Down on the Eindhoven Street – Kia Opirus


I love the Kia Opirus. It’s a car so ungainly looking, it pretty much makes the googly-eyed mid-’90s Ford Scorpio look like a beauty queen. It’s an unquestionable rip-off of the Mercedes-Benz W210 E-class, combined with bits and bobs of the Jaguar S-Type – neither of which are particularly good-looking cars unless you’re an unquestioning follower of either brand. The one other Korean luxury car of the same era that made it to Europe, the Hyundai XG, positively looks like a well-judged Mitsubishi Debonair development in comparison. The Opirus, in contrast, is just bloated and blobby.

Naturally, I want one. This 2007 car was shot in Eindhoven, some way inland from Amsterdam.


And yet, in dark bluey green, the car almost pulls it off. It looks restrained and tasteful, yet completely anonymous in parts. The LED DRL:s aren’t too well-suited to the car, though. Neither are the generic wheels.


The Opirus is one of the few cars that don’t necessarily display the manufacturer’s logo on the front grille. I’ve seen numerous grille treatments on various Opiruses, and this is one of the more modest ones. They all look pretty terrible.


You need to walk all the way to the back to identify the car. The Opirus was also sold as the Amanti, which is too close to Mazda’s stillborn Amati brand for comfort. The Opirus was sold here with the 3.5-litre Sigma V6 producing a touch over 200hp, or the 3.8-litre Lambda II V6 that this exact car has, with 260hp.


And when you take a step back, you realize they were aiming at the Lincoln Town car all along. That roofline, together with the rear plate chrome surround, is legit Lincoln stuff. What a car!

[Images: Copyright 2013 Hooniverse/Antti Kautonen]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

17 responses to “Down on the Eindhoven Street – Kia Opirus”

  1. david42 Avatar

    I love off-kilter luxury cars as much as the next hoon, but this never did it for me. I do like the LED turn signals though (those aren't DRLs); they're brilliant when they ignite, and were really eye-catching when the car first came out.

  2. Stephen Walton Avatar
    Stephen Walton

    Amanti is a bad name, but Opirus sounds like a communicable disease.

    1. Devin Avatar

      "Steve just got a Kia Opirus."
      "How long is he in the hospital for?"

    2. Jay_Ramey Avatar

      I'm pretty sure I've seen customs forms which they give you to fill out on the plane where they ask you if you've been in rural areas, been around livestock, or have been vaccinated against Opirus.
      By the way, isn't Amanti that rapper from South Beach, the one who got in a fight with that one other guy last year, and it was on youtube?

      1. TurboBrick Avatar

        I thought Amanti was the QB with the fake girlfriend.

        1. Jay_Ramey Avatar

          Oh crap, you're RIGHT!

    3. dead_elvis Avatar

      That's what I thought way back when the Kia Sephia first arrived in the US.

  3. RobbyDeGraff Avatar

    I drove one a few years ago and was very surprised and impressed/surely an under-rated car.

  4. Devin Avatar

    Some of them have this rear end, which doesn't quite look like anything.
    <img src=""&gt;
    Naturally, I'd drive one, debadged, just to see the reactions.

    1. dukeisduke Avatar

      Yep, that's the Amanti rear end. The Opirus has the Hyundai XG/XGL rear end.

      1. Devin Avatar

        Well they both had both butts. Earlier ones have that butt, later ones have the butt of the car posted originally, due to a butt-lift.

  5. Chris Avatar

    I snuck into the back seat of one of these in the showroom. The leather was so soft and plush, I think I could have gone to sleep right there.

  6. wisc47 Avatar

    It's like one of those dogs who is so weird looking it starts to look kind of good. Or like Andie MacDowell.

  7. marmer01 Avatar

    At the time (sold as Amanti here) it was by far the cheapest up-lux interior available. Really, by about ten grand. Nice materials and drivetrain; if I recall correctly there was some kind of off note about the interior; ugly display screen or no nav system or something like that. But buttery leather and nice wood, if that was what you wanted, without M-B or BMW price or perceived ostentation.
    There's a family in my neighborhood who has a well-kept first-year one.

    1. Kogashiwa Avatar

      I would drive that. With SNSD at top volume, of course.

  8. BЯдΖǐL-ЯЄРΘЯΤЄЯ Avatar

    My neighbour has one of these, I must say they look horrible in the flesh, but yeah they come with all the bells and wistles.

%d bloggers like this: