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Car reviews - Kia - Mentor - SLX sedan

The Car

Kia logo16 May 2001

By MALCOLM LIVERMORE

The Mentor comes in five-door hatch and four-door sedan body styles

For the first time a 1.8-litre, double overhead camshaft engine is offered, but on the five-door only. It produces 82kW at 5000rpm and 152Nm of torque

The 65kW/120Nm, 1.5-litre, double overhead camshaft, 16-valve engine offers surprisingly impressive performance

Noise and vibration levels have been attacked by double glazing a key noise source, the camshaft belt

An alloy sump, four engine mounts and foam damping between trim and the roof, and seven layers of insulation material in the firewall help quell the racket

The Mentor has an airy, tastefully trimmed interior but the dash is plain and functional

Seats are thin and a bit soft but reasonably supportive

Styling is dramatic for the five-door with quad goggle-eyes and an up-to-the minute look

A bold bluff rump is a feature of the five-door. The tailgate opens to reveal a large luggage area

Sedan styling is more restrained but feels tighter in the body, especially over rail tracks

Air-conditioning and power steering are standard on all Mentor models, along with body-colour bumpers and height-adjustable seatbelts

Optional driver and passenger airbags are of the new generation de-powered type. They are joined by anti-lock brakes in an option pack with alloy wheels and rear disc brakes, but on five-door models only

Did you know?

Unlike previous models, the new Mentor is an in-house design. It is sold in 160 markets

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