KIA NEW MODEL GUIDE
This automaker from South Korea constructs value-priced vehicles in a diverse product line extending from economical small cars like Rio to premium luxury sedans such as Amanti, plus multiple wagons such as minivans like Sedona and Ronda and sport utility vehicles with Sorento and Sportage. And new Borrego — a mid-size SUV with seats for seven riders — packs Kia's first V8 engine.
Kia's premium luxury sedan stretches long and looks downright elegant with a bold prow and sculptured body styling drawn from classic luxury touring sedans out of Europe. Amanti measures up to large-car status conformed as a notchback four-door sedan with seats inside for four or five. For go-power, Amanti's 3.8-liter V6 generates 264 hp through a sophisticated five-speed automatic transaxle with manual shift control (MSC) mode. The 2009 Amanti scores a new audio system with Sirius satellite radio and MP3 playback capable. Also, a new 5.5-inch display monitor in the dash replaces a smaller monitor.
The mid-size Kia sedan won a new platform in 2007 with a longer wheelbase and wider track to make more room for riders in the five-seat cabin. Optima 2009 continues in trims of LX and EX with powertrains of a 2.4-liter in-line-four for 161 hp and a 2.7-liter V6 with 185 hp. A five-speed Sportmatic automatic is optional with the four-pack but standard for the V6. Other gear ranges from curtain-style air bags to active front headrests and a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). Options include anti-lock brakes and — with the V6 — electronic stability control (ESC).
Spectra is a shapely compact-class four-door sedan stocking a respectable powerplant with front-wheel-drive (FWD) traction and ample safety systems. The cabin contains dual front buckets and a rear bench for three, with personal space good in a tall and broad compartment with room to stretch out. Model grades are EX, LX and sporty SX, all stocking curtain-style air bags and new active headrests for the front buckets. Power flows from a 2.0-liter four-pack with continuously variable valve timing (CVVT) and 138 hp through a five-speed manual transmission or optional four-speed automatic.
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.
Kia's small-class wagon is a crossover utility vehicle (CUV) with FWD platform and a wagon's versatile cabin but the smooth ride quality of a sedan. There are FWD and all-wheel-drive (AWD) traction options and two tiers of trim — base LX and deluxe EX, with two different powertrain choices. A bargain-priced Sportage LX entry edition uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 140 hp. Sportage LX V6 and upgraded EX V6 gets a twin-cam 2.7-liter V6 for 173 hp. Sportage shows fresh body styling with a new prow design, dual exhaust tail pipes and stock 16-inch alloy wheel.
Kia's mid-size SUV looks keen, carries a spacious passenger compartment with room for five and presents two V6 engine options. For the base LX trim, a 3.3-liter V6 achieves 242 hp. Sorento EX stocks a 3.8-liter V6 boosted to 262 hp and tied to a five-speed Sportmatic automatic shifter. The SUV also offers two-wheel-drive (2WD) or four-wheel-drive (4WD) traction. A comfortable cabin with seats for five contains standard safety items like curtain-style side air bags and active front headrests. Like Sportage, Sorento 2009 features fresh styling on the body, including a switch from two-tone to monochrome.
Kia's minivan appears in two body lengths — the short wheelbase (SWB) edition at 113.8 inches and the long wheelbase (LWB) version at 118.9 inches. Those extra inches for the LWD Sedona bring about 15 percent more space in the seven-seat passenger compartment. The cabin has front bucket seats, flip-and-fold second-row seats and a rear bench that folds into the floor. Kia laces Sedona with safety features, including lots of air bags. Also, Kia Sedona packs a forceful engine. The 3.8-liter V6 nets 250 hp and links to a five-speed Sportmatic automatic.
The name comes from California's bleak Anza Borrego Desert, where a state park caters to rugged off-road vehicles. Styling cues on Kia's newest model seems pure and functional, and the SUV features a body-on-frame structure to denote it's slant to 4WD trail-blazing. Below the boxy front hood, Borrego carries a big and powerful V8 engine, the first V8 ever for a vehicle wearing the badge of Kia. Borrego's passenger compartment is spacious and comfortable with three tiers of seats in the standard configuration and room for seven passengers.
Kia's miniature minivan/wagon, conformed as a five-door hatchback-styled wagon, rides on a FWD car platform. It seems like a shrunk variation of Sedona, Kia's minivan, or perhaps a peewee iteration of Sorento, Kia's mid-size SUV. And it looks cool — a smooth body with the raked windshield and arching roofline of a sporty coupe but the stepped-hood prow and curt tail of a hatchback wagon. Rondo's cabin has seats for five or seven riders. Lots of safety equipment applies, including six air bags. Engines include a 2.4-liter four-pack worth 162 hp or a 2.7-liter V6 at 182 hp.
Spectra is a shapely four-door sedan for
the compact class stocking a respectable
powerplant with FWD traction and ample
safety systems. Layout of the cabin seems
conventional with two buckets in front
of a bench for three. However, personal
space is definitely not conventional for
a compact the cabin seems tall
and broad with room to stretch
out. Model grades are the EX, LX and sporty
SX, all stocking curtain-style air bags.
Power flows from a 2.0-liter, four-pack
with continuously variable valve timing
(CVVT) and 138 horsepower through a five-speed
manual transmission or optional four-speed
A five-door hatchback, fuel-effcient variation
of the Spectra sedan mixes the spry road
manners of a small FWD sports sedan with
the cargo capacity of a pint-size SUV.
It's partly a sporty car styled like a
street-racer hatchback and partly a small
wagon and thrifty runabout that's practical
and fun to drive. The Spectra5 holds the
same engine and running gear as the four-door
Spectra. However, it gets a strut tower
brace in front for improved torsional
rigidity, stabilizer bars and taut tuning
for the four-wheel independent suspension.
Kia's subcompact four-door sedan draws strength from a zippy 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 continues in three trims — base, upgraded LX and sporty SX. All stock six 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 SX adds chrome accents to the instrument panel, special fabric inserts on seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
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 Rio sedan. The sporty hatchback edition uses the same engine and equipment as the sedan but gets trim designation of SX and new-for-2009 LX. Styling for the exterior package on Rio5 features a raked windshield, pronounced wheel arches and an aggressive prow with sweeping corner headlamps and a grille with black mesh insert.
Detailed KIA pricing and ownership information.
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