The Kia Opirus is an executive car/full-size sedan manufactured and marketed by Kia Motors, a South Korean car manufacturer, from 2003 to 2012. Having debuted internationally at the 2003 Geneva Motor Show, the four-door, five-passenger, front-engine, front-drive sedan was launched to the North American market at the New York International Auto Show and in San Diego, bearing the Amanti nameplate—and prioritizing luxury content and comfort over dynamic performance and agility.
History of the Kia Opirus
Kia Opirus (2003–2007)
Based on the same platform as the Hyundai XG350, the Opirus/Amanti was introduced as Kia's flagship model in 2003 at the Geneva Motor Show. The carmaker said that it produced the car for 40-to-60-year-old professionals and put all the bells and whistles it had in its shop. Too bad that it didn't invest more in the design department, though, since the car showed a Jaguar S-Type – Mercedes-Benz E-Class-inspired front fascia and a rear side that resembled a Lincoln Town Car. At the front, the four round headlights that flanked the shield-styled grille shook the market. But that design made the car very easy to recognize in traffic. In the back, the horizontal taillights crossed from the rear quarter panels to the trunk lid, with the reversing lights on the corners. Inside, Kia installed wood trims on the dashboard, door panels, and center stack, creating an upmarket image for a car that was 30% cheaper than a Mercedes-Benz E350. For other countries, the Opirus/Amanti was available with heated and reclining rear seats. Since it had a longer wheelbase than the Hyundai XG, it offered more legroom for the rear passengers. Under the hood, the Opirus/Amanti was available with a few engine choices. The U.S. market received only the Mitsubishi-licensed 3.5L V6 paired with a five-speed automatic.
Kia Opirus (2007–2011)
Kia refreshed 2007 its flagship sedan model, the Opirus/Amanti, bringing more luxury and safety features in standard trim, while others were available as an option. With a redesigned front-fascia, Kia hoped that it might get more customers into its showrooms to get an executive sedan. It was an interesting offer, with a good price/value factor but a design that could have been better. Way better. Under the hood, Kia asked Mitsubishi for help, and the Japanese carmaker offered them a 3.8L V-6 engine paired with a five-speed automatic transmission. This unit came to complete the three engines lineup.
In 2010, Kia retailed the 2010 Kia Opirus with a starting original MSRP of $17,995 for the base LX Manual Sedan, rising to $22,795 for the top-spec SX V6 Sedan trim.
- LX (Manual) Sedan - $17,995 ($24,493 in 2022)
- LX (Auto) Sedan - $19,195 ($26,126 in 2022)
- EX Sedan - $20,995 ($28,576 in 2022)
- SX Sedan - $21,795 ($29,665 in 2022)
- EX V6 Sedan - $21,995 ($29,937 in 2022)
- SX V6 Sedan - $22,795 ($31,026 in 2022)
Features of the Kia Opirus
On the outside, the addition of LED daytime running lights was welcomed by everyone, but the dual headlights system that resembled the old Mercedes-Benz E-Class W210 was not an appreciated part of the car. The grille sported a grid pattern that some could think was inspired by Cadillac. On top of that, there was no Kia badge at the front. In the back, the design of the new taillights featured vertical lines for the brakes and turn signals, while the bumper sported two exhausts mounted on the sides.
Inside, there was a new trim option with black leather and black trims. Also, the carmaker tried to offer better wood-plastic trims on the dashboard and door panels. Its new sound system and improved buttons on the steering wheel showed better quality than before.
Specs and Performance of the Kia Opirus
- 2.7 L Delta V6 (gasoline)
- 2.7 L Mu V6 (gasoline)
- 3.0 L Sigma V6 (gasoline)
- 3.3 L Lambda V6 (gasoline)
- 3.5 L Sigma V6 (gasoline)
- 3.8 L Lambda V6 (gasoline)
- 2.7 L Mu LPi V6 (LPG)
The Kia Opirus's 3.8L engine delivers 280 hp (209 kW) at 6,000 rpm and 263 lb-ft (357 Nm) of torque at 4,500 rpm. Kia marketed the Opirus as a front-wheel-drive (FWD) vehicle, and it was available with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Kia Opirbus accelerates from 0 to 60 mph (0–97 kph) in 7.5 seconds with a top speed of 143 mph (230 kph). Dimension-wise, the Kia Opirus measures 5,000 mm (196.9 in) long, 1,850 mm (72.8 in) wide, and 1,485 mm (58.5 in) high. Its wheelbase measures 2,800 mm (110.2 in) and has a curb weight of 3,671–4,109 lbs (1,665–1,864 kg).
Kia first released the Kia Opirus in 2003. It was discontinued after the 2012 model year to make way for the new Kia K7/Cadenza.