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 J.D. Power and Associates APEAL Award in 2005 and 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 3.8-liter engine with an output of 264 horsepower.
A host of other amenities await consumers looking for refinement. Available option packages add 17-inch chrome wheels, power adjustable pedals, leather seat trim and a premium Infinity sound system. Standard features include dual zone automatic temperature control, power front seats and power windows with heated outside mirrors.
Proven Performance, Precise Handling
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(TM) 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.
Using a precise power rack-and-pinion steering system, the Amanti provides a smooth ride and quickly adapts to sudden driving changes. A fully independent suspension featuring gas pressurized shocks, a front double wishbone and rear multi-link setup are premium attributes most commonly associated with pricier luxury cars.
Classically Elegant Exterior
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. An available Wheel Package adds 17-inch, seven-spoke wheels to create a more aggressive exterior stance.
Contemporary, Refined Interior
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.
The optional Leather Package adds leather seat trim, heated front seats with individual driver and passenger settings, power heated outside mirrors with an auto tilt down feature, two memory settings for the driver's seat and outside mirrors as well as an Infinity AM/FM/six-disc in-dash CD stereo with nine Infinity speakers. Adding the Premium Package provides black leather seats, brushed-aluminum interior trim, power adjustable pedals and 17-inch, seven-spoke chrome wheels.
Standard interior equipment for the 2008 Amanti include an auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink(R), one-touch up-and-down power windows, power door locks with keyless remote, auto headlamps and variable intermittent front wipers.
Room to Breathe
With so many high-end features, the Amanti is a vehicle to show off to friends. Its 110.2-inch wheelbase and 58.5 inches in height provide ample room for five adults. Front passengers enjoy 40 inches of headroom while those in the second row find a comfortable 38.2 inches of headroom. Legroom is 44.5 inches and 36.8 inches respectively. A total 106 cubic feet of passenger space provides ample room for individuals to enjoy the creature comforts of the Amanti.
The rear cargo area was not forgotten either as it provides 15.9 cubic feet of trunk space, enough room for up to four sets of golf clubs. To further assist with large, bulky items, the trunk lid opens at a high angle with the assistance of gas-strut lifters to minimize cargo damage. An optional cargo net provides protection for lighter items that may shift while the vehicle is in motion.
Class Leader in Safety and Warranty
Amidst the luxury and premium options, safety comes first and foremost on every Kia vehicle and the Amanti is no different boasting more standard airbags than any other vehicle in its segment. This includes dual front advanced airbags, front and rear seat-mounted side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. The extensive list of standard safety features also includes: four-wheel anti-lock brakes; front active headrests; anti-pinch windows; front and rear three-point seatbelts; front seatbelt pretensioners with force limiters; Lower Anchors & Tethers for Children (LATCH); engine immobilizer; and a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS).
Electronic stability control (ESC), traction control (TCS) and brake assist (BAS) are also available as part of the optional Electronic Stability Control Package.
To complement its standard safety features, the 2008 Amanti is backed by Kia's comprehensive warranty program, which offers unprecedented consumer protection with a 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, a five-year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty, a five-year/100,000 mile limited anti-perforation warranty, and a five-year/60,000-mile 24-hour roadside assistance plan.