2009 Amanti New Car Test Drive
The 2008 Kia Amanti is a nice car that delivers exceptional value in its class of larger sedans. The 3.8-liter V6 engine has big, smooth power, the ride quality is near-luxury, and the cabin is whisper-quiet on the road.
Amanti is packed with standard features that the American, European and Japanese manufacturers simply can't offer at such bargain-basement prices, fully exploiting the labor-cost advantage the Korean automaker enjoys relative to its competition.
The Amanti competes with the Toyota Avalon, Nissan Maxima, Ford Taurus, Chrysler 300, Hyundai Azera, and Buick LaCrosse and Lucerne: a formidable group when it comes to interior package size and value.
Kia crossed into the near-luxury segment when it launched Amanti for 2004. Initially, its upright, vaguely retro-modern look polarized buyers, but a redesign for 2007 has softened the Amanti's styling statement. The 2007 revisions upgraded the V6 engine and suspension and shaved 250 pounds off the curb weight.
The engine delivers strong power when accelerating onto busy freeways. The ride is nice on rough highways and the steering is very light. The suspension is tuned to obtain a smooth ride quality.
The Kia Amanti was launched as a 2007 model in early 2006. There are no changes for 2008.
The 2008 Kia Amanti ($25,495) is offered in one trim level, equipped with a 264-hp V6 engine and five-speed automatic transmission.
Standard equipment includes cloth upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, tilt steering column, power seats, power express windows, power heated mirrors, auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink, power locks, an AM/FM/CD/cassette sound system with eight speakers, a keyless entry system, and fog lights. Standard tires are P225/60R16 on painted alloy wheels.
Options include a Leather Package ($2,500) with leather upholstery (gray or beige), heated seats, memory function for seats and mirrors, Infinity sound system with subwoofer, six-CD changer, and a trip computer with four-inch monitor. Also optional are a sunroof ($900) and an Electronic Stability Package ($500), which consists of electronic stability control, traction control and brake assist. A Premium package ($1,300) is available with black leather upholstery, aluminum interior trim, a more deluxe gauge cluster, power-adjustable pedals, and P235/55R17 tires on 17-inch chromed alloy wheels. Pearl White paint ($200) and a trunk mat ($55) are available.
Safety features include front air bags, side air bags for front and rear seats, full-length curtain air bags, anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), tire-pressure monitoring, seatbelt pretensioners and force limiters, and a LATCH child-seat system.