For 2006, the Kia Amanti remains unchanged.

The Amanti comes in a single trim line and is packed with features, including four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, 16-inch alloy wheels, stability control, dual-zone climate control, power sunroof, heated mirrors, leather interior, speed-sensitive steering, power-adjustable driver and passenger seats, memory driver’s seat, woodgrain trim, wood-and-leather steering wheel, Xenon headlights, rain-sensing wipers and secondary ventilation controls for rear-seat passengers.

That’s a lot of stuff for the price, but there’s a trade-off: performance and handling are nothing like the luxury cars the Amanti is emulating. The 200 hp engine takes some time to get the heavy car moving, and uses a lot of fuel. The soft ride is matched with soft handling; the car wallows so much that manoeuvres at highway speeds can be downright unsettling.

The exterior styling is also a mishmash, stealing shamelessly from Mercedes, Jaguar and Buick, although the Lincoln-inspired interior is much better-looking than the outside, and the seats are comfortable.

The good news is that the Amanti is a sister car to the 2005 Hyundai XG350, which has been replaced with the all-new Azera, a car that is much better than the model it pushed out of the line-up. The 2006 Amanti may be champagne taste on a beer budget, but expect Kia to follow in sister company Hyundai’s footsteps and favourably restyle the Amanti on the new platform next year.

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