New 2008 Kia Spectra....Owners..So what do you think?

chris4747chris4747 Member Posts: 2
edited May 2014 in Kia
Hey All, I just purchased a brand new 08 Kia Spectra Sedan. I have had it for almost 2 weeks, and I have to say....I freaking love it!!! lol I just wanted to see what people are saying after buying an 08 model. Fill me in, I want to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly! So dont be shy! Thanks guys/girls,
Chris :)

Safe driving to all, and to all a smooth ride!


  • chris4747chris4747 Member Posts: 2
    Please feel free to show me pics of your 08 Kia Spectra's! I am going to post some of my new ride on here soon. I like to see the Differant types, and the cool stuff people do to their cars to personalize them. Thanks Ya'll :)
  • sam96sam96 Member Posts: 3
    Hey Chris:

    i bought a Kia Spectra LX with Automatic Transmission on 3.31.08. I had never bought a new car before... so I had nothing to compare the experience with... will I buy a brand new car ever again? i don't know... but the experience for the uninitiated was very... very... very... draining.

    i have now had about 4 months to evaluate this car.

    outside of OTD cost, my #1 concern was the Spectra's fuel economy. Since I have mainly used this car for in town driving in Austin, I have been getting about 29MPG in town. Not bad... but without ever having really taken the Spectra on the HWY for an extended period, you never know what the car is capable of.

    I played a gig in Houston Texas this past weekend, and filled up in Austin, then drove to Houston, while there in Houston, I did some driving, and then Drove back to Austin... All on one tank of gas. Trip Milage read 425, and when I returned home I refilled & my receipt says i purchased 11.4 gallons....the results speak for themselves. I am VERY pleased with this cars fuel economy. and I mean it.

    I feel the car handles well. It is not a 35K car/truck/SUV it's an economy sedan. and it handles well for what it is. a smooth ride. Steering is firm, and precise.

    I had not heard much about kias when I found this car, and after i did buy it, i read online how Kias were awful... the Kia/Hundai line is not as great as so and so... those comments should be ignored. Anyone considering a car by ANY maker should speak with current & responsible owners of said vehicles in question.

    But from a Kia owner, I am very pleased so far. And in these times with fuel costing so much, us folks with out little Kias are the new Hot Cakes! If anyone else is looking for a peppy little car, consider this model when you're out shopping.

    be well! :shades:
  • lamronh49lamronh49 Member Posts: 86
    We bought our 2007 Spectra EX on 31 March this year.
    I test drove it along with Hyundai Elantras and a Suzuki SX4 sedan. I later drove a new Honda Civic hybrid.
    Price point at around 12 grand was the feature that won out over the other two. Given equal prices and features, I'm not sure which one I'd have chosen. Of the three, the Spectra was sort of the baby bear regarding handling and road comfort. The Suzuki was a little tighter and harsher, the Elantra seemed a little softer. The Spectra and Elantra (they use the same 2 liter engine) seemed to have more mid range torque than the Suzuki. The Honda had loads of torque, but it had a CVT trannie which skews things a bit. Honda also rode like a buckboard for some reason, I can't imagine why people would want something that harsh.
    At any rate, after five months and 2500 miles (hey, I don't get out much) my favorite characteristic of this Spectra is the easy, effortless, natural way it drives. The engine is smooth and quiet--and torquey, given its size--and the transmission mates well with it. It will short shift on light throttle, or run up to redline at about 38 and 75 mph for the 1-2 and 2-3 shifts, which get you into traffic easily.
    I have always gone for ABS on my cars, but these 4 wheel discs are light and easy to modulate and I'm OK without ABS.
    I try to keep my preactions in tune with conditions, and hope I don't regret the decision.
    The biggest negative is the grey-on-grey speedomenter/odometer, which are hard to see in some conditions.
    My MPGs have varied from a high of 36.6 to a low of 21.9. The two lowest MPG numbers were running E10, which apparently this car does not like. Other tanks were 31.0, 31.9, 30.7, 26.2, 29.6, and 33.4 on the last tank.
    This car is a great pleasure to drive. It's intuitive and effortless.
    I recently happened onto the Car and Driver writeups of the EX and 5SX (July and September 2004), and one sentence which caught my eye was, "On the highway, the cabin is a place of Lexus-like serenity."
    This car is a great highway traveler, it's quiet, firm, and at ease at 80 MPH, and I wouldn't hesitate to run across Montana at 80 to 90 all day long.
    Providing peace officers did not interfere.
    I've seen complaints of a buzzy or noisy engine, but mine is quiet and smooth. The stick models do have lower gearing (more RPMs in top gear), but I can't believe the isolation is so different.
    One thing I will change is the tires. The Goodyear Eagle LS are fine on dry or wet roads, but slick in snow.
    I've ordered a set of Dunlop SP60s and will report on them after a couple of thousand miles.
    Or after the first snow.
    But on another car, the SP60s were dauntless in severe winter weather.
    Overall, a great buy.
    It reminds me of my 90s Proteges and my 1991 Camry 2.0. Like Mazda used to say, a Great Little Car = GLC.
  • ikillbugsikillbugs Member Posts: 4
    Hey there, Chris!

