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2006 Kia Rio compact sedan preview

September 26, 2005 12:37 PM EST | Kia , Sedans | Email to Friend

View large imageKia's entry-level sedan will finally offer more than just a low price now that newer, more refined competitors have entered this growing segment.

What We Know: Carefully retooled from the ground up for the 2006 model year, Kia's popular subcompact now features more overall interior space than either the Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla. The brand-new platform has allowed the car to make generous gains in trunk space, width, height and wheelbase as well, with the latter contributing significantly to the handling of the car. The standard engine will be a 1.6-liter DOHC four-cylinder which yields 110 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque, available with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. Kia has endowed the Rio with a substantial package of six standard airbags although ABS is available only as an option. Kia will also be introducing a new five-door, hatchback version of the Rio. The Rio5, which made its global debut at the Geneva auto show, goes on sale in the U.S. this fall. Redesigned from the ground up, the five-door version will be slightly shorter than the sedan version, even though it has registered gains in height and width over the preceding version. A longer wheelbase should increase both performance and cabin space. The sole engine choice on the Rio5 in North America will be a twin-cam 1.6-liter four-cylinder.

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