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Kia

Country of Origin:
South Korea

Models:
Carens
Carnival
Cerato
Opirus
Optima
Picanto
Rio
Sorento
Sportage
Key:
* Top speed electronically limited
2.5SC 2.5-litre supercharged engine
2.5TC 2.5-litre turbocharged engine
2.5D 2.5-litre diesel engine
2.5TD 2.5-litre turbocharged diesel engine
I4 4-cylinder engine in inline configuration
V6 6-cylinder engine in V-shaped configuration
FWD   Front-wheel-drive platform
RWD   Rear-wheel-drive platform
4WD   Four-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive platform
5M   5-speed manual
5A   5-speed automatic
5AM 5-speed automanual
CVT Continuously variable auto transmission
l/100km   Litres of fuel consumed every 100 kms

Kia Carens

The all-new Kia Carens compact MPV is all-new for the 2007 model year, and is available with a seven-seat cabin. The new Carens is completely different from the old one, sharing only the name of the previous model. Longer, wider and taller than its goofy predecessor, the latest Carens offers more interior space than most 4WDs thanks to better packaging. Inside the cabin, the middle and rear row seats fold down to create a flat-floored luggage area. With five seats occupied, luggage space is more than 400 litres and with just the driver and front passenger on board, up to 2,106 litres of cargo can be carried. It is offered with a relatively weak 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine mated with either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission that offers sequential manual selection. The model has a hydraulic power-assisted rack and pinion steering system with relatively high gearing, requiring just 2.86 turns of the wheel from lock-to-lock with the standard 16-inch wheels. Features include front and rear disc brakes backed up by ABS with EBD, CD stereo, four forward-opening doors, and an undetermined number of airbags.


Midsize Minivan



Road Tests & Articles:
none

Competitors:
Mitsubishi Grandis
Renault Scenic
Toyota Innova
Price Range
Dhs 52000 - 65000 (US$ 14100 - 17600)
Body Styles
5-door minivan
Weight (kg)
1444 - 1519
Version
Performance
Engine
Gearbox
Power (hp)
Torque (Nm)
Fuel Econ (l/100km)
0-100 kph (sec)
Top Speed (kph)
2.0 I4 FWD 5M/4A 142 189 7.8-8.2 11.3-12.2 181-190
Good
Practical size, interior volume, price
Bad
Not very fast, tight third row, geeky image




Kia Carnival

The Carnival, also known as Grand Carnival or Sedona in some markets, is undoubtedly Kia's largest non-commercial vehicle, being a full-size minivan. With three rows of seats, there is no shortage of space. Powered by a 3.8-litre V6, it comes with limited standard features, which include 16-inch alloy wheels, AM/FM radio with CD, front and rear a/c with tri-zone control, battery saver, electric mirrors, central door locks, ABS brakes, power windows with driver-side auto down, variable intermittent wipers, hidden radio antenna, power sunroof and an automatic gearbox. Higher trim levels get additional features such as an AM/FM radio with cassette player, CD and MP3, automatic light control system, audio remote controls on the steering wheel, reverse warning system, electric folding mirrors, cruise control, keyless entry system, roof rack, front fog lamps, power sliding doors and tailgate, 8-way power driver's seat and finally, dual front airbags. Safety features are surprisingly limited to only ABS brakes, the optional airbags and an energy-absorbing steering column.


Large Minivan



Road Tests & Articles:
none

Competitors:
Chrysler Grand Voyager
Honda Odyssey
Toyota Previa
Price Range
Dhs 75500 - 92000 (US$ 20500 - 25000)
Body Styles
5-door minivan
Weight (kg)
1994
Version
Performance
Engine
Gearbox
Power (hp)
Torque (Nm)
Fuel Econ (l/100km)
0-100 kph (sec)
Top Speed (kph)
3.8 V6 FWD 5A 244 343 11.2 10.5 190
Good
Competitive base price, roomy interior, luggage space
Bad
Not very fast, outer size, dull design




Kia Cerato

The Cerato is Kia's improved new entry in the popular compact field. The front-wheel-drive Cerato can be had as a four-door sedan or a five-door hatchback that looks more like a wagon. Powered by a 1.6-litre four-cylinder or optionally a 2.0-litre four-cylinder, both with either a manual or an automatic, this barebones commuter car has basic standard features like 15-inch steel wheels, radio cassette player with power antenna and 6 speakers, manual cloth seats, halogen headlamps, air-conditioning, front cup holders, intermittent wipers and not much else. Available features include front and rear power windows, central door locking, full wheel covers, impact sensor auto door unlocking, body colour trim, battery saver, and a rear spoiler. We are not quite sure what safety features are available, other than the usual door beams and seat belts. It seems ABS brakes and front airbags might be optional in some markets, standard in others, and not available at all in some places.


