Used 2006 Kia Optima
Edmunds' Expert Review
The roomy, well-equipped 2006 Kia Optima is a decent choice if you need a family sedan for well under $20,000. But if you want V6 power, we suggest spending a little more for the better-performing Hyundai Sonata.
There are two 2006 Kia Optimas available the outgoing version and an all-new model being labeled a 2006.5. The outgoing 2006 model was the first offspring of the 1998 Kia-Hyundai merger, and as such shares its basic platform with the 1999-2005 Hyundai Sonata. Although this first Optima can't promise the legendary reliability and assured resale value of the long-standing class favorites in the midsize sedan class, it could be considered a more affordable alternative for buyers with tight budget constraints.
A better choice, though, is the 2006.5 Kia Optima. Improved in terms of features, rear seat room and refinement, the new Optima provides a considerably better driving experience. Additionally, Kia adds something that was lacking in the prior Optima fun. With a suspension tuned by a former Mazda chassis engineer, the new Optima, especially when equipped with the available 17-inch wheels and 50-series tires, makes for an enjoyable drive on a twisty road. Other key factors that make this neatly tailored, budget-priced sedan worth serious consideration include its roomy cabin, solid build quality, generous list of standard and available features (including those of the safety variety), long warranty (10-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage and five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper coverage) and handsome styling.
Trim levels & features
The Optima line comprises two trim levels well-equipped LX and luxury-themed EX. Standard equipment highlights for the LX include a CD player; air-conditioning; power windows, locks and mirrors; a 60/40-split-folding rear seat; and cruise control. If you opt for the LX V6, alloy wheels are added to the mix. Step up to the EX and the following features are added: a power driver seat, automatic climate control, upgraded cloth upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, alloy wheels, foglights and an Infinity audio system with six-disc CD changer and cassette player (2006.5). On the options roster you'll find an upgraded sound system for LX models and a leather upholstery package (with a power front-passenger seat) for EX models. Available on all 2006.5 Optimas but the four-cylinder LX is a safety package that includes antilock brakes with brake assist, traction control and stability control. Also optional on 2006.5 models is an appearance package with a blacked-out grille, 17-inch wheels, foglights and aluminum interior accents. A power moonroof is optional only on the EX.
Performance & mpg
The 2006 Optima LX offers a 2.4-liter inline-4 with 138 horsepower. A 170-hp, 2.7-liter V6 is optional on the '06 LX and standard on the 2006 Optima EX. The 2006.5 models are more powerful: The standard 2.4-liter engine provides 161 hp, while the V6 is capable of 185 hp. That's still not a lot of power compared to most other V6 family sedans, whose engines pump out well over 200 hp, but the Optima's six-cylinder is at least smooth and quiet. A five-speed manual transmission is standard with the four-cylinder engine, and an automatic (a four-speed for 2006, a five-speed for 2006.5) is optional. Only an automatic gearbox (four-speed for 2006, five-speed for 2006.5) can be paired with the V6.
If you're shopping the 2006 Kia Optima, we recommend the V6, but if you're considering the 2006.5 model, the peppy inline-4 is the one to get its performance may surprise you. Fuel economy for the 2006 versions is 23 mpg city/30 mpg highway with the four-cylinder and 20/27 with the V6, while for 2006.5 Optimas the stats are 24/34 (inline-4) and 22/30 (V6).
On 2006 Optimas, only V6 models are eligible for optional ABS. Side airbags for front occupants and three-point seatbelts for all five seating positions are standard across the board. The 2006 Kia Optima earned four stars for driver and front-passenger protection in frontal impacts and a four-star rating for front- and rear-occupant protection in side impacts. The IIHS gave the 2006 Optima a rating of "Acceptable" (the second highest of four) for its frontal-offset crash test. In IIHS side-impact testing, the Kia rated "Poor" (the lowest).
On the redesigned 2006.5 Optima, side curtain airbags are standard on all models, while stability control and ABS are available on all but the base four-cylinder LX. In NHTSA crash tests, the 2006.5 Optima earned a top five-star rating for its protection of occupants in frontal and side impacts.
Either version of the Optima will provide comfortable transportation for the day-to-day grind, though the newer Optima adds a healthy dose of sporting personality and is more adept at absorbing the nastiest bumps and potholes. Light and precise steering and a somewhat floaty ride dynamic mark the 2006 Kia Optima, while the redesigned sedan provides more road feel and a more buttoned-down attitude when tackling a twisty road.
The 2006 Optima's cabin is attractive, with comfortable seating and good build quality, though more rear-seat legroom is found in some competitors. Controls are simple to use and there are plenty of places to stow things like cell phones, change and parking cards. Improvements that came for 2006.5 include more upscale materials, more legroom for the backseat and more upscale features, such as blue/white instrument illumination and power-adjustable pedals. Trunk capacity, at 14.8 cubic feet, is roughly 1 cube greater in the 2006.5 version and as before features a low lift-over, large opening and hidden hinges to ease loading.
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Features & Specs
More About This Model
Kia introduced its all-new 2006.5 Optima in scenic Napa Valley, California, where wine is king and Sideways the movie of choice. The sandy, hilly ground is ideal for growing grapes, and the curvy roads are perfect for test-driving cars. Even intermittent rain did not hamper our car-tasting pleasure.
A fine blend of value and comfort, with subtle hints of sport
Built in Kia's Hwasung manufacturing facility in South Korea, this second-generation Optima sits on a unique platform, no longer shared with Hyundai's Sonata. Kia says it took cues from European styling and lengthened the Optima's wheelbase, although the increase is less than an inch. A sleeker design lends a more upscale line to this midsize sedan and allows for more interior space.
