Sporty ride. Smooth engine and transmission. Good steering feel. Roomy
cabin. Great exterior design.
Low amount of cargo room. Lower quality of parts than Mazda 3.
recently been making big news offering some of the most trouble free cars in
the world, and offering cars with substantial design and versatility all for
the budget pocket book. The all new Spectra5 aims to please young buyers
with aggressive looks, aftermarket style body cladding, and a firm and
Spectra5 was designed to be the sportiest Kia ever," said Peter M
Butterfield, president and chief executive officer, Kia Motors America. "As
our brand continues to grow it was imperative to develop the Spectra5 not
just as a complement to the four-door sedan, but rather a fun, exciting
vehicle that stands out from the crowd and meets the needs of our young,
active target audience."
exterior a very aggressive front spoiler with fog lights sets the pace for
this sporty vehicle. Muscular arches surround each fender complimenting its
wide and aggressive stance. Fog lights are built into the front bumper
nicely. Lower body aerodynamic parts are added to give this car a tuner
appeal, even a rear spoiler is standard. Larger than normal 16-inch wheels
are added with a small wheel gap. Even the tail light and headlamps are
styled very nicely, offering a circular jewel appearance at the rear end and
four large powerful beams up front.
The new Kia Spectra5 also offers an engine
tuned to be sporty. Continuously variable vale timing and multi-port fuel
injection are incorporated into the 2.0 liter DOHC four cylinder engine,
producing 138 horsepower and 135 lbs-ft. of torque. This puts it ahead of
the Toyota Matrix and Ford Focus ZX5. The Mazda 3 however still beats this
Kia on a straightway. A five speed manual is standard with the automatic
being optional. Our tester's manual shifted nicely with good feeling and an
easy to handle clutch pedal. The engine revs quickly and freely, taking you
to highways speeds before you know it. Everything feels smooth and quick,
from the shifter, to the clutch to the transmission and engine.
new is a sport tuned four-wheel independent suspension, which gives the Kia
Spectra5 all it needs to compete in this segment. A strut tower bar
provides torsional rigidity with low amounts of body lean. Front and rear
stabilizer bars are standard on all Spectra models, a rarity in the compact
car segment. The precise rack and pinion steering system is also equipped
with engine speed sensitive power assist.
We also had a chance to drive the Spectra5
in ice and snow covered roads. The front wheel drive did provide good
steering ability. The tires however always spun out of control as there is
no traction control system. The ABS system provides a stuttering of the
pedal and we could still turn the vehicle while stomping the brakes in ice
and snow. Overall it is ok but not confidence inspiring in snow and ice.
features were thoughtful and plentiful in this Kia. Dual heated outside
power rearview mirrors are a great feature. Headlights turn off by
themselves. The optional moonroof is quiet and really opens up the interior
during the daytime. The stereo offers six speakers and door mounted
tweeters, providing adequate sound that is good enough to keep. Doors offer
large map pockets as well as room for a bottle. A small tray on the left of
the steering wheel is a great place for your cell phone. The steering wheel
is also height adjustable for better fit. Map lights with a sunglass holder
as well as dual vanity mirrors are all standard. Garment hooks and a coin
tray, a digital clock, front and rear cup holders all signify a well thought
Spectra5's seats are covered with fuzzy feeling cloth trim. We thought it
felt quite cheap and tacky. We much prefer the seat covering in a Mazda 3.
The many different types of materials used on the door paneling was a nice
touch. The armrest up front also was padded with dual storage compartments
inside. We also liked the gas pedals covered in metal and rubber trim for a
sporty feeling. Even the steering wheel and shift knob were wrapped in
perforated leather, a feature that totally changes the feeling behind the
wheel, and something that many American automakers leave out.
overall design of the interior is not as flowing and modern as the Mazda3
and does look a bit cheap with large buttons and silver colored plastic trim
in the center dash. We want to see a more futuristic flowing design in all
cars we test. We also would like leatherette standard instead of the felt
like cloth seats.
roominess is another strong point for the Spectra5. The Spectra5 features
best in class passenger room at 98.1 cubic feet. This puts it ahead of the
Mazda3, Ford Focus ZX5, and Toyota Matrix. Cargo capacity is also larger
than previous Spectra series at 18.3 cubic feet. In real world conditions
the trunk is just big enough for small grocery trips and a golf bag. We did
not like the hard cover for the trunk area which also puts a limit on how
much you can fit back there as it cannot tilt up and allow the trunk to
close. The rear seat can be folded down for a larger space however.
Spectra5 pulls ahead of the back with its standard list of safety features.
Dual advanced front and side airbags are standard. Dual front and rear side
curtain airbags are standard as well. Seatbelts have height adjustments as
well as pretensioners with force limiters. An optional four sensor, four
channel anti-lock brake system is a must have feature we feel should also be
standard. Other competitors do not offer standard side airbags or curtain
airbags for the base price. Only the Mazda 3i would come out to the same
MSRP if these airbags were added as a option, where it is actually
available. Kia however a longer basic warranty of 5 years or 60,000 miles,
comparable to Hyundai but not Mazda or Toyota. A 10 year or 100,000 mile
limited powertrain warranty is also quite amazing.
surprisingly low price of $15,000, the Spectra5 gives the customer a lot for
the money. Add a few options such as Antilock Brakes, cruise control and
sunroof, and our test model came out to a sticker price of $16,885. Highway
gas mileage is also great at 33 miles per gallon making this a great
commuter vehicle. With incentives currently on Kia models this should make
this Spectra5 a spectacular bargain worthy of a test drive. Kia's web site
is also great, we highly urge you to take a look there.