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2008 Kia Spectra Sedan

4dr Sdn Man LX

Starting at | Starting at 23 MPG City - 30 MPG Highway

2008 Kia Spectra for Sale

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  • Average Retail is not available
  • $12,895 original MSRP
Printable Version

2008 Kia Spectra Sedan

Benefits of Driving a 2008 Kia Spectra Sedan

According to Kia, the 2008 Spectra has more interior space than the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, or Ford Focus, with an impressive 98.1 cubic feet for the five-door model. It also stands out for its low base price and generous equipment, especially the EX sedan, and for its extensive warranty coverage. The Spectra is also one of the more comfortable small cars, with a refined ride and quiet interior.

What's new for 2008?

A six-speaker CD sound system with auxiliary input jack is now standard across the 2008 Kia Spectra model line. Otherwise, the car is carried over to 2008 with no significant changes.

Model Strengths

  • Low base price
  • plenty of interior space
  • refined ride
  • long warranty.

Model Review

All 2008 Kia Spectra models are powered by a 138-horsepower 2.0L DOHC four-cylinder engine, and available with either a five-speed manual gearbox or four-speed automatic transmission. With the standard manual transmission, the Spectra gets an EPA fuel economy rating of 23 mpg city, 30 mpg highway.

Printable Version

2008 Kia Spectra Sedan


2008 Kia Spectra SX

Source: Carlist.com

It's much easier to spend a lot of money on a car than it is to spend very little. For example, how much new car can you get for, say, $18,000 or less? And how safe is it? How thrifty is it? How fun is it?

These questions have gotten much easier to answer in recent years, and they're likely to become even easier as time marches on. Contemporary concerns like "greeniness" and fuel-thriftiness are no longer mere afterthoughts; they're virtually requirements now. Some hide-bound manufacturers complain that small cars' profit margins are too thin considering how poorly they sell. But maybe they sell so poorly because their curb-appeal is so scant. If small, affordable cars were also fun to drive, perish the thought, perhaps they'd attract more buyers. That, at least, is what Kia, Suzuki and Nissan seem to have concluded.

Kia seems poised to make silk purses out of sows' ears. Once generally shunned as the budget brand of last resort, Kia is now the budget king of hard times. More to the point, it's an automaker that has slowly but surely climbed the learning curve for making small, substantial cars that aren't an embarrassment to drive.

Quite the opposite, in fact. Kiass Spectra SX subcompact sedan is actually quite elegantly styled and fun to drive. Priced at $17,995, as tested, it just manages to "do the limbo" under the $18,000 threshold. But when you consider what you get for your money, you're likely to be impressed.

For starters, there's a tolerably spacious five-person cockpit that still leaves room for a moderately sized, 12-cubic-foot trunk. Underhood, there's a 2.0-liter twin-cam four-cylinder motor that employs computerized variable valve timing to produce 138 horsepower. Moreover, it does so while achieving 23 mpg/city, 30 mpg/highway.

These are all good numbers on paper; they also translate into decent, even fun, behavior on the road. With its slightly pricier SX trim, the Spectra earns 16-inch wheels and a sport-tuned, all-independent suspension. Four-wheel disc brakes are standard, although anti-lock braking, curiously enough, is a $400 option. A five-speed manual transmission actually encourages extra sportiness; and unsuspecting drivers will find themselves being coaxed to push a little harder and corner a little deeper.

Is this delusional behavior in a tiny car making only 138 hp? Perhaps; but so what? If the illusion of enjoyment is also saving you money and fuel, well, whose bad is that?

Soozook has also been swinging at the long ball for years in hopes of hitting a home run in the subcompact commuter-car segment. It even got to the point where it fielded two self-competing models - the Forenza and the Reno - that the marketplace could scarcely distinguish from one another.

Now, Suzuki has seen the light, or more accurately, the Spectra, which brushes ForenzaReno aside and stands on its own four wheels. Styling of the Spectra SX4 is biased towards plucky and impish and away from actual elegance. The pug nose looks rather unfinished, but the 17-inch wheels underscore the Spectra's sporty intentions. So too does the 143-hp 2.0-liter twin-cam four, also with variable valve timing.

With slightly more horsepower than the Kia, Spectra also manages to eke out one more mpg of highway mileage: 23 mpg/city, 31 mpg/highway. Where it falters is with the four-speed automatic transmission, which both numbs the road-feel of the car and saps performance. A manual alternative is available - and recommended, even if it means taking a tutorial in proper clutch-pedal management.

