1 May 2001
By CHRIS HARRIS
This time there was more than just a name and specification change.
The Spectra brought a new headlight and front bumper treatment for a sharper front-end appearance, suspension work aimed at improving ride and refinement, and an overhauled four-speed automatic gearbox – although it was the five-speed manual that needed refining more.
A driver’s airbag, seatbelt pretensioners and immobiliser were added, along with niceties like standard powered mirrors and windows and a host of minor trim upgrades.
But despite having a competitive price and extra-large luggage area compared to other sub-$20K rivals, the Spectra’s outdated dynamics and ongoing refinement issues relegated it to a small-car has-been.
Kia Motors replaced it with the LD Cerato in mid-2004, although the latter model keeps the Spectra name in North American markets.