Compact Sedan / Hatchback



Road Tests & Articles:
none

Competitors:
Mazda 3
Nissan Tiida
Toyota Corolla
Price Range
Dhs 37000 - 50000 (US$ 10000 - 13600)
Body Styles
4-door sedan, 5-door hatchback
Weight (kg)
1258 - 1343
Version
Performance
Engine
Gearbox
Power (hp)
Torque (Nm)
Fuel Econ (l/100km)
0-100 kph (sec)
Top Speed (kph)
1.6 I4 FWD
2.0 I4 FWD
5M/4A
5M/4A
104
138
143
184
6.5-6.9
8.0-8.1
11.2-12.7
10.5-11.4
171-186
185-205
Good
Likeable styling, value for money, well-built
Bad
Basic interior, soft handling, slow




Kia Opirus

The luxury car of the Kia range, it is advertised as a full-size, but it more closely matches midsize sedans in dimension. Its most obvious feature is the mixed-salad styling, though it has been improved for 2007, with a less prominent grille and a redesigned rear end. This front-wheel-drive comes with a new 3.8-litre V6 and a five-speed automatic gearbox with manual shift capability. Features, standard or otherwise, include a radio cassette player with MP3 and 8 speakers, ABS brakes, standard front and side airbags, leather, power driver's seat with electric lumbar support, power passenger's seat, electric power steering, keyless entry system, auto light control system, fake wood grain, front fog lamps, power door locks, power windows, power mirrors, audio controls on the steering wheel, immobilizer, battery saver, active head restraint, cup holders front and back, body-coloured exterior trim, 17-inch alloy wheels, and automatic air-conditioning with dual independent controls.


Premium Midsize Sedan



Road Tests & Articles:
2007 Kia Opirus first look

Competitors:
Chevrolet Lumina
Peugeot 607
Volkswagen Passat
Price Range
Dhs 75000 - 92000 (US$ 20400 - 25000)
Body Styles
4-door sedan
Weight (kg)
1864
Version
Performance
Engine
Gearbox
Power (hp)
Torque (Nm)
Fuel Econ (l/100km)
0-100 kph (sec)
Top Speed (kph)
3.8 V6 FWD 5A 266 353 10.9 7.5 230
Good
Value for money, well-built, spacious interior
Bad
Demented looks, handling, confused image




Kia Optima

The Optima is a credible entry into the midsize field. Not as big as the usual Japanese models, it still offers good interior space and a comfortable drive. This front-wheel-drive offers much improved quality over previous Kia creations, and its derivative actually looks pleasant. Powered by either a weak 2.0-litre four-cylinder with a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic, or a respectable 2.7-litre V6 with a four-speed automatic, both cars offer a fair bit of standard equipment. Available features, standard or otherwise, include basic air-conditioning, glass-integrated antenna, AM/FM radio cassette player with CD and MP3 capability, audio remote controls on the steering wheel, luggage net hook and luggage net for the spacious trunk, optional electric sunroof, keyless entry with alarm, cloth or leather seats, ABS brakes, dual front airbags, dual power mirrors, power windows, front fog lamps, battery saver, 60/40 split-folding rear seat and 16-inch alloy wheels.


Midsize Sedan



Road Tests & Articles:
2006 Kia Optima V6 road test

Competitors:
Ford Mondeo
Hyundai Sonata
Mazda 6
Price Range
Dhs 48500 - 70000 (US$ 13100 - 19000)
Body Styles
4-door sedan
Weight (kg)
1408 - 1494
Version
Performance
Engine
Gearbox
Power (hp)
Torque (Nm)
Fuel Econ (l/100km)
0-100 kph (sec)
Top Speed (kph)
2.0 I4 FWD
2.7 V6 FWD
5M/4A
5A
138
185
184
247
7.7-8.1
9.0
11.2-12.1
9.1
208
220
Good
Low price, well-built, spacious cabin, fair ride quality
Bad
Below-average power, soft handling




Kia Picanto

The Picanto is one of the smallest cars plying the Middle East's aggressive roads. Introduced for 2005, it has been facelifted for 2008. Powered by a tiny 1.1-litre four-cylinder, it is smaller than a family-size Coke bottle, mated to either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic. The tall styling makes sure there is fair headroom, though legroom is conservative at best. Standard features include 14-inch steel wheels with full wheel covers, radio cassette player with roof antenna and 4 speakers, manual air-conditioning, combination vinyl-cloth cabin, variable intermittent front wipers, front cup holder, seat belts and, thankfully, a tachometer. Available features in higher trim levels include a rear wiper and washer, rear shelf cover over the luggage area, body-coloured exterior trim pieces and bumpers, a luggage net, and not much else. We believe most markets do not get anything more than seat belts as safety features, although a few markets do get the front-wheel-drive Picanto with all sorts of optional airbags.


