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2006 Kia Optima Mid-Size Sedan

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Description: Mid-Size Sedan
Base MSRP Range: $16,400 - $20,400
Invoice Price Range: $15,245 - $18,625
Where built: South Korea

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 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.