NEW FOR 2009:

– Windshield sunshade band deleted
– Headlamps changed from clear to black bezel; heater control changed from multi-mode to four-stage mode
– Standard Bluetooth hands-free connectivity
– Exterior colours: Santorini Blue, Light Graphite and Clear White added; Sport Blue and Ice Blue discontinued

For 2009, the Kia Spectra and Spectra5 are unchanged, save for minor trim differences.

All models use a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, sourced from Hyundai, that is mated to a five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic, except on the LX Premium sedan, which is an automatic only.

The Spectra is a four-door sedan, while the Spectra5 is a four-door hatchback. Trim levels on the Spectra are the LX, LX Convenience and Premium; the Spectra5 comes as the LX, LX Convenience and SX.

Features on the Spectra LX include 15-inch steel wheels, CD/MP3/WMA stereo with auxiliary input and USB port, Bluetooth connectivity, manual remote mirrors, tilt wheel, front and rear mud guards, variable intermittent wipers, floor mats, cloth seats, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, and dual vanity mirrors.

The LX convenience adds air conditioning, cruise control, power locks with keyless entry, heated power mirrors, and power windows with driver’s side auto-down.

The LX Premium adds four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, fog lamps, and power sunroof.

Features on the Spectra5 LX and LX Convenience are similar to the Spectra sedan, but with the addition of a rear washer/wiper.

The SX adds 16-inch alloy wheels, two tweeter speakers, stainless steel exhaust tip, fog lamps, power sunroof, metal pedals, metal interior accents, passenger seatback pocket, leather-wrapped wheel, sport-tuned suspension, strut tower bar, and four-wheel disc brakes with ABS.

The Spectra remains an attractively-priced and sporty-styled vehicle, especially in its hatchback version. Oddly, following a redesign for 2007, the Spectra5 shed four of its six airbags, and now only has the mandatory steering wheel and passenger front bag; at a time when safety sells, it’s hard to comprehend a manufacturer going backwards on such items. It would be nice if anti-lock brakes were standard or even available across all the trim lines, also.

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