Diesel power, modern and dynamic styling, European-standard ride and handling, top-level safety…the latest, all-new version of Kia’s Magentis saloon is more capable than ever of meeting the expectations of both private and fleet users.
It completes a total regeneration of the Korean company’s passenger car range in less than two years. The oldest model on the fleet is now the Picanto, introduced in July 2004.
And with all-new versions of the Sedona and Carens MPVs and a refreshed Sorento SUV also scheduled to arrive in 2006, Kia has one of the most modern product portfolios currently on offer from any manufacturer.
Kia’s unbeatable value for money is evident throughout the range, despite the substantial improvements to every aspect of the car when compared with the outgoing model. Prices start at £14,495 for the 2.0-litre petrol GS manual and £15,995 for the LS manual. The 2.0-litre turbodiesel GS and LS manuals are available for an additional £1000 on top of the petrol grades. Automatic transmission is available on LS versions only at a £1000 premium while the sporty 2.7 V6 LS automatic is priced at £17,495.
Kia Motors (UK) Ltd Managing Director Paul Williams says: "New Magentis will be vital in helping us to open the door to the business market while keeping our traditional retail buyers happy with its blend of comfort and value."
The option of a turbodiesel engine for the first time makes the new Magentis able to compete in the fleet market on level terms with the top-selling Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Vectra and Volkswagen Passat. It will also appeal to cost-conscious private buyers who enjoy the excellent driveability, superb economy and greater range between fill-ups that comes with diesels.
A modified version of the 138bhp 2.0-litre common-rail unit also fitted to the Kia Sportage, gives the new Magentis a combined fuel figure of 47.1mpg, while low carbon dioxide emissions of 162g/km put the car in the 22% band for company car taxation purposes.
Two petrol engines are available in the new Magentis – the all-new 2.0-litre Theta unit developing 142bhp, and a revised version of the smooth 185bhp 2.7-litre V6 that comes with a new five-speed automatic transmission as standard. Four-cylinder engines are available with manual or automatic gearboxes.
The chassis has been tuned with European tastes in mind. The new car has a longer wheelbase and a wider track than the outgoing model, a stiffer body shell, and new suspension systems. At the front there are now MacPherson struts, while a compact system known as in-wheel multi-link is used at the rear. Improved ride comfort, crisper handling and reduced levels of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) are the result. Much of the fine-tuning was done on European roads by engineers from Kia’s R&D centre at Russelsheim, Germany.
The new Magentis is bigger all round than the model it replaces and has a longer wheelbase and a shorter front overhang. As a result it looks, as well as drives, more dynamically. The conservative styling of the old Magentis has given way to clean, modern lines free of unnecessary ornamentation. The platform is specific to Magentis and is not shared with the Hyundai Sonata; though it will also be used on the replacement Carens mid-sized MPV due to go on sale later in 2006.
There is significantly more leg, shoulder and head room in the smart cabin, which represents another step forward in trim quality by Kia. Luggage space is also increased over the old car by nine percent. The use of high-tensile steel in more than 60% of the body improves rigidity, to the benefit of dynamic behaviour and crash safety. Kia anticipates a four-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating.
Kia’s familiar focus on value for money will be evident in the improved standard specification offered on the new Magentis, as well as the traditionally low running costs and the comprehensive three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty package.
All versions are well-equipped. GS models have air conditioning, front, side and curtain airbags, an MP3-compatible radio/CD player, driver’s seat height adjustment and a tilt-adjust steering column, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, powered and heated door mirrors, four electric windows and remote central locking.
LS models have in addition automatic lights, a trip computer, telescopic steering wheel adjustment, full climate control with an air quality monitoring system, powered driver’s seat and heated front seats and stability and traction control with emergency brake assist.
The Kia Magentis competes in the D-segment which accounts annually for well over a quarter of a million sales in the UK each year. Kia expects to sell 1,100 versions of the new model in 2006 and 1,600 in 2007.
The full range is:
2.0 GS manual (5-speed): £14,495
2.0 CRDi GS manual (6-speed): £15,495
2.0 LS manual (5-speed): £15,995
2.0 LS automatic (4-speed): £16,995
2.0 CRDi LS manual (6-speed): £16,995
2.0 CRDi LS automatic (4-speed): £17,995
2.7 V6 LS automatic (5-speed): £17,495