The Kia Spectra is a compact economy car ideal for drivers seeking fuel efficiency. Available in either a hatchback or sedan model, the Spectra is a no-frills vehicle designed to get its occupants from point A to point B reliably rather than in style. Either model can seat four comfortably, but five can squeeze into the hatchback model if necessary. Adequate trunk space makes the Spectra capable of accomplishing errands around town.
The base engine on the Spectra is a 2.0-liter, 138 horsepower machine built for economy. Often considered underpowered, the engine is actually adequate for a car that is as small and light as the Spectra. These front wheel drive cars are equipped with 14 gallon gas tanks. On average, drivers can expect to get 23 miles per gallon in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. Most models come with an impressive array of safety features for such an economical car; front air bags, side curtain air bags and side-impact air bags are standard features on every Spectra. This South Korean-designed and built car derives some pleasing handling abilities from its fully independent strut front suspension.
The Kia Spectra had a less than impressive American debut in the early 21st century. The car was regarded as a cheaply-manufactured and shoddily-designed automobile that failed to impress American drivers. It was also considered vastly underpowered, even though its fuel economy ratings were solid. The second generation Spectra was introduced midway through 2004 and production on these models lasted through 2009. Critics and drivers seemed to agree that the newer generation of Kias had made huge improvements since the first Spectras arrived in the U.S. The engine seemed more powerful, particularly for city driving, though it still left a bit to be desired in highway performance.
The Kia Spectra boasts a long list of standard equipment and comes in three trim levels: LX, EX and SX. The LX was a no-frills model, while the EX boasted the welcome addition of air conditioning, as well as a CD player, keyless entry and power accessories. As the top-of-the-line trim package, the SX included better-quality interior and exterior trim, along with bigger tires and wheels. The EX and SX trim packages also offered nice touches such as four-wheel disc brakes and anti-lock braking systems that can help Spectra owners save a little money on car insurance. The Spectra is an excellent example of a car company listening to its critics and then producing a second generation automobile that is a significant improvement over the original, allowing the newer production model to assume a place as a solid consumer choice.
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