2008 Kia Spectra Photo
/ 10
On Quality
$3,900 - $10,788
On Quality
The 2008 Kia Spectra has abundant space for the class, but the seats and interior trim may not suit you.
6.0 out of 10
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QUALITY | 6 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

cushioning feels adequate but not abundant

few of our testers were able to find an ideal driving position

good build and materials quality

On the highway, the cabin is a place of Lexus-like serenity
Car and Driver

The 2008 Kia Spectra comes well equipped, but actual interior appointments are a weakness; it's very basic in design, which is fine, but it lacks the lustrous materials and cohesive styling that's now par for the course, even among bargain-priced rides. There's quite a bit of seating space, though, with a nicely proportioned, height-adjustable driver's seat. The 2008 Kia Spectra5 gets a completely different body style from the front doors back, with hatchback convenience and a tall roofline that continues almost all the way to the back of the vehicle, yielding impressive cargo space--especially when taking advantage of the fold-flat backseats.

Edmunds reports, "Like most compact cars, the [Kia] Spectra seats four comfortably, five in a pinch," adding "the seats are comfortable." However, Car and Driver notes "the front seats lack lumbar support." Cars.com qualifies this, reporting that "seat bottoms are short, and cushioning feels adequate but not abundant." Consumer Guide observes, "despite a tilt steering wheel and lever-action seat-height adjuster, few testers were able to find an ideal driving position." This source also notes that the 2008 Kia Spectra's seats are "subpar for contour and comfort...long-legged drivers will likely want more rearward seat travel...headroom is just OK for six-footers."

There aren't too many complaints about storage, however. ConsumerGuide reports that the 2008 Kia Spectra models have "usefully shaped trunks with adequate volume that's expandable via the standard 60/40 folding rear seat." The Detroit News declares that the Kia Spectra5 "offers 18.3 cubic feet of storage space, about 6 cubic feet more than the sedan. When the 60/40-split rear seats are folded flat, storage capacity in the hatchback expands to 52.8 cubic feet." Edmunds adds "storage cubbies and cupholders are generous in size."

On to the topic of materials, ConsumerGuide contends that the 2008 Kia Spectra's "cabin materials and finish exceed most in this price range," but notes that a "poorly sealed right-rear window in one test sedan rattled and generated a highway-speed wind whistle." Nonetheless, Edmunds asserts that the Kia Spectra offers a "comfortable and functional cabin...simple...with easy-to-use (and reach) controls and good build and materials quality."

Car and Driver waxes that "on the highway, the [Kia Spectra's] cabin is a place of Lexus-like serenity." ConsumerGuide, on the other hand, says that while "Wind and road ruckus are nicely subdued," the "engine is coarse sounding, growing additionally hoarse around 4000 rpm."


The 2008 Kia Spectra has abundant space for the class, but the seats and interior trim may not suit you.

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