-for-2008 EPA formula, is 23 mpg city/30 mpg highway for models with a manual shifter, and 24 mpg city/32 mpg highway for those with an automatic transmission.Safety
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA
) tests, the 2008 Kia Spectra earns a 5-star rating in front crashes and a 4-star rating in side-impact crashes. All models include front, side, and side curtain air bags. Four-wheel disc brakes are standard on EX and SX models, and anti-lock brakes are optional only on the SX. Like all Kia models, the Spectra is covered by a 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty with roadside assistance, plus 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain protection.Technology
The upgraded stereo, an option on Spectra SX sedan and Spectra5 SX hatchback models, features a 6-disc CD changer as part of the 6-speaker AM/FM audio system. An auxiliary input jack for MP3 players has been added across the lineup.