    I recently bought a slightly used (13k miles) 2008 Kia Spectra EX. Loaded (power windows, locks, keyless entry). The only thing it lacks is ABS, automatic lights... and a sunroof :shades:

    I have to tell you I am so impressed with this car... the fit, the ride... it's also a pretty nice looking car.

    This post is more or less to collaborate your summary. Time will tell as far as longevity but I take care of my cars and don't race them. I do drive a bit aggressively (but not like an idiot).


    I have only put about 1,200 miles on it so far but in-town driving with the A/C running: 28 mpg. Last weekend I took a drive from Dallas to Oklahoma City (420 miles round trip). I had 3/4 tank when I left for OKC and filled up before heading back. I got back to Dallas with 1/2 tank and drove most of the week before filling up. Filled up yesterday and the results were 29 mpg combination city/highway. (The trip to and from OKC was 75 - 80 mph with the AC on)

    ADDITIONAL NOTE: Here in the DFW area we are forced to use E-10 gasoline (10% ethenol), which reduces gas mileage by about 10%.

    I am also impressed with the smooth highway ride. up to 75 mph it's smooth and silky.. it does start to get a slight vibration at 80mph+ but that's my limit anyway... even around Dallas on these freeways it's nothing to do 80 mph but typically 70 mph +/- is the norm (not counting rush hour... in which case it's 10 mph :mad: )

    The biggest complaint actually is the stereo. Next payday I am going to replace the stock CD player with a low-end Pioneer. I am in no ways an audiophile but even at max volume (not distorted believe it or not!) it doesn't come close to what I consider "good listening". I listen to AM talk radio a lot but I do like my AC/DC and Def Leppard... LOUD. The stock stereo/CD doesn't cut it. If the speakers can't cut the new head unit then new speakers are going in. We'll see how it goes.

    I would recommend this car to anyone looking for a decent ride under $14,000.
    Below is photo of my Kia (btw, I took it in for window tint the day after I bought it)

  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Alamogordo, NMMember Posts: 7,677
    well, if the stereo is your only real complaint, that's a pretty good overall review for your 2008 Kia Spectra EX. I have owned two Kia's, a 1999 Kia Sephia and a 2001 Kia Sportage 4X4. Both were fantastic vehicles, so, I am an active proponent for the Kia automaking brand.

    Nice picture of your Spectra, too, it looks good in white!

    BTW, Kia is making a replacement for the Spectra that is called the Forte(in South Korea, anyway). Whether the new model will be called Spectra or Forte here in the U.S., I don't know. I do know the new model is a knockout design. It is designed by Kia's new body design Chief, Peter Schreyer. He is formerly Audi's Chief Body Designer. He designed the Audi TT.

    Things are looking upwards for Kia Motors of South Korea. Stay tuned!! :shades:

    2021 Kia Soul LX 6-speed stick

  • qcspectraqcspectra Member Posts: 1
    7,000 miles on my new '08 Spectra EX w/manual transmission. Absolutely loving it. Daily driving is 65% city / 35% highway. Averaging 32 mpg, with a high of 35 and a low of 26, well over the EPA 23/30. Great shifter. High-quality interior. Roomy front and back seats. Quite ride. Responsive steering and brakes. Great dealer experience (Courtesy Kia in Moline, IL) at purchase (Allen Rutledge rocks) and subsequently from the service dept.

    Cross-shopped the '08 Civic, Mazda3, Corolla, Elantra and Cobalt. The Cobalt was a joke. As far as the other 4, I found the Spectra to be more comfortable, more roomy, quieter, had more features, a better warranty, and a better price.

    My only concern is eventual resale value and the horror stories I've read about Kia not standing behind the too-good-to-be-true warranty. We bought an '07 Sedona EX new and this '08 Spectra EX. Dealer has been fantastic with any warranty issues.
  • billddrummerbillddrummer Member Posts: 2
    I bought a 2008 Kia Spectra in March 2008, and already have over 16,000 miles on it. Multiple commute destinations and drivers make it a 600 mile/week vehicle.

