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2009 Kia Amanti Overview
A Lincoln Town Car it isn’t, but the 2009 Kia Amanti offers a similar ride and almost the same posh for nearly half the price. This nicely if unimaginatively packaged mid- to full-size sedan, essentially unchanged from ’08, has the plush ride, roomy cabin and suave styling of a quasi-luxury automobile, with a sizeable V6 providing plenty of giddy-up. A 15-cubic-foot trunk allows for plenty of luggage, though the rear seats are annoyingly rigid, allowing only a pass-through that might accommodate a couple of pairs of skis, and a fold-flat passenger seat that seems otherwise a bit of a waste. Kia’s almost-plush sedan does, however, sport a Town Car-derived roofline that ensures adult-friendly headroom for rear-seat passengers and enough standard cabin goodies to rival its better-known contemporaries. As is traditional, the ’09 Amanti is offered in only one Base trim and is delivered in front-wheel-drive (FWD) configuration only. A smooth, quiet, comfortable ride, however, is the Amanti’s stock in trade, but this comes at the expense of handling that can be described as lackluster, at best.
Major competition for the Amanti includes the Ford Taurus, Honda Accord, Hyundai Azera and Toyota Avalon, all considered more refined, more reliable and more stylish by the majority of reviewers. Price-wise, however, those in the market for a midsize quasi-luxury sedan would be hard pressed to pass up the Amanti’s $26,000 base MSRP. Alas, this Korean-manufactured midsize is rumored to be discontinued after this year, with Kia seemingly putting all its midsize sedan eggs into its popular Optima basket.
Be that as it may, the 2009 Amanti once more carries a standard 3.8-liter V6 powerplant, mated with a standard 5-speed shiftable automatic transmission. This combination puts out a pleasantly potent 264 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, though mileage is an EPA-estimated 17 mpg city/24 highway, hardly stellar fuel efficiency by any standard.
Gracing the 2009 Amanti are such standard appearance and comfort features as 16-inch painted alloy wheels, a chrome grille, velour upholstery, wood trim on the dash, doors and center console, a leather steering wheel and leather-trimmed shift knob. Standard convenience amenities include remote power door locks, one-touch power windows, heated power outside mirrors, tilt-wheel steering, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, a universal remote and front and rear carpeted floor mats. Entertainment is provided via a standard MP3-capable single-CD player with eight speakers, Sirius satellite radio and, for additional audio choices, a USB connection.
A popular option for the Amanti is the Leather Package, featuring leather-trimmed seating, heated front seats and an Infinity audio system with 6-CD changer, as well as nine speakers including a subwoofer and a power-tilting sunroof. The available Premium Package includes upgraded interior appointments, power-adjustable pedals and chrome-finished 17-inch alloy wheels.
Standard 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS) complement front side-mounted airbags and front and rear head curtain airbags to give the 2009 Amanti above average safety scores. Further standard safety equipment, meanwhile, includes front fog/driving lights, dusk-sensing headlights and front head-restraint whiplash protection. In a nod toward cost effectiveness, the ’09 Amanti offers traction and stability control only as a $500 option.
Owners of the ’08 and ‘09 Amanti have issues with its tepid gas mileage, sluggish handling capabilities and iffy build quality. Other common owner complaints include the lack of a navigation option and only tepid audio quality, even from the available premium Infinity system. Pricing, however, as well as a silky ride, loads of standard cabin features, handsome (if blatantly copy-cat) styling, roomy interior and enviable safety scores continue to impress the majority of owners.
Have Laptop, Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.