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No. of Recommendations: 0
Picked up a Kia Amanti in Oakland as a 3 dollar a day upgrade. The Avis clerk mentioned it kinda looks like a Jag knock off. My co-worker and I joked about the fake Jag the whole time we drove it that week.

It does in fact look like jag a bit in the front......but that's where the similarities end. I had it parked at the Buggy-Bank in Berkeley while I talked with my cousin, and a party looking at cars kept wondering what it was from the front.....especially since I had it parked next to a Jag. Telling them it was a Kia killed their curiosity.

The driving experience is what kills this car. The transmission and engine combination is insanely slow and just plain annoys the hell out of you. The car is also underpowered once you hit highway speeds. Press the pedal up or let off on the gas and you wait forever for the 5 speed auto to shift.....same problem the Mazda 6 5 speed auto had. I would not want to be in this thing if I needed power quickly.

Handling was also bad, had a tendency of bouncing over large dips etc in the road. Just did not inspire confidence at all. Overall I'd give it a 2 of 5 stars.

The G35:

G35 was an upgrade at the Seattle airport and added a 20 a day to the cost. I'll use the excuse that the car rental companies were booked.....which they were for that day, and that was what was left.

The G35 has a great drive and excellent engine. The engine isn't quite a silky smooth as a BMW straight 6, but it's close. Handling is pretty predictable and grip was excellent with the tires provided.........even in the endless Seattle rain (note to self, Seattle this time of year blows).

Interior materials are decent, but controls are laid out in a strange way on the dash and just aren't intuitive. The volume and temp control are the same size and placed next to the passenger. Any driver would be hitting the wrong one constantly. The other buttons for climate etc are all the same and require you to take your eyes off the road. The G35 gets a neg for control layout.

The automatic climate control was not a big plus in this car. I constantly kept adjusting things to get it to work the way I wanted. In the long run, I would probably just move to manual mode till everything was the way I wanted it to be. The Kia had a much better "set it and forget it" climate control system.

Engine and transmission combo was good......but it had an automatic that I found smooth....but slow on shifting. Towards the end of the trip, it stated to get annoying since it would sometimes shift right to almost redline and then hit the next gear.....essentially hitting two gears when a single change was needed. A recent Grand Prix GT I rented had the fastest auto I have ever tried.....and I'd prefer it in this car.

I received an 84 in a 60 ticket in Seattle, well actually a 75 in a 60 since the officer reduced it. Only 122 I count it as a cost of driving ticket. NY does not accept tickets from other no insurance problems. I tried to pass someone and got caught during the pass with the G35. It should be noted that Seattle etc drivers need to get their butts out of the fast it's bad over there.

I would consider the G35 in the non-sport mode.....but after driving it for a week I found the handling a bit softer then I would like. The Sport version would probably take care of that. The controls etc are annoying and I didn't like the climate control setup at all. 4 off 5 stars in my book.

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