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2004 Model Guide - Every Brand, Every Car


2004 KIA Model GuideInventive Kia, a South Korean automaker, now under the corporate wing of the larger Korean creator Hyundai, moves upscale in size and class for 2004 by adding a large-size luxury sedan called Amanti.

Kia also constructs three other sedans in three sizes with Optima, Rio and Spectra, but builds wagons too with the five-door Cinco hatchback, a value-packed Sedona minivan and the Sorento sport-utility vehicle.

Amanti becomes the largest marque in this fleet and brings a higher level of quality, comfort and passenger space to the line, and it carries more standard safety features than any previous Kia. Amanti draws power from a 3.5-liter V6 engine lifted from Hyundai's stock, lines the cabin with such perks as a dual-zone climate control system and Infinity audio package with nine speakers, then provides safety gear ranging from eight air bags including curtain-style air bags tucked into the headliner to an anti-lock brake system (ABS).

Kia's midsize Sorento SUV has a five-door format with either two-wheel-drive (2WD) or four-wheel-drive (4WD) traction and the 3.5-liter Hyundai V6 tied to an electronically-controlled four-speed automatic transmission. Sedona the minivan also totes that V6 and carves out a spacious cabin with three rows of seats for up to seven passengers. A smaller V6 works on a deluxe edition of Optima, Kia's midsize sedan. Optima's 2004 editions reveal a bold new grille on the prow and larger Michelin tires on the ground.

Subcompact Rio the sedan and a hatchback Cinco variation return for 2004 with enhancements, while Spectra, Kia's compact-class sedan, repeats from 2003 until fresh designs for a new generation emerge early in 2004.

Kia Amanti
2004 Kia Amanti

Kia grows up in 2004 with the introduction of a flagship vehicle measuring up to large-car stature and laced with the trappings of a premium luxury car. The new Amanti sedan is derived from the XG350 by Hyundai, only the wheelbase has been stretched several inches and the length of the body projects for four inches longer.

The exterior of Amanti, drawing on styling points of classic luxury touring sedans from Europe, looks substantial with a bold front grille in chrome and flanking articulated headlamps. Profile reveals an arching roofline rolling at rear pillars down to a rounded trunk deck.

The cabin, in a five-seat layout with cushy front buckets, puts eight-way power controls on the driver's seat plus memory settings for two different drivers. Trim streaks of faux grained hardwood decorate the space with standard hardware for comfort installed like a dual-zone climate system, Infinity 270-watt stereo and remote buttons for climate and audio systems mounted on the steering wheel.

Under the hood, Amanti packs a dual-cam 3.5-liter V6 engine that develops 195 hp through a five-speed automatic transaxle with Kia's Sportmatic shift-it-yourself mode. The extensive list of standard features reaches to a sunroof, eight air bags including curtain-style air bags hidden above side windows and ABS. Kia also offers as an option for Amanti an electronic stability program (ESP) with traction control.

Kia Sorento
2004 Kia Sorento

As the newest SUV in Kia's line, the SUV appears as a midsize package with seats for five and room for gear in the back bay.

Styling seems strong with keen lines and slick shapes disguising boxy parameters of a typical two-box wagon design. It presents an aggressive face featuring a curvaceous stair-step hood with glittery headlamp clusters at the front corners underlined by a thick slab bumper that wraps to each side and unites with angular wheel flares. The tail adds a padded step on the bumper, corner lamps in a starburst pattern and a liftgate with inset window glass tinted to a dark shade.

Inside, Sorento features plush accommodations and plenty of features for comfort and convenience. Power stems from Kia's 3.5-liter V6 that achieves 195 hp and connects to a four-speed automatic shifter or new five-speed manual. Both 2WD and 4WD versions are available the LX and deluxe EX trims. The EX also lists a Luxury Package with leather upholstery.

For 2004 LX editions, a new Sport Package shows up on the chart of options with a five-speed manual transmission, step bars fixed below the side doors, roof rack, alloy wheels with Michelin tires, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Kia Sedona
2004 Kia Sedona

The minivan from Kia looks good in terms of its package size, the functionality of cabin space and seat arrangements, plus on-board safety systems and lots of preferred features as standard.

Sized between minivans with short and long wheelbases, Sedona contains all of the favored minivan features, from twin sliding side doors to three rows of seats for seven, deluxe appointments in a spacious cabin, and ample power flowing from a V6 engine, the same V6 that powers Sorento and the new flagship Amanti sedan. That plant - a 3.5-liter V6 with dual cams and multi-port electronic fuel injection - produces 195 hp and runs on regular unleaded fuel. It ties to a five-speed automatic transmission.

Sedona's standards include air conditioning, power-operated controls for doors and locks and mirrors, cruise control and a tilting steering wheel, variable intermittent front wipers and rear intermittent wipers, even rear flip-out quarter windows and a stereo system with six speakers. On new models, Sedona also sports a revamped front grille and alloy wheels for EX models or reworked wheel covers on LX.

Kia Optima
2004 Kia Optima

A new horizontal-skewed grille marks the prow of Kia's midsize sedan. This car appears stylish, stocks comfy seats in a cabin that's as spacious as best-selling midsize sedans, then brings two engine choices including a V6 teamed to a select-shift automatic.

Optima's structural and mechanical elements - platform, suspension system and engines - come out of the Sonata sedan by Hyundai, Kia's parent. Although the two cars share these essential components, each appears distinctly different, with Optima draped in a conservative exterior design and the cabin containing equipment unique to Kia.

The SE trim designation changes in 2004 to EX in order to conform with trim levels for other Kia products. All editions contain standard equipment such as air conditioning, a stereo sound system with six speakers, and power controls for windows, locks and mirrors. Optima LX gets a four-cylinder engine and a four-speed automatic with optional Sportmatic mode for clutch-less shift control.

Kia Rio
2004 Kia Rio

Best-selling subcompacts from Kia are promoted as bottom-dollar cars with feisty power and cool styling inside and out. Rio is a four-door sedan, while the hatchback version is called Cinco - a word in Spanish that translates into English as the number five, which happens to be the count for all doors.

Both models share the same 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. It delivers 105 hp and links to either a manual five-speed or optional automatic four-speed transmission. Alloy wheels are now part of the standard kit for Cinco, as are body-colored exterior elements. For both cars the cabin structure is tall so driver and a passenger ride high in front buckets, followed by a rear bench with indentions for two.

Optional gear loads the bottom line, but not severely. Extra items include an automatic transmission, air conditioning, upgrade package and ABS.