The Spectra boasts a 14.3 cubic-foot trunk, which is generous for a subcompact. It's also a form of piracy, insofar as rear-seat legroom suffers as a result. Suzuki interiors tend towards bargain-basement materials and upholstery, and the Spectra is no exception. On the other hand, the placement and design of instrumentation is excellent - Fisher-Price for adults, so that no radio or HVAC operations are in doubt.

At $16,370, as-tested, the Spectra SX4 treads a bit deeper into bargain territory. Even anti-lock brakes come standard, in fact. Opt for the manny-tranny, though, and you'll not only save more dough ($1,100) but also have more fun.

What Nissan hath wrought with its remarkable Versa is to bring an element of adult respectability to the subcompact-car category. This is neither the most powerful nor the most stylish model in our trio; but it's no ugly duckling or slow-poke either. On the contrary, Versa seems to be a purpose-built urban commuter whose efficiencies are its greatest asset.

For starters, there's fuel economy on the order of 24 mpg/city, 32 mpg/highway. This is accomplished by a 122-hp twin-cam four displacing 1.8-liters. That's a lot of power to give up to its Kia and Suzuki rivals; but note the torque of 127 foot-pounds. That's a much more competitive figure, and it also suggests that Nissan has designed the Versa for torquey in-town behavior, not highway hi-jinks. Combination disk/drum brakes and front-only independent suspension tend to further confirm this suspicion.

The Versas' interior doesn't exactly qualify as upscale; but it's unobjectionable, and in place of hard plastic finishes, there's a soft-touch, "cushy" feel to door and dash surfaces. But by far the best accomplishment of the Versa's interior is its cargo-handling versatility. As a five-seater, Versa leaves room for almost 18 cubic-feet under the rear hatch. Then, when the rear seats are folded, voila! 50 cubic feet of flat-floored container space.

The Versa is a city-slicker and proud of it. It's designed for downsizers whov'e got bigger things on their mind. Versa parks tidy; totes plenty; and nurses its fuel. And it only costs $15,490 as-tested. Its straightforward exterior is neither kiddy nor giddy - it's for grown-ups who've learned that acting smart beats looking smart any day.

Subcompact sedan; 4-door, 5-pass.; 2.0-liter DOHC inline-4 w/ vvt; FWD, 5-sp. manual; 138 hp/136 ft.-lbs.; 23 mpg/city, 30 mpg/hwy w/ regular; trunk: 12.2 cu. ft.; base price: $15,995; as-tested, w/ 4-wheel ind. suspension & opt. ABS disc brakes, AM/FM/CD audio, HVAC, 16-in. wheels, sunroof, front/front-side/head airbags: $17,995

Subcompact sedan; 4-door, 5-pass.; 2.0-liter DOHC inline-4 w/ vvt; FWD, 4-sp. auto; 143 hp/136 ft.-lbs.; 23 mpg/city, 31 mpg/hwy w/ regular; trunk: 14.3 cu. ft.; base price: $16,370; as-tested, w/ front ind. suspension & ABS disc brakes, AM/FM/CD audio, HVAC, 17-in. wheels, front/front-side/head airbags: $16,370

Subcompact sedan hatchback; 4-door, 5-pass.; 1.8-liter DOHC inline-4 w/ vvt; FWD, 4-sp. auto; 122 hp/127 ft.-lbs.; 24 mpg/city, 32 mpg/hwy w/ regular; cargo: 17.8-50 cu. ft.; base price: $13,450; as-tested, w/ front ind. suspension & opt. ABS disc/drum brakes, AM/FM/CD audio, HVAC, 15-in. wheels, front/front-side/head airbags: $15,490

Printable Version

2008 Kia Spectra Sedan

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade

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Passenger Crash Grade

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Rollover Resistance

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Side Impact Crash Test - Front

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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear

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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

Tire Pressure Monitoring System Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Std
Side Head Air Bag Std
Rear Head side Air Bag Std
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std
Printable Version

2008 Kia Spectra Sedan

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 5 Years/60,000 Miles
Drivetrain 10 Years/100,000 Miles
Corrosion 5 Years/100,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance 5 Years/60,000 Miles

Kia Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

120-months/100,000-mile Powertrain warranty from original in-service date
Age/Mileage Eligibility Model years 2010-2015 w/ less than 60,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 150
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance 10-Year/Unlimited Mileage from In-Service Date
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $50

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2008 Kia Spectra Sedan

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