Kia has revamped its Amanti flagship sedan for 2007 with updated exterior styling and an improved interior. The best news: The Amanti's old 3.5-liter V-6 has been dumped for Kia's modern 3.8-liter V-6, which makes 32 percent more power and gets slightly better gas mileage.
Kia's full-size luxury sedan arrived in early 2003 as a value-priced alternative to the Toyota Avalon and Chevrolet Impala. The car offered full-size dimensions and several luxury cues, including one-touch windows and eight airbags, not to mention Mercedes look-alike styling. The 2007 model continues to ape a Mercedes-Benz E-Class, though now its engine and interior have been improved to a point where a few people might actually be fooled.
The Amanti's headlights now sport integrated light bezels, and the grille is no longer as tall as it used to be. Kia says the hood, bumpers and trunk have also been replaced. In back, vertical taillights replace the horizontal ones from before.
Sixteen-inch alloy wheels are standard, and 17-inch wheels are optional, as are chrome wheels. At 196.9 inches long, the Amanti is about the same length as the Avalon but several inches shorter than the Impala.
The Amanti's cabin retains its overarching design, but several previous shortcomings have been addressed. One is the center controls, which now have a higher-quality finish and better color differentiation than before. An analog clock sits between the center air vents.
Standard features include power front seats, an eight-speaker CD audio system and dual-zone automatic climate control. An optional four-inch display monitor with a trip computer and digital clock can supplement the center analog clock. Other options include heated leather seats, a six-CD Infinity audio system and power-adjustable pedals. A navigation system, offered on many Amanti competitors, is still not available.
Interior volume measures 106 cubic feet, competitive with the Avalon and Impala.
Under the Hood
The Amanti's new 3.8-liter V-6 sees duty in several other cars from Kia and sister company Hyundai. In the Amanti, the engine produces 264 horsepower and 260 pounds-feet of torque — up 64 hp and 40 pounds-feet from the V-6 before. It works through a five-speed automatic transmission.
A testament to both the efficiency of this engine and the inefficiency of the preceding one, the Amanti's combined city and highway gas mileage is now 23 mpg, up from 21 mpg.
Four-wheel-disc antilock brakes are standard, as are front and rear side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags. An electronic stability system is optional.
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