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2006 Kia Spectra5 Compact 5-Door Hatchback

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Description: Compact Hatchback
Base MSRP Range: $15,600 - $16,600
Invoice Price Range: $14,615 - $15,550
Where built: South Korea

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 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.