2009 Kia Spectra Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2009 Kia Spectra was new.


Interior: 7.8

Ever since its redesign in 2005, there have been reports that the Kia Spectra offers a spacious cabin with a reasonable amount of quality features for its size and price. But there continue to be issues with the seats' bolstering.

  • "Nicely designed, and using materials as good as one would reasonably expect in this price range, the Kia Spectra is a decent price to spend a commute." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The 2009 Kia Spectra offers a simple cabin layout with easy-to-use (and reach) controls and good build and materials quality. The seats are comfortable, and the storage cubbies and cupholders are generous in size." -- Edmunds
  • "Cabin materials and finish exceed most in this price range." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Fit and finish is well above average, and interior materials are impressive for this price class." -- Car and Driver
  • "Generous dimensions (although we'd like more supportive seats)." -- Automobile Magazine

Front Seats

Experts say one of the tell-tale signs the Spectra is a budget car is its spacious -- but sparsely cushioned -- front-row seating.

  • "Despite a tilt steering wheel and level-action seat-height adjuster, few of our testers were able to find an ideal driving position. The seats are subpar for contour and comfort. Long-legged drivers will likely want more rearward seat travel." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The Spectra still shows a hint or two of its economy-car origins; front seats are a little downmarket." -- Orlando Sentinel
  • "The seat bottoms are short, and cushioning feels adequate but not abundant." -- Cars.com
  • According to the Post, front seats were by no means "shoddy, cheap or poorly made," but "at least three of us in the Spectra SX agreed that its seats could have had more cushion." -- Washington Post

Rear Seats

The rear seats in the Spectra, while generally comfortable, are really only appropriate for two people.

  • "Most would find the rear-seat accommodations acceptable for even a longer road trip." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The quiet, nicely designed interior provides impressive room for four adults. Five fit in a pinch, but the firm center of the back seat is only comfortable for short trips." -- MSN
  • "One problem with the Spectra's rear seat is the proximity of the rear wheel well to the door opening; inattention when climbing out can leave traces of road dust and dirt on slacks or skirt." -- New Car Test Drive

Interior Features

Like many small cars, the Spectra is a stripper in its base trim. But reviewers generally highlight the car's acceptable quality, and applaud the amount the number of features for the mid-level EX and sporty SX.

  • "The gauges are easily read and the controls are easily reached." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Inside, nice textures on the instrument panel and pleasant materials throughout the interior make the Spectra feel more expensive than its price would suggest." -- Kansas City Star
  • "The interior -- pleasing in its simple presentation and positioning of instrument panel dials and gauges -- is a work of overall boredom." -- Washington Post
  • "Aesthetically, the only blemish is an AM/FM/CD player that isn't physically or stylistically well-integrated into the otherwise cohesive interior." -- Kelley Blue Book


With seats in place, the Spectra's cargo volume is 12.2 cubic feet. But Kia makes good use of the car's limited space by offering numerous cabin stowage slots, and by providing a wide opening trunk.

  • The MSN reviewer says the "trunk is large, with a low, wide opening, and rear seatbacks in the sedan flip forward and sit flat to enlarge the cargo area." -- MSN
  • "Good cabin storage with various slots, bins, and cubbies." -- Consumer Guide

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