Used 2008 Kia Spectra Sedan
Kia Spectra Sedan
2008 Kia Spectra Pricing
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2008 Kia Spectra KBB Expert Review
In the crowded compact-car field, the Kia Spectra sometimes falls off the radar screen. That's a shame, because this little four-door has a lot to offer, including a host of standard safety features that are usually extra-cost options on rival cars. The 2008 Kia Spectra has sporty good looks with bright exterior paint, body-colored door handles and available body-colored mirrors and racy alloy wheels. The Spectra's 2.0-liter engine doesn't exactly inspire spirited driving, but it is a miserly consumer of gasoline.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you're looking for a high-value car and you like the Kia Spectra's more expressive styling, this is a lot of vehicle for not much money. And you might especially appreciate the sprightly demeanor of the SX version.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If the recently documented quality improvements made by at least one Korean automaker have you expecting absolute top-tier refinement, you might be disappointed.
What's New for 2008
The LX sedan now offers the option of a four-speed automatic transmission.
We drove the sporty Spectra SX model that features a more tightly tuned suspension than the EX version. Like the Spectra5 hatchback, with which it shares its performance modifications, we found the SX more fun in the corners than many other cars in this category. In EX trim, expect a smoother highway ride in place of that enhanced cornering capability (although the SX rides nicely enough itself). In any case, the four-cylinder engine delivers responsive acceleration and enough power to make the four-speed automatic a perfectly valid option. With the manual transmission, the shift lever functions adequately enough but the action feels awkward and unrefined.
Contemporary, attractive styling makes the Spectra easy on the eyes, inside and out.
Six Standard Airbags
It's nice not having to decide whether to pay more money for extra airbags.
Nicely designed, and using materials as good as one would reasonably expect in this price range, the Kia Spectra is a decent place to spend a commute. Most would find the rear-seat accommodations acceptable for even a longer road trip. Aesthetically, the only blemish is an AM/FM/CD player that isn't physically or stylistically well-integrated into the otherwise cohesive interior. Two thumbs up for front, front side-impact and front and rear side-curtain airbags being included as standard equipment.
Improved exterior styling is a big factor in the recent surge in the appeal of Korean vehicles. The 2008 Kia Spectra features large, jewel-like headlamps that highlight sharply styled sheet metal in a vehicle that in no way resembles Kia's first entry in this country, the Sephia (of which the Spectra is a direct descendant). The sharp crease running from wheel to wheel adds a degree of design sophistication, similar to the side treatment of Mercedes-Benz's S-Class.
Notable Standard Equipment
The Spectra LX comes equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (the only powerplant available in the lineup), a five-speed manual transmission, AM/FM/CD sound system with six speakers, tilt wheel and front, front-side and two-row side-curtain airbags. The EX trim adds air conditioning, power windows, power door locks with remote keyless entry and four-wheel disc brakes. The SX trim adds a sport suspension, cruise control, 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, rear spoiler, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob and metal interior trim.
Notable Optional Equipment
Options for the LX trim include air conditioning and carpeted floor mats, while the EX can be equipped with 15-inch alloy wheels and cruise control. Options for the SX are limited to a power moonroof, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and a six-disc CD/MP3 changer.
Under the Hood
The Spectra's 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine employs continuously variable valve timing to produce 138 peak horsepower -- and it often feels stronger than that. City and highway acceleration is brisk, and fuel economy is very good.
2.0-liter in-line 4
138 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
136 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/30 (manual), 24/32 (automatic)
The 2008 Kia Spectra LX's Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts around $13,500, while the EX starts around $15,500 and the sporty SX at just over $16,500. An automatic transmission raises the price of each by about $1,000. Our Fair Purchase Prices reflect real-world transaction prices a few hundred dollars shy of those sticker prices. You can shop the Mazda MAZDA3, Honda Fit or Toyota Corolla, but you won't find the same equipment levels at Kia prices. As for resale value, we don't expect the Spectra to fare particularly very well in comparison to the MAZDA3, Fit and Corolla.
Kia Spectra Consumer Reviews
August 15, 2018
best car ever
this is amazing car
June 13, 2018
Kia quality improved a LOT over previous years.
I looked around the local area for a good small commuter car with just the basics- auto trans, a/c, Radio c.d. You really dont need...
January 22, 2017
It is good
for price I paid it is so good I used it for 9 years and still using it
November 12, 2016
Love this car!!
I am a twenty year old college student who needed an affordable and RELIABLE car, and saw an awesome deal for this car. I put over 30k...
July 21, 2016
Nice car for little money
Bought 2009 EX model in 2011 with 50k (rental history), now it has 90k. Still runs good, but I'm feeling more bumps on the road. I like...
July 14, 2016
I was just reading through the reviews, and saw that one person talked about the paint job. This is so true. Mine is an 09. at six...
May 20, 2016
I bought this in 2011 with 66k miles... I'm at 187K miles now. The only parts to fail were the AC around 150k, and my power locks buzz...
March 29, 2016
I own my car since almost eleven years now. I have traveled many times and many miles (from SD to San Francisco, Portland, Ensenada...
KIA Spectra in Bham
January 01, 2016
Great value vehicle
I bought this new for my son at 16 in 2009. He has taken care of it and changed the oil every 5K mile. It has ran great and has a lot of...
I'd buy it again!
October 08, 2015
It's a good car!
I bought my 2007 Kia Spectra EX brand new in 2007 with 10 miles on it! I'm glad to say I've never had any problems out of my Kia....