    I love the car, even though I don't get a chance to drive it much (share with 2 other drivers). Lumbar support is great for long trips, and mileage is exceptional. Mixed driving is consistently 30+ mpg, even with three lead footed drivers, and highway mileage is in the high 30s.

    Pickup for merging is good, especially if you hold it in gear while accelerating. It's not all that great when fully loaded (slow pickup with 3-4 adults riding).

    Overall, a cool commuter vehicle with great safety features. (Side curtain airbags, rollover protection and a stiffer bulkhead to protect against rear impact are excellent, and at this price point, I consider them bonuses.)
  • mityhidmityhid Member Posts: 9
    I don't have an 08 but I did buy an 06 brand new two years ago and have had minimal problems with it. A wheel bearing and some issues with the a/c. Fixed under warranty with no issues with them paying for.
    Have 27000 miles on it and the only dissappointment I have is the mileage is good but not what I expected(could be the manual transmission and the fact that I have to use E10 here). And the stock Goodyear Eagle LS's are junk imo. Had to be replaced already so I put snowtires on. Will be buying different rims and summer tires for the warmer months.
    Definitely give this car an A
  • billddrummerbillddrummer Member Posts: 2
    Glad you've had positive experiences with the dealer on the minor issues needing attention. And as far as the tires go, I've noticed that they're notorious for losing air, especially if you're in a region that has wide temperature swings. Here in Reno the temperatures can range from 20 degrees to 70 in a 24 hour period. I think that's why tires wear so quickly here.

    I've been checking mine every day, and typically have to add air all around. Take a look at that when you replace yours.
  • mityhidmityhid Member Posts: 9
    I kept an eye on the pressure, was usually within a couple pounds. So no problem with that. Did rotate every 10k, wore evenly just didn't last like I expected.
  • johnscjohnsc Member Posts: 14
    I was disappointed with my 2008 Spec5. The service department where I bought it (Kia Country in Charleston SC) was horrible. I took it in to have them repair a seat belt that wouldn't retract and the door on the gas cap that wouldn't open and they said I must have broken them. After three times there for the gas door they told me it was a poor design and just put some oil on it again. They were very abrupt and rude, after I bought a new car from them. The passenger door also wouldn't always close. I also smelt something burning. So, I had lost confidence in the service department to repair anything (not a lot of options on where to get a Kia fixed) and decided to trade it in for a 09 Honda CRV that gets better gas mileage. I tried to save a few thousand with Kia and lost. I think the risk of getting a lemon with a Kia is very high. And with the poor mpg, horrible handling, horrible little wheels, horrible suspension, 4 speed transmission, there was no reason to hang onto it. It had a good engine and if not for the awful service department where I bought I probably would have kept it and really gotten burned when something serous broke. Kia is too much of a risk. I'll never buy one again.
  • marley0730marley0730 Member Posts: 2
    Hi ikillbugs,

    Say, what's the level of tint on your rear windows?

    It looks great btw. I google 2009 Kia Spectra window tint and yours is the first picture to pop up on google images. You mentioned this car is a 2008. Well, it doesn't look an awful different from the last edition of the Spectra--at least from the side.

    Anyhow, I'm guessing 5% rear? Also, what kind of film did you have them use?

    Here's mine: image
  • ikillbugsikillbugs Member Posts: 4
    Hi Marley,
    Thanks for the compliment. Just so you know, the Kia Spectra is identical from 2007 - 2009, virtually the same car with a different model year stamped on it. Now the Forte is replacing the Spectra for 2010 (I WANT A FORTE!).
    Anyway, I think the brand of tint is SolarGard. I had it done at a local shop for about $150. The tint is 35% on the doors and 20% in the back. You should check with your local laws regarding the maximum allowed in your state. If you have a professional shop do the work they will let you know. Good Luck.. and post some pictures when you get it done!
  • mityhidmityhid Member Posts: 9
    How do u post the pics on here? I put different rims, and tint on my Spectra
  • ikillbugsikillbugs Member Posts: 4
    You post (just as you did) and there is an image button at the bottom. You will need to post the photos on a website first t hen link to the photo. Unfortunately, Marley's photo was not properly resized and it extended the post beyond a readable area. I will send a note to Marley to resize and replace that photo. 640x480 should be maximum.

    Here's my Spectra at just over 19k milesimageimage
  • mityhidmityhid Member Posts: 9
    I know this is kinda small, but when I originally uploaded the pic, it was wayyyyy too big. I'll try and resize it properly later today.

  • mityhidmityhid Member Posts: 9
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