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Kia steps up with Amanti
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
By Donald I. Hammonds, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

When you start seeing advertisements from Kia in the Wall Street Journal, you know a revolution is under way.

And indeed it is, in the mid-sized field. The revolution is being led by the 2004 Kia Amanti, a luxurious, well-equipped four-door sedan that has taken the automotive world by storm. Advertisements for the car have appeared in the Wall Street Journal in recent months, which usually focuses on luxury and sports models.

It doesn't matter whether you read Motor Trend, Edmunds.Com or whomever you like, they all say Kia's Amanti is a terrific buy and a big step up for the Korean automaker.

Inside, the Amanti is bigger than a Buick LeSabre or a Toyota Avalon. And it has standard features that include anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control, electronic brake distribution, side impact and head curtain air bags. It also has such no-cost items as automatic climate control, six-disc in-dash CD player, one-touch power windows, and leather seating.

Power for the Amanti comes from a 194-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6, and gas mileage figures are 17 city and 25 highway. Prices start at $24,995, but there's a goodly number of trim upgrades and optional equipment to choose from, so be warned.

The Amanti will have a familiar feel to most folks who get behind the wheel. It feels very much like a contemporary American luxury car, and it's surprisingly responsive on the road.

One other thing that may seal the deal for you: the Amanti comes with a nifty 10 years/100,000 mile powertrain warranty.

Another good bet is the Kia Sedona minivan, which starts at $19,975, and it's powered by a 3.5-liter, 195-horsepower V-6 that is rated at 16 city and 22 highway. It has most of the features buyers want on minivans and high safety ratings to boot.

Full Article Here

 
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Kia is one of those "hangers on" who will be out of business once GM starts taking back its market share. Hyundia I think will soon be out of business also.
 

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I see it more likely that Hyundai or KIA as a brand will absorb one or the other, since they are both owned by Hyundai in Korea which bought out KIA, if memory serves.

There isn't enough differentiation in the brands - there is a KIA for every Hyundai model - and pricing isn't much different either.

Unless KIA is taken in a radically different direction, or Hyundai goes more upscale, I don't see the point of having both.
 

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I question the styling. This car looks like they cut and pasted parts off other cars: Jaguar S-type front clip, Lincoln town car rear clip, and XG 350 in the middle. Not pretty. And the engine is not all that impressive, less than 200 hp and fuel mileage isn't all that great. Not to mention this is not a lucrative market--it is a shrinking segment whose buyers tend to be old, conservative types who tend to remain loyal to Buick, Mercury, etc.
 

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Kia has created a Buick with Japanese/Euro flavor for a very competitive price.
I think it looks nice. Who knows how many will sell.
Hyundai and Kia have strong sales now and they are bolstering their position with new product.
Hyundai/Kia looks like the Korean equivalent of Toyota in the 80's.
The Amanti is Kia's Cressida. We all know what the Cressida led to... Lexus. :plasma:
 

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Originally posted by Jay@Jun 18 2004, 03:56 PM
I question the styling. This car looks like they cut and pasted parts off other cars: Jaguar S-type front clip, Lincoln town car rear clip, and XG 350 in the middle. Not pretty. And the engine is not all that impressive, less than 200 hp and fuel mileage isn't all that great. Not to mention this is not a lucrative market--it is a shrinking segment whose buyers tend to be old, conservative types who tend to remain loyal to Buick, Mercury, etc.
Agreed on the hodgepodge nature if this car's design.

I think I can appreciate a good foreign car when one is presented to me, but somehow I find the Amanti an unconvincing alternative to other cars in its class.
 

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Originally posted by atomicshark@Jun 18 2004, 12:24 PM
If i had to choose. I would go for the Lacrosse for it's better projected reliability and stronger engine.
SO far these cars have been pretty reliable. They are selling like hot cakes where I live. See em on the road all the time. A mechanic friend who works at a local dealer says other than a few sensor failures and the odd tire vibration these cars are pretty durable. As for GM's reliability, newly introduced models like 04 Malibu, 04 Grand Prix, and i'm sure the 05 LaCross will have plenty of first year glitches. I know cause I have owned several first year GM's and will never make that mistake again! Comparing Kia's interiors, they are way better than the majority of what the big 3 offer in this price class. And this car has lots of nice features too. When I had the chance to drive one I was amazed at the engine power, smoothness and 5 speed auto's flexibility. And this car is library quiet at highway speeds too! The one thing I find odd is the tail end treatment. I think Hyundai and Kia have bright futures.
 

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Fortunately this car costs in my country around 40.000$ and nobody wants to buy it;but I am sure many people would buy a Lacrosse for this price
 

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Originally posted by MelvinJ@Jun 18 2004, 07:53 PM
Does Chrysler have to pay Kia a royalty on that grill everytime they sell a 300? The Amanti was out first.
they did, but then kia realised that every dollar they got from chrysler had to go back to mercedes for stealing their headlights. so chrysler started writing cheques to mercedes. then they realised they're the same company. so that's the end of that!
 

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Originally posted by paul8488+Jun 18 2004, 08:09 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (paul8488 @ Jun 18 2004, 08:09 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-MelvinJ@Jun 18 2004, 07:53 PM
Does Chrysler have to pay Kia a royalty on that grill everytime they sell a 300?  The Amanti was out first.
they did, but then kia realised that every dollar they got from chrysler had to go back to mercedes for stealing their headlights. so chrysler started writing cheques to mercedes. then they realised they're the same company. so that's the end of that! [/b][/quote]
I didn't even think of that!

I wonder if the grills carry the same part number?? Will there be a Hemi Amanti?
 

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Originally posted by jwvrod@Jun 18 2004, 04:38 PM
Prediction, the koreans will be stealing market share from the **** in the next few years.
Not quite a "politically correct" statement, but probably true.

I wonder if Kia/Hyundai has begun to roll those XG-350's and Amanti's into China yet. If they do, and they take off because of the extra features and luxury items, the just may surpass the Japanese brands.

We'll have to wait and see on that one. ;)
 

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Originally posted by Smaart Aas Saabr@Jun 18 2004, 05:06 PM
Kia and Hyundai are both divisions of Hyundai Motor Company, and they do worse badge engineering than GM does!
How can they be worse than GM? Look at the new Uplander, Relay etc.
They look identical throughout except the grill. That is sad. <_<
 

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Aside from that model, I don't see any real badge engineering. The shared platforms look significantly different from each other.

Amanti


Shares Platform with:

XG350


---

Sorento:


Shares Platform with

Santa Fe



---
Rio


Shares Platform with

Accent
 

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I also think they do a decent job with not looking the same as there platform mates. Though every time I see a Kia Optima or a Hyundia Sonata like the ones pictured above, I always think Galant and Intrigue.
 
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