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Kia Magentis: Test Drive Review

Date: 26 July 2010   |   Author: Tristan Young

Category: Upper medium
P11D price: £21,000 (est.)
Key rival: Vauxhall Insignia <

In a little over 18 months Kia will replace the current, somewhat staid, Magentis with an all-new, European-designed model that may carry a new name: the Optima.

The new Magentis (or possibly Optima) won't fade into the background like the current car, and will instead offer user-choosers a sleek alternative to the mainstream Vauxhall Insignia and Ford Mondeo crowd.

At just more than 4.8m, the car is 45mm longer than the current car, which isn't much, but moving the wheels closer to the vehicle's corners means there's now plenty of knee and leg room for passengers over six-feet tall, even with a similar-sized driver.

The interior quality of the car we tested is easily a match for the current crop of family saloons, yet Kia is planning to further improve things before the car arrives in the UK.

While the car is expected to be slightly more expensive than the current model, Kia will offer better equipment and a lower price than rival models, which should equate to £21,000 for a high-spec car.

BusinessCar drove a US market 200hp 2.4-litre automatic, however, UK buyers are scheduled to be offered a choice of two diesel engines, either a 2.0-litre, possibly producing as much as 180bhp, or a lower-powered 1.7-litre unit. UK cars will come with the same super-smooth six-speed auto gearbox found in the 2.4 petrol or a six-speed manual. The diesels are expected to be impressively efficient, but have yet to be given official fuel or CO2 figures. The Magentis will also be available as a petrol-electric hybrid before the end of 2013.

Comfort is first rate, but at motorway speeds there's a fair level of wind and tyre noise. However, this is one of the aspects Kia engineers were keen to say would be improved before cars reach the UK. Body control is good as is steering feedback, but the steering changes from weighty to significantly lighter as you turn the wheel away from straight ahead.

Kia may still be 18 months away from sending the new Magentis to the UK, but if the final car is as good to drive as cars such as the Ceed, fleets will have a hard-to-resist upper medium car with good looks and an amazing whole-life-cost proposition.

Kia Magentis 2.4 4dr auto
P11D price£21,000*
Model price range£19,000-£21,000*
Fuel consumption38.0mpg*
CO2 (tax)175g/km (24%)*
BIK 20/40% per month£88/£176
Service interval18,000mls*
Insurancegroup 25*
Boot space500 litres*
Engine size/power2400cc/200hp
Top speed/0-62mph130mph/8.0secs*
On saleLate 2011
VerdictAssuming the diesels will be
good on CO2, this car will
worry mainstream players
* estimated 


Assuming the diesels will be good on CO2, this car will worry mainstream players