Performance » 7
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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10
the V-6 is quite capable...stymied by a sluggish transmission
The V6 provides more than adequate power in any situation
one of the floppiest rides on the market
Car and Driver
many drivers will still find the ride quality to be overly floaty
While it offers more than ample power, the 2008 Kia Amanti’s handling leaves something to be desired.
According to Edmunds, "The front-wheel-drive Kia Amanti comes with a 3.8-liter V6 rated at 264 hp and 260 pound-feet of torque. In testing, we found the Amanti capable of reaching 60 mph in 6.9 seconds," which is "fairly swift for a big V6-powered sedan."
Cars.com reports that "the V-6 is quite capable...delivering energetic acceleration from on-ramp stoplights all the way up to highway speeds, and passing at 60 to 70 mph is nearly as easy." ConsumerGuide is in agreement here: "the V6 provides more than adequate power in any situation." Car and Driver calls it “so-so,” though.
Edmunds reports "the V6 is matched to a five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control." They add, “quick downshifts assure that the power is always on tap for merging onto fast-moving freeways or quick passes on two-lane roads.” According to Cars.com, "the drivetrain looks good on paper, but in practice it's stymied by a sluggish transmission...toe the gas for power coming out of a corner, and you'll often catch the automatic loitering in the higher gear you were in when you entered the turn."
The EPA rates the Kia Amanti at 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. However, ConsumerGuide finds their "test Kia Amanti 2008 averaged 17.8 mpg in city/highway driving," noting that the "Amanti uses regular-grade gas."
The Amanti’s handling is clearly tuned for comfort, without a bit of sportiness baked into its steering, suspension, or brakes. Car and Driver observes "high content means high curb weight," making the 2008 Kia Amanti "one of the floppiest rides on the market...a comfortable highway and byway cruiser for nonenthusiasts, but with numb steering, a soft suspension." ConsumerGuide says that the "unusually soft suspension absorbs most smaller bumps fairly well but can be poorly composed over sharper bumps and potholes in city driving," also noting that "highway speeds bring an undue amount of bobbing over larger road imperfections." Edmunds agrees, pointing out "suspension refinements last year sharpened the handling, but many drivers will still find the ride quality to be overly floaty." Regarding braking quality, Cars.com comments "the pedal feels a bit on the mushy side, but it delivers firm stopping power when pushed hard."
The 2008 Kia Amanti has the power to compete, but not the handling.