Kia Magentis
Kia Magentis

Bigger and better than before - that's Kia's all-new Magentis saloon.

Kia claims to have one of the most up to date product lists on offer at the moment. All of the cars have been updated recently and the oldest model is now the little Picanto, which was introduced in July 2004.

Clearly, Kia is aiming to become one of the main players and has been making improvements left, right and centre in order to earn the respect of the buying public, while maintaining its value for money, tradition.

The Magentis is just one example of this and Kia hopes that it will attract the attention of private and fleet buyers alike. It's a similar situation to when Skoda launched the Octavia along with a self-deprecating advertising campaign - 'A car that good can't be a Skoda'. It certainly worked for the Czech company and there's no reason why the Magentis shouldn't for Kia, although there's not as much public flag-waving.

The Kia Magentis is a large, comfortable and well appointed saloon at a bargain price. However, customers don't get a great deal of choice when it comes to power units; there's a 2.0-litre petrol, a 2.0-litre diesel and a 2.7-litre V6 petrol unit for the heavy duty stuff.

I tested the £14,495 2.0 petrol, Magentis in GS trim, as opposed to the higher specified LS. The test car could be perceived as the bottom of the range but only because it has the lowest price. As with the Kia Carens MPV, the pricing structure is quite simple; choosing the diesel version adds £1,000, moving up to LS trim adds £1,500 to the base price but it does make the £1,000 automatic transmission available as an option. The top of the range 2.7 V6 LS is only available as an automatic and costs £17,495.

While it tried hard, the old Magentis fell just short of European style and preferences. The front end was a tad fussy with too many crease-lines and an over-sized front grille. All that has changed and in terms of styling, the new car sits well amongst other more expensive European metal.


Published : 03/12/06 Author : Melanie Carter

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