Woman at the Wheel €" Kia Amanti

Valencia Mohammed €" WI Contributing Writer | 1/3/2009, 5:30 p.m.

2008 Kia Amanti Looks and Performs Like a Mercedes

Kia manufacturers have pushed its way up to the top by attracting American buyers with €look-a like€ cars that perform well. This year€s Amanti fits that perception to the letter. The front interior, especially the headlamps, is quite similar to the classic Mercedes Benz. Not only was it stylish but lavishly designed in the interior. Ladies, it has lots of leg and head room €" just like we like it. American buyers who purchase this beauty will be thrilled with the results. Guess what, it€s also cost a third less of many of its competitors.
The Amanti€s upscale exterior presence is defined by its smooth, curved lines but not at the sacrifice of sportiness. Elegantly poised on standard 16-inch, nine-spoke alloy wheels fitted with 225/60R16 tires, exterior styling features include chrome accents such as the front grille, door handles and body-side moldings; clear-lens halogen headlights with front projection fog lights; tinted windows; and a dual exhaust.

The flagship of the Kia Motors America vehicle line-up, the 2008 Amanti provides luxury, style and performance as standard features in a value-minded package. Earning a recently awarded a €good€ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in side impact crash tests, the Amanti was refreshed last year, benefiting from a lighter platform and modified suspension. The interior and exterior also were adorned with styling upgrades, but the most notable change was under the hood in the shape of a new engine.

With its unibody frame fitted onto a platform more than 250 pounds lighter than the previous generation€s, the Amanti€s 3.8-liter all-aluminum DOHC V6 engine generates 264 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, an increase of 32 percent over the previous model. Assisted by a five-speed gated automatic transmission with Sportmatic shift, the Amanti delivers more power than the standard V6 output from segment competitors including the Buick LaCrosse, Buick Lucerne, Chrysler 300, Ford Taurus and Nissan Maxima.

Inside, more luxurious standard features abound and are highlighted with beautiful chrome, plush leather and exquisite wood accents. Bright metal-finish door sill plates welcome each passenger into the spacious cabin. An eight-way power adjustable driver€s seat and four-way power adjustable front passenger€s seat provide added comfort. The leather-wrapped steering wheel features conveniently placed audio and cruise control functions, while the wood-trimmed center console is equipped with an AM/FM/Cassette/CD stereo with six speakers.

€In a tough economic climate it is good to see that consumers are recognizing the Amanti for everything that it has to offer,€ said Michael Sprague, vice president of marketing, KMA. €Being that the Total Value Index considers not only the overall ownership experience but what buyers feel the economic impact of their purchase will be a testament to Amanti€s quality and value.€
The manufacturer€s suggested retail price is $25,855. The 2008 Kia Amanti offers 17 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. With so many high-end features, the Amanti is a vehicle to show off to friends.