2008 Kia Spectra5


2008 Kia Spectra5 Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2008 Kia Spectra5 was new.


Interior: 7.2

Kia didn't skimp on space, quality or features inside the Spectra5, but its interior still ranks among the bottom of a competitive wagon class. Nonetheless Edmunds reports "the pleasing tactile nature of the buttons and switches belies the car's $16,000 base price." About.com says, "The interior roominess is truly amazing … while the tall car stance is a boon to anyone for whom ducking and bending can be a serious challenge."


The 2008 Spectra5 has comfortable seating and accommodating headroom. Mother Proof's reviewer writes, "my tall, long-legged husband doesn't look like a sardine packed in its tin; he actually fits and is happy his shaved head doesn't rub against the top of the car." When speaking of the seating, Edmunds notes the "Spectra5 has received universal praise for its well-shaped and supportive front seats, even from the road trippers."

However there are differences of opinion with the driver's seat. Road & Travel Magazine writes that "sitting erect with hips elevated not only feels more comfortable than a slouched stance in the typical car seat but also sets the head in a commanding position so a driver can see more clearly outside the vehicle," but Autoweb finds "front seat comfort decreases in direct proportion to the driver's height and weight. Taller people…are forced to either sit splay-legged behind the steering wheel or close enough to the floor to roll like Snoop Dogg, despite the standard driver's seat height adjuster."

Autoweb later says, "Don't call 'shotgun!' because the tall, firm, supportive, split-folding rear bench seats is the better spot to ride." Kelley Blue Book notes rear passengers "are treated to legroom in line with the car's impressive headroom" and Road and Track judges the rear-seating area "an easy fit for 6-footers."

Interior Features

Edmunds notes "for an economy car, the Kia Spectra5 comes with a long list of standard equipment," including a leather-trimmed steering wheel, power doors and windows and dual 12-volt power outlets for the center console. To Road and Track, "the straightforward instruments and dark-upper/light-lower dash treatment are easy on the eyes," and Kelley Blue Book finds they're "placed easily within reach."


The 2008 Spectra5's base AM/FM stereo and CD player has "big knobs and pushbuttons" says Car and Driver, but Autoweb writes "audiophiles be warned: low-voltage radio stations are difficult to find and keep with the Spectra5's stereo head unit and antenna." Edmunds notes that some of its editors also "complained about stereo distortion" from the systems four speakers and two door-mounted tweeters. "The system easily overpowers the speakers. In fact, one of the rear speakers is either loose or blown, as any amount of bass makes the cabin fill with unpleasant reverberations," they conclude.

Drivers also have the option of upgrading the Spectra5's stereo for a six-disc CD player with MP3 capabilities.


With only 18.3 cubic feet, the Spectra5's cargo area is anything but spacious. However, one of the Detroit News' writers finds enough space inside to pack up and move. "I was able to get eight boxes of books, old G.I. Joe toys from the kids and kitchenware in the cargo hold with the rear seats folded," she writes. "I put the miniature schnauzer in the front seat and still had space to go shopping and buy a Tiffany lamp, bedding and groceries and still see out the rear window just enough not to get stopped by the cops."

But the Spectra provides an abundant amount of smaller storage space, including front-door map pockets with bottle holders. Also included are dual cupholders for the front and rear, sunglass holders and garment hooks.

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