Side Exterior View - 2009 Kia Amanti 4-door SedanEnlarge Photo
Kia isn't even producing the Amanti anymore. It was a lackluster performer with odd proportions. Its main charm was its price tag -- it was one of the only ways to get into a large car for around $25,000. Large sedan shoppers still don't have many options in this price range, but a lower trim-level 2010 Ford Taurus doesn't cost much more. It will hold its value better over time, and be a more enjoyable car to drive.
2010 Kia OptimaEnlarge Photo
The Optima, according to our review, is aimed "at families who really want a new car despite a tight budget." There isn't much else to recommend it, but several new cars are available in its price range that will hold their value better and be a lot more comfortable, attractive and fun. For shoppers who need a mid-size car and have less than $20,000 to spend, we'd recommend that excellent 2011 Hyundai Sonata (which the new 2011 Optima is closely related to), the Ford Fusion (which is often under $20,000 with the heavy incentives Ford has offered on it throughout 2010), or an unusual choice for those who love to drive and can afford a little bit of a depreciation hit -- the Suzuki Kizashi.