The 2006 Kia Spectra compact sedan in red parked near a red tile wall
2006 Kia Spectra | Kia America

The Kia Spectra was a compact sedan and hatchback model produced and sold by Kia Motors. The Spectra replaced the Kia Capital (also called the Kia Concord) and was succeeded by the Kia Cerato, which later transformed into the modern-day Forte.

The tale of the Kia Spectra started with the Kia Sephia model, produced from 1992 to 2003. In the middle of the Sephia’s second generation, the Sephia nameplate was dropped in certain markets and was replaced by the Spectra. Later, the Sephia was discontinued and succeeded by the Kia Cerato, which continued to be branded in certain markets as the Kia Spectra. However, starting with the second generation of the Kia Cerato in 2008, the Spectra nameplate was dropped and replaced with the Kia Forte name that American drivers know today.

Past and present competitors of the Kia Spectra, now the Kia Forte, include the Ford Focus, the Hyundai Accent and Elantra, the Mazda3, the Toyota Corolla, and the Volkswagen Jetta.

About Kia


  • 2009 Kia Spectra (Starting MSRP $13,550)
  • Pros: The Kia Spectra compact sedan offers a lot of value with a nicely appointed interior, a roomy and comfortable cabin, and a great warranty at a low price.
  • Cons: The Spectra’s performance is mediocre, its engine is noisy, and the model’s safety scores are pretty poor.
  • See Also: Forte and Optima and K5

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