The 2000 Kia Spectra makes a great addition to the expanding lineup of Korean car manufacturer, Kia. It boosts the offering of the brand in the compact car segment and eventually takes the place of its sibling, the Kia Sephia.
Prior to its release, studies showed that American consumers did not appreciate three-door hatchbacks or five-door hatchbacks. Still, dealers in the U.S. thought that the four-door Kia Spectra might gain a following after seeing it thrive in South Korea. The new compact vehicle offering builds on the Sephia platform and aims to please younger buyers who want more than a traditional car.
Body Styles: hatchback
Engines: 1.8-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Kia Spectra GS, Kia Spectra GSX
The 2000 Kia Spectra starts as a new model to bolster the manufacturer’s 2000 lineup. It looks similar to the Sephia, although with a more versatile architecture and a sportier look to attract the hip and young consumer base.
The Spectra shows off a very pleasing style. Its front end features a central grille dominated by the red badge of Kia. The grille gets flanked by clear-lens, elliptical headlights with rounded high beams. The bumper integrates well to the profile of the body with its plastic cover hugging the grille while a big gape below serves as a functional opening for the radiator.
The mirrors and the bumpers follow the color of the body. This makes for an upscale version not usually seen on vehicles with a tag price.
The profile of the 2000 Kia Spectra does not upset everyone. Its design uses the same playbook that should please the eyes. From the sides, it avoids boredom with a fine door-handle crease. The B-pillars get blacked out, giving it a stance that looks more similar to a coupe than a traditional sedan.
Checking out the car from behind, the rear hatch remains pretty much invisible. A gap on top and on the sides of the backlight gives it away. This provides only clue about the big trunk.
The Kia Spectra provides an affordable vehicle option. This point remains clear with the build of its interior. The dashboard of the vehicle looks quite generic, as expected from the other budget cars hailing from Asian manufacturers.
The designers have responded well to complaints of owners that the radio controls in their vehicles seem quite hard to manipulate. They do well for the 2000 Kia Spectra, as the buttons now operate without any distraction.
The base Spectra GS comes standard with a tachometer and a cassette stereo. The cloth door panels for both models look commendable as the other less-expensive vehicles use plain plastic for them. The GSX even gets a sport cloth.
The front bucket seats may seem a bit short and do not provide good support for drivers with longer legs. The gearshift knob and the steering wheel get leather treatment. The overall feel of the interior, though, falls below drivers’ expectations for this class.
The back seat provides enough space for three, but it does not feel comfortable for more than a few hours. The seat uses a 60/40 layout, so it folds to give occupants more space for their cargo. The trunk offers a decent 11.6 cubic feet of space for luggage with the seats up.
Performance & Handling
The 2000 Kia Spectra sports a four-cylinder engine with 16 valves that has a crosswise layout in the engine bay. This engine puts out 125 horses at 6000 rpm.
The suspension of the vehicle is quite impressive. The front has MacPherson struts while the back has a multi-link configuration. It also comes standard with anti-roll bars on both ends. The suspension system of the Spectra gets tuned by the word-class team of Lotus Engineering gives it optimal ride quality and handling. Both models of the Spectra come with disc brakes in front and drum brakes for the rear. The GSX model offers an option of an anti-lock braking system.
Drivers cannot expect this Kia to move very fast, but it gives you spunk when you press on the throttle. The handling feels nice even during tight turns. It also stays pretty quiet while cruising on the highway.
The 2000 Kia Spectra comes standard with front airbags and the usual setup of seat belts. It also integrates intrusion beams to protect occupants during side impacts. It includes front and rear crumple zones.
EPA Fuel Economy
Kia Spectra: 20/29 mpg city/highway
- Fuel economy
- Quietness on the highway
You Won't Like
- Interior build
- Lack of performance
You should have paid more if you wanted some vroom vroom.
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