Updated for 2008, the Kia Amanti Base sedan features a revised exterior and a more luxurious interior. Many drivers and reviewers feel the Amanti still looks a bit dated and even stodgy, however, even though it seems to borrow heavily from Mercedes-Benz, especially in the design of the grille and front end.
The Amanti excelled in recent safety tests, and has been awarded the highest rating in side-impact crash tests from the International Institute for Highway Safety. Its many safety features include antilock brakes, a tire-pressure monitoring system, and full-length side-curtain airbags, making the Amanti a good option for drivers concerned about safety.
New interior features include a leather-covered armrest, wood trim, new interior door handles, and an updated dashboard. Other standard convenience and comfort features include dual-zone automatic temperature control, power front seats, an eight-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system, remote keyless entry, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Heated leather seats and a premium Infinity audio system are among the Amanti's many options.
A fuel-efficient, 264-horsepower, 3.8-liter V6 engine powers the Amanti, though some drivers and reviewers note that the engine lacks the low-end, responsive power many expect from a car in this class. The engine links to a five-speed automatic transmission.
If the Amanti has a downside, it's in handling, which has been described by some reviewers as "floaty" and even "numb." One automotive magazine gave the 2007 Amanti particularly negative marks for its handling. An optional Electronic Stability Control system helps improve handling somewhat, according to some reviewers and drivers. On the upside, the Amanti is considered an overall good value by some, although a test drive is recommended before buying to ensure the handling and engine power meet your standards. A final positive note: The Amanti comes with a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty.