A sporty hatchback version of the midsize economy sedan, the 2008 Kia Spectra5 wagon boosts cargo capacity to 18 cubic feet (the sedan holds 12). It receives no changes this year. A 2.0-liter, 138-hp DOHC inline four sits under the hood, matched to a standard 5-speed manual transmission. A 4-speed automatic is available. Six airbags (dual front, side impact, and side curtain) help earn five stars in crash tests, along with 4-wheel disc brakes, 16-inch alloy wheels, foglights, halogen headlamps, and a tire monitor. As with the SX, 4-wheel ABS brakes are optional on the 2008 Spectra5.
The Spectra5 is a bit more fun to drive than the sedan, thanks to a sports-tuned suspension that works in conjunction with stronger shocks and a larger anti-sway bar. Though not a sports car per se, it does provide a bit more responsiveness on curves. Sports effects include a front and rear spoiler, ground effects, aluminum pedals, sport seats, and leather accents. Standard equipment mimics the SX and includes full power features, remote entry, cruise control, intermittent wipers, a CD player and MP3 jack, tilt steering, front and rear cupholders, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, and heated mirrors. The hatchback supposedly seats five, but realistically fits four. A 6-CD player is available, and you can pay extra for a sunroof and remote start option.