Two varietals are available, the economy-minded LX and the premium EX, each with either an inline four-cylinder or V6 engine. The absolute base model is the 2.4-liter four-cylinder LX with a five-speed manual transmission. This is the only trim level that offers a manual transmission and allows Kia to say the Optima starts at well under $17K. At $16,355, this base trim is $45 cheaper than the car it replaces.
Standard equipment includes 16-inch wheels, four-wheel disc brakes, air conditioning, power windows and locks, an AM/FM/CD player with six speakers and 60/40-split folding rear seats.
Opt for the five-speed automatic with Sportmatic manual shifting and you'll get cruise control, keyless entry and a tilt/telescopic steering wheel with audio controls for $17,650. Kia predicts 80 percent of Optima buyers will drive home in a four-cylinder with an automatic transmission, which sounds right when you realize the 2.7-liter V6 LX adds a mere 24 horsepower and bumps the price to $19,345.
Four-cylinder models are rated at 161 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 163 pound-feet of torque at 4,250 rpm. That's more horses than the current four-cylinder versions of the Chevrolet Malibu, Mazda 6 and Toyota Camry and 23 more than the previous Optima. The small V6 only offers 185 hp at 6,000 rpm and 182 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm, a pittance compared to the larger V6s in the Optima's competition.
Combines depth, softness and much character
Although we like the look of the dual exhaust pipes exclusive to V6 models, the EX four-cylinder is the one to get. It starts at $19,395 and includes alloy wheels, power-adjustable driver's seat, automatic temperature controls, a trip computer, chrome-accented exterior door handles and an Infinity premium audio system. The EX with a V6 starts at $20,400.
Actually, our favorite configuration is the EX four-cylinder with the Appearance and Leather packages. It provided enough zest for romping up and down the valley and looked cool too, especially in Ruby Red. And we all know red goes with everything.
The Appearance package gives a more aggressive look by adding a blacked-out front grille and headlights, foglights, aluminum interior trim, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob. It also adds 17-inch Michelin tires that gave the car "legs" and felt more secure than the standard 16s as we curled around the damp vine-lined roads of wine country.
Available only on the EX, the leather package offers perforated leather seat trim, five-level heated front seats, power-adjustable pedals and a manual rear-window sunshade.
Balanced, with a firm structure and medium acidity
Independent MacPherson strut front suspension and multilink rear suspension featuring coil springs and stabilizer bars replace the double wishbones found underneath the previous vintage. The ride is pleasant, even with the 17-inch wheels and tires, and body roll is kept in check in the corners.
Power-assisted rack and pinion steering is crisp and lively, but driving the rolling curves of the Napa Valley was a little more work than flat-out excitement. Response is good, but nobody should buy an Optima to tear around in.
Four-wheel disc brakes are standard, but ordering the $600 Electronic Stability Control package is the only way to get ABS and a traction control system. It's worth the cash; however, the option is not available on the four-cylinder LX model. A tire-pressure monitoring system is standard.
Smooth and mellow, with generous amounts of sweetness and strength
Where this car shines is inside the cabin. A lot of work has gone into providing space for people and cargo and improving the look and feel of the interior materials.
Nothing feels cheap. Knobs and dials feel substantial and the gauge cluster looks more upscale with blue and white lighting, instead of the previous yellow/green scheme. The leather is supple and even the standard seat cloth is soft and appealing. The seats are comfortable, yet lack lateral support and don't hold you in place as securely as we would like. Standard safety features include adjustable headrests and six airbags, including full side curtains.
Front headroom has increased by almost an inch and front legroom by about half an inch. The overall length of the car has only increased by half an inch, but Kia has managed to add an inch and a half of legroom for rear passengers, enough to match the Camry and out-knee the Accord, Malibu and Mazda 6.
Luggage capacity has increased slightly to 14.8 cubic feet and there's a wide, low entry to ease loading. There's also a pass-through to the rear seat for carrying long items, but it's only accessible from the trunk.
Ripe, full-bodied with big flavor
We enjoyed our tasting of the Kia Optima. In the crowded midsize sedan segment, it stands out as an inexpensive alternative. The option packages allow you to configure your Optima multiple ways, and even the base versions pack a long list of thoughtful features. And because the Optima weighs only 3,179 pounds, the four-cylinder packs enough spice that you need not splurge on the V6.
Kia continues to improve with age.
Used 2006 Kia Optima Overview
The Used 2006 Kia Optima is offered in the following submodels: Optima Sedan. Available styles include New LX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5A), LX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 4A), LX V6 4dr Sedan (2.7L 6cyl 4A), EX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 4A), EX V6 4dr Sedan (2.7L 6cyl 4A), New EX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5A), New EX 4dr Sedan (2.7L 6cyl 5A), New LX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5M), LX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5M), and New LX 4dr Sedan (2.7L 6cyl 5A).
What's a good price on a Used 2006 Kia Optima?
Save up to $110 on one of 1 Used 2006 Kia Optima for sale at dealerships within 25 miles of Ashburn, VA with prices as low as $3,999 as of10/23/2018, based on data from dealers and consumer-driven dealer ratings ranging from4.2 to 4.2 out of 5 stars.
Price comparisons for Used 2006 Kia Optima trim styles:
- The Used 2006 Kia Optima EX is priced between $3,999 and$3,999 with odometer readings between 178670 and178670 miles.
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Which used 2006 Kia Optimas are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2006 Kia Optima for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2006 Optimas listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $3,999 and mileage as low as 178670 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2006 Kia Optima. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $110 on a used or CPO 2006 Optima available from a dealership near you.
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Should I lease or buy a 2006 Kia Optima?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.