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Kia Spectra (FB Spectra)

FB Spectra

Make: Kia

Model: Spectra

Released: Jan 1970

Discontinued: Jun 2004

Kia logo1 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But despite having a competitive price and extra-large luggage area compared to other sub-$20K rivals, the Spectra’s outdated dynamics and ongoing refinement issues relegated it to a small-car has-been.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.

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