Mini Hatchback



Road Tests & Articles:
none

Competitors:
Chevrolet Spark
Daihatsu Charade
Hyundai Atos
Price Range
Dhs 29000 - 35000 (US$ 7900 - 9500)
Body Styles
5-door hatchback
Weight (kg)
872
Version
Performance
Engine
Gearbox
Power (hp)
Torque (Nm)
Fuel Econ (l/100km)
0-100 kph (sec)
Top Speed (kph)
1.1 I4 FWD 5M/4A 64 97 5.9 15.1-18.0 152
Good
Easy to park, cheap to buy, cheaper to run
Bad
Slower than a slug, smaller than a cockroach




Kia Rio

The Rio is Kia's long-running sub-compact nameplate. It can always be depended on for the most unique exterior designs in this segment. The interior offers decent space for its size, although the cabin is a hard plastic tomb, like most others in its class. Powered by a 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine mated to either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic, this front-wheel-drive runabout comes in either sedan or hatchback body styles. Standard features include manual air-conditioning, 14-inch steel wheels with full wheel covers, battery saver, wind-up windows and AM/FM radio cassette player. Higher models add a few items, such as body-coloured outer trimmings and power windows, along with electric mirrors, front fog lamps, driver's seat height adjustability, luggage undertray and central door locks. We could not verify what safety features are available besides seat belts, although we believe many markets get ABS brakes and front airbags, standard or otherwise.


Sub-Compact Sedan / Hatchback



Road Tests & Articles:
none

Competitors:
Chevrolet Aveo
Honda City
Toyota Yaris
Price Range
Dhs 31000 - 38500 (US$ 8400 - 10500)
Body Styles
4-door sedan, 5-door hatchback
Weight (kg)
969
Version
Performance
Engine
Gearbox
Power (hp)
Torque (Nm)
Fuel Econ (l/100km)
0-100 kph (sec)
Top Speed (kph)
1.4 I4 FWD 5M/4A 95 125 6.7 13.0 177
Good
Cheap, manoeuvrable, well-built, pleasant looks
Bad
Slow, limited luggage room, limited cabin features




Kia Sorento

The Sorento is an attractive entry into the crowded affordable 4WD market. Offering either a 2.4-litre four-cylinder with a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic, or a new 3.3-litre V6 with a five-speed automatic, the facelifted-for-2007 Sorento offers decent off-road ability and a fair bit of interior space, making it a good buy, given its price. Standard features include 16-inch alloy wheels, radio cassette with antenna and 6 speakers, manual air-conditioning, power steering, 8-way adjustable driver seat, 4-way adjustable passenger seat, power windows, 60/40 split folding rear seat, battery saver, driver airbag, proper rear lift gate, power door locks, and limited slip differential. Available features in higher models include a CD player with power antenna and 8 speakers, ABS brakes, power folding mirrors and cruise control. Four-wheel independent suspension and four-wheel disc brakes make it a good road cruiser, unlike truck-based 4WDs, although it is still no sports car.


Midsize 4WD



Road Tests & Articles:
none

Competitors:
Ford Explorer
Hyundai Santa Fe
Toyota Fortuner
Price Range
Dhs 65000 - 94000 (US$ 17600 - 25600)
Body Styles
5-door wagon
Weight (kg)
2032 - 2550
Version
Performance
Engine
Gearbox
Power (hp)
Torque (Nm)
Fuel Econ (l/100km)
0-100 kph (sec)
Top Speed (kph)
2.4 I4 4WD
3.3 V6 4WD
5M/4A
5A
139
241
192
307
10.9
11.5
14.8-15.5
9.2
167
192
Good
Utility, luggage space, value for money
Bad
Slow base model, lumpy handling, wind noise




Kia Sportage

The Sportage is another of Kia's long-running nameplates, though the 4WD itself has changed over time. Whereas the original Sportage was unreliable but could do basic off-roading, the new one is much more dependable but is allergic to sand dunes. It is even offered in a front-wheel-drive model alongside the four-wheel-drive, to dilute the nameplate further. Powered by either a 2.0-litre four-cylinder with a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic, or a 2.7-litre V6 with a four-speed automatic, it is interesting to note that Kia and parent Hyundai are the only ones to officially offer a V6-powered small 4WD in the region. Standard features include manual air-conditioning, height-adjustable driver seat, power windows, front and rear power outlets, immobiliser, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, front and rear cup holders, 16-inch alloy wheels, radio cassette stereo with 4 speakers and a roof antenna. We could not verify what safety features are available on the Sportage, though ABS brakes and front airbags might possibly be options.


Sub-Compact 4WD



Road Tests & Articles:
none

Competitors:
Honda CR-V
Suzuki Grand Vitara
Toyota RAV-4
Price Range
Dhs 51000 - 74000 (US$ 13800 - 20100)
Body Styles
5-door wagon
Weight (kg)
1503 - 1667
Version
Performance
Engine
Gearbox
Power (hp)
Torque (Nm)
Fuel Econ (l/100km)
0-100 kph (sec)
Top Speed (kph)
2.0 I4 FWD/4WD
2.7 V6 4WD
5M/4A
4A
142
175
184
241
8.1-9.2
10.9
10.4-11.4
10.3
180
190
Good
Easy to park, low price, headroom, utility
Bad
Slow, off-road ability, body roll, rear seat space






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Drive Arabia serves Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Northern Emirates car markets, but is also relevant to the Middle East region, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain.