Kia saloon smooths the way

Wednesday, 22 January 2003

  • High value package
  • Now available with 2.0-litre engine
  • Latest technology automatic gearbox on 2.0-litre and 2.5-litre V6
  • Best priced mid-range saloon in the UK

The New Magentis is Kia's flagship saloon and enhances Kia's reputation for launching well-engineered cars at affordable prices. A 2.0-litre Magentis is being offered for the first time in the UK alongside the widely acclaimed 2.5-litre V6.  

Around 175,000 Magentis saloons have been sold worldwide since the car was launched. Always a consummate cruiser with a smooth ride, the New Magentis has achieved a 4dB interior noise reduction at 60mph making it one of the most refined cars in its class and ahead of some premium-badged competitors.

The new 134bhp 2.0-litre engine offers the performance and economy of a four-cylinder engine with the hush that few others can match. The top-of-the-range SE retains the silky smooth and highly acclaimed all-aluminum 2.5-litre DOHC 166bhp V6.

The 2.0-litre engine provides power to the front wheels via either a five-speed manual transmission or a Sports H-Matic automatic transmission allowing gears to be shifted manually without the use of a clutch. The driver can choose to tap in quick shifts to provide greater composure and more accurate speed adjustments, especially when driving on demanding hilly or twisty country roads.  The V6 is now only available with the Sports H-Matic transmission.

The front of the New Magentis is more dramatically styled set against the sleek and stylish profile of the car. The revised front end includes a new vertical chrome radiator grille, deeper front bonnet lines that swoop down from the "A" pillars and dual headlamps. The front bumper includes a wide air dam with built-in fog lamps. Selective use of chrome is now all the rage and not just an American obsession, witness the latest offerings from Germany, so the use of chrome for the grill, front fog light surrounds, window surrounds, door handles and waistline rubbing strip lends the car a modern and contemporary appearance with more than a hint of luxury. The look is set-off by new eight spoke 15-inch alloy wheels.

The car has a 2.7m wheelbase and 1.54m track, which combine to give the car secure straight-line stability and impressive ride quality. At 4.72m the Magentis shares very similar dimensions to the Ford Mondeo. Inside space is therefore generous with an impressive maximum front legroom of 1100mm and maximum rear legroom of 920mm with 990mm of headroom in the front and 955mm headroom in the rear. The boot is a generous 386 litres.

The spacious and airy interior features a high level of standard equipment and well thought out design touches. The discreet luxury displayed in the exterior is continued through the interior with the leather steering wheel, chrome door handles and handbrake release button, leather steering wheel and wood trim facia. Meanwhile the SE includes stainless steel scuff plates and leather upholstery. The leather package includes a leather steering wheel and leather wrapped transmission gear lever knob for that luxurious feel.

The Magentis offers a 60:40 split rear seat for carrying larger loads, while access to the large boot, using a remote switch in the driver's door is aided by the smooth operating gas-filled struts.  The New Magentis features gas-filled lifter struts for the bonnet as well.

The passive safety system on the Magentis includes seatbelt pre-tensioners and driver and passenger airbags.  Front side airbags are now fitted as standard on the LX as well as the SE. A sophisticated sensor in the