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2004 Kia Spectra Trims

Base

8 national listings
Avg. Price: $4,088

There are two versions of the 2004 Kia Spectra, as a mid-year 2004.5 replacement supersedes the regular 2004 offering. The 2004 Kia Spectra Base is the older incarnation of the economy front-wheel drive compact sedan, featuring a 1.8-liter, 124-hp DOHC I4 that comes standard with a 5-speed manual or an optional 4-speed automatic. Fuel economy hits around 22/32 mpg. The base model is not equipped with power features, but does have a CD player, intermittent wipers, a rear defrost, and various storage consoles. Air conditioning is optional on the 2004 Spectra Base.

Trunk space is around 10 cubic feet, and the dual front airbags help earn 4-star front impact crash ratings. Side impact ratings are average. There are few options available on this most affordable compact. Affordability and great fuel economy are the biggest selling points of the 2004 Spectra Base, but drivers complain of wind and engine noise and labored pickup.

EX

Avg. Price: $5,390

Replacing the LS sedan is the 2004 Kia Spectra EX, released mid-year and often known as the 2004.5 Kia Spectra. The front-wheel drive economy sedan delivers more power in the form of a 2.0-liter, 138-hp DOHC I4. A 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic remain the transmission choices. Segment-leading six airbags include the new rear side impact bags, and the 2004 Spectra EX also comes with 15-inch wheels. Upgrades from the base LX include foglights, remote entry, full power features, and heated mirrors. A CD player is also standard, along with intermittent wipers, a tachometer, lighted entry, and rear defrost.

Rear legroom has increased by an inch and the trunk gains two more cubic feet of space, for a total of 12.2. Available options on the 2004 Spectra EX include cruise control, a sunroof, alloy wheels, 4-wheel ABS brakes, and a rear spoiler. Fuel economy is attractively rated at 24/32 mpg, and the low initial price tag makes the 2004 Spectra EX a good value buy for first-time owners or city commuters. Good handling, tight cornering, and adequate power make the 2004 Spectra EX a fun drive, according to owners, who also like the exterior looks. Although they live the improvements, drivers say it could use even more legroom and horsepower.

GS

9 national listings
Avg. Price: $4,480

The 2004 Kia Spectra comes in a hatchback as well as a sedan, and the 2004 Spectra GS is the base model version of the 5-door hatch. The cargo space holds up to 11.6 cubic feet and rear seats split-fold for extra room. The 2004 Spectra GS carries a 124-hp, 1.8-liter I4 under its hood, with a 5-speed manual transmission or optional 4-speed automatic. It is similar to the LS sedan in terms of features, coming standard with air conditioning, a tachometer, intermittent wipers, lighted entry, a CD player, and dual front airbags. Power windows, locks, and mirrors are not standard.

Leather trim, a CD changer, and cruise control are some of the limited options available on the 2004 Spectra GS hatchback. The affordability of the Spectra is what attracts owners, and its 22/32 mpg makes it a good commuter, while its compact size improves city maneuverability. Better materials and more power are on the wish list for many drivers. They get their wish with the release of a mid-year 2004.5 Spectra model.

GSX

7 national listings
Avg. Price: $4,071

The higher-end trim for the 2004 Kia Spectra hatchback is the GSX, and it adds sportier appearance features and power accessories to the standard equipment. Along power windows, locks, and heated mirrors, the 2004 Kia Spectra GSX offers foglights, a rear spoiler, and 14-inch alloy wheels. On the inside, you get leather trim for the steering wheel and shifter, along with the tachometer, tilt steering wheel, intermittent wipers, CD player, and lighted entry available in the base hatchback.

The 2004 Spectra GSX features a 1.8-liter, 124-hp DOHC I4 and standard 5-speed manual, with the option of a 4-speed automatic. ABS brakes are extra, but the dual front airbags show why the front-wheel drive economy hatchback gets four-star frontal impact crash ratings. The hatch holds a respectable 11.6 cubic feet of space, compared to the 10.4 in the sedan. The 2004 Spectra GSX is about affordability, and owners love the high fuel economy and long list of standard features usually not available in a budget compact. The main gripe is a desire for more horsepower and better acceleration.

LS

11 national listings
Avg. Price: $4,487

The early 2004 Kia Spectra LS is a holdover from 2003, a front-wheel drive economy sedan that seats four and features a 10.4 cubic foot trunk with split-folding rear seats. The LS is powered by a 1.8-liter, 124-hp DOHC I4 and standard 5-speed manual. A 4-speed auto tran is optional. It sits on 14-inch wheels and gets around 22/32 mpg, making it a cheap buy for a first-time commuter car. The 2004 Spectra LS will be replaced midyear by the EX.

Standard equipment upgrades the base model by adding air conditioning, full power features, foglights and lighted entry to the already existing intermittent wipers, CD player, and rear defrost. A tachometer is also added to the dash display. Dual front airbags are standard, but ABS brakes cost extra on the 2004 Spectra LS (and are not offered on the base model). A CD changer and leather trim are some other options. Owners say the LS is roomy and comfortable, and they like the styling and standard features for such a low price. Sluggish acceleration and some poor quality materials represent the downsides of the 2004 Kia Spectra LS.

LX

26 national listings
Avg. Price: $5,164

A redesigned Spectra is released mid-year as a 2004.5 model, and the 2004 Kia Spectra LX is the base version, replacing the previous base incarnation of the front-wheel drive economy sedan. The new 2004 Spectra LX has a more powerful 138-hp, 2.0-liter DOHC I4 engine, still with a choice of 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic. Larger 15-inch wheels replace the old 14-inch, and the Spectra LX uniquely offers rear side impact bags, bringing the airbag total to six. Headroom and rear legroom have increased by an inch and the trunk now holds 12 cubic feet, up from 10.4 in the old 2004 model.

Standard equipment remains basically the same, with the 2004 Spectra LX offering air conditioning, intermittent wipers, a CD player, tachometer, rear defrost, lighted entry, and various storage consoles. Rear seats still split-fold flat. Power features are not available, but a sporty rear spoiler can be added. Drivers like the upgraded engine power, improved styling, and the increased interior room for passengers and cargo. Though the price can't be beat, they wish it had more standard features.