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2006 New Car Model Guide, Model Guide, New Car Reviews, KIA Cars, Trucks, & SUVs


2006 KIA New Car Model GuideKia out of South Korea constructs value-priced vehicles in a diverse line extending from economical small cars like Rio to premium luxury sedans such as Amanti, plus multiple wagons including Sedona the minivan and sport-utility vehicles with Sorento and Sportage. Look for a new generation of designs for Rio and Sedona coming to Kia's 2006 collection.

Kia Amanti
2006 Kia Amanti

Stretching long and looking elegant with sculptured styling drawn from classic luxury touring sedans from Europe, Amanti measures up to large-car status and carries trappings of a premium luxury model. The cabin, in a five-seat layout with cushy front buckets, increases the standard luxury content on 2006 models with soft leather upholstery and heat elements in front buckets, a sunroof and auto-dimming rearview mirror. An optional new Infinity package adds a deluxe audio system with CD changer for six discs plus Infinity speakers including subwoofer.

Under the hood, Amanti totes a dual-cam 3.5-liter V6 that pushes 200 hp. All power moves through a five-speed automatic transaxle with manual shift control (MSC) mode. Kia provides significant safety equipment, including air bags up front, on the side for all outboard seats as well as in the ceiling as curtain-style air bags above side windows.

Kia Sorento
2006 Kia Sorento

Kia's mid-size SUV presents distinctive styling for the package, a comfortable cabin with seats for five and elegant trim elements, plus smooth-riding suspension components with two-wheel-drive (2WD) or four-wheel-drive (4WD) traction and a V6 powertrain. Sorento's cabin holds a front row of twin bucket seats followed by a bench split 60/40 with seats that flip forward and seatbacks that fold down to expand the cargo bay.

Power flows from a 3.5-liter V6 which musters 195 hp and connects to a five-speed manual shifter or five-speed electronically controlled automatic. Both versions are available in trims labeled LX and deluxe EX. New alloy wheels mount on all LX models for 2006, and the EX lists an optional sport package with step bars fixed below side doors, a roof rack, blacked-out headlamps and deluxe audio gear.

Kia Sedona
2006 Kia Sedona

Kia's minivan grows up with 2006 issues constructed on a stiff new platform featuring a longer wheelbase and wider track. The larger platform results in a passenger compartment with 15 percent more space for passengers and cargo. With seats for seven, the cabin of Sedona houses front bucket seats, flip-and-fold second-row seats and a back bench that folds flat into the floor.

Kia laces Sedona with noteworthy standard safety features, including six air bags (frontal and seat-mounted side air bags up front and curtain-style air bags for outboard seats on all three rows), a four-channel anti-lock brake system (ABS) with electronic brake force distribution (EBD), and optional electronic stability program (ESP). A forceful new engine motivates Sedona. The dual-cam 3.8-liter V6 nets more than 240 hp and mates exclusively with a five-speed Sportmatic automatic transmission. Two trims-- LX and EX -- layer extra equipment for convenience.

Kia Optima
2006 Kia Optima

Kia's mid-size sedan looks stylish, puts comfy seats in a spacious cabin and brings two engine choices including a V6 teamed to a select-shift automatic transaxle designed by Germany's Porsche. The five-seat cockpit has a pair of bucket seats up front and a rear bench for three but indentations for two.

All editions contain standard equipment such as air conditioning, a stereo sound kit with six speakers, and power controls for windows, locks and mirrors. Optima LX uses a four-cylinder engine and a four-speed automatic with optional Sportmatic mode for clutch-less shift control. Optima LX V6 and EX V6 bring a 2.7-liter V6 that makes 178 hp through the automatic with Sportmatic shifting. For 2006, Optima carries forward the 2005 issues in anticipation of the next-generation Optima due in the spring of 2006.

Kia Rio5
2005 Kia Rio5

That number attached to the nameplate denotes a tail-side fifth door added for accessing the aft cargo compartment on a hatchback variation of Kia's redesigned Rio sedan. The sporty hatchback edition uses the same engine and equipment as the sedan but gets its own trim designations -- LX and SX. Rio5 LX has a list of standard equipment that's comparable to the Rio LX.

Rio5 SX gets more goods, like 15-inch alloy wheels with 195/55R15 tires, foglamps, a spoiler on the tail of the roof, metal grain trim in the cabin plus metal pedals on the floor and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Styling for the Rio5 exterior package features a raked windshield, pronounced wheel arches and an aggressive prow with sweeping corner headlamps and a grille with black mesh insert.

Kia Rio
2006 Kia Rio

Kia's subcompact four-door sedan emerges in a new design for 2006 with a longer wheelbase, broader track, more safety gear aboard and class-capping power from a new engine. The 1.6-liter four-cylinder CVVT plant produces 110 hp and employs a five-speed manual transmission or optional electronically controlled four-speed automatic. Rio the sedan brings two trims -- base and LX. Either stocks six standard air bags, including dual advanced frontal and front seat-mounted side air bags, and full-length curtain-style air bags above side windows front and back.

Rio LX adds additional standard equipment like air conditioning, audio gear with AM/FM/CD, the rear seatback split 60/40 and foldable, a height-adjustable steering column and power steering. Rio LX with optional power package shows power controls for windows and door locks plus heated outside mirrors, and the LX Sport Package installs alloy wheels, four discs brakes, foglamps and spoiler plus metal pedals.

Kia Spectra5
2006 Kia Spectra5

A five-door hatchback variation of the Spectra sedan mixes spry road manners of a small FWD sports sedan with the cargo capacity of a pint-size SUV and the miserly fuel efficiency of an economy car. So it's partly a sporty car styled like a street-racer hatchback, but also partly a small wagon and thrifty runabout that's practical to use but fun to drive. Spectra5 holds the same engine and running gear as the four-door Spectra, although it gets a strut tower brace in front for improved torsional rigidity, stabilizer bars plus taut tuning of the four-wheel independent suspension. It also looks sharp in upright stance with curvy lines spread across a broad structure and a spoiler pinned high atop the hatchback lid. In the cabin Spectra5 has perforated leather wrapping the steering wheel and shifter knob, metal-finish trim on dash and doors plus shiny metal pedals.

Kia Sportage
2006 Kia Sportage

The small-class SUV by Kia emerged with a new design last year as a crossover wagon built on the front-wheel-drive (FWD) platform of a car with the versatile cabin of a wagon but the smooth ride quality of a compact sedan. For 2006, Sportage repeats but with an air filtration system standard on all trims and a standard Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) on EX trim.

Kia equips all Sportage models with extensive safety features. There are FWD and all-wheel-drive (AWD) options. Two tiers of trim apply -- base LX and deluxe EX, with two different powertrain choices. A bargain-priced Sportage LX entry edition packs a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine for 140 hp with a manual five-speed shifter. Sportage LX V6 and upgraded EX V6 get a twin-cam 2.7-liter V6 worth 173 hp linked to a four-speed automatic with Sportmatic manual shift mode.