2008 Kia Spectra vs. Its Competition

2008 Kia Spectra 4-door Sedan Auto EX Open Doors
Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director

The Kia Spectra's low-priced base model and long warranty are especially attractive, but there are better choices.

Many of the rival models in this segment have been redesigned more recently than the Spectra's design, which now goes back to 2004.

Although the Elantra shares its engine with the 2008 Kia Spectra, its interior is better designed, and the instrument panel and switchgear feel a step better.

The Mazda3 is the choice among these cars if a frisky driving sensation is a priority, although the Mazda's cabin can be noisy on coarse surfaces and its backseat is rather cramped.

The Corolla is also quite dated and due for a redesign for 2009; it has a ride that's about as soft and compliant as the Spectra's and an interior that seems rather cheap and dull, but it has a long-standing reputation for reliability and durability.

The new Ford Focus is perhaps the most attractive alternative; it was thoroughly refreshed in design, inside and out, this year and offers a great ride along with standout features such as the SYNC communications and entertainment interface.

2008 Kia Spectra 4-door Sedan Auto EX Open Doors2008 Kia Spectra
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2009 Toyota Corolla 2009 Toyota Corolla
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2008 Ford Focus 4-door Sedan SE Angular Rear Exterior View2008 Ford Focus
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2008 Hyundai Elantra GLS2008 Hyundai Elantra
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2008 Mazda MAZDA3 s Sport *Ltd Avail*2008 Mazda MAZDA3
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Quick Specs
The 2008 Kia Spectra is still a lot of car for the money, but with it’s a bit outclassed by a host of more refined and updated small-car models.
The 2009 Toyota Corolla has a split personality: the utilitarian base car and the slightly edgy, expensive Corolla XRS.
The 2008 Ford Focus isn’t all new, but it is an improvement, and a solid choice if you’re looking for a roomy car that handles well with a base price that starts around $15,000.
The 2008 Hyundai Elantra doesn’t have a lot of personality, but it’s the undeniable practical choice.
The 2008 Mazda 3 is easily one of the best compact cars for sale in the United States.
MSRP From    
Gas Mileage    
23 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy24 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy24 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy
Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4
EPA Class    
Style Name    
4-Door Sedan Manual LX4-Door Sedan Manual (SE)2-Door Coupe S4-Door Sedan Manual GLS4-Door Sedan Manual i Sport *Ltd Avail*
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
Passenger Doors    
Body Style    
4dr Sdn4 Door Sedan2 Door Coupe4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan
Manual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2008 Kia Spectra vs. 2009 Toyota Corolla2008 Kia Spectra vs. 2008 Ford Focus2008 Kia Spectra vs. 2008 Hyundai Elantra2008 Kia Spectra vs. 2008 Mazda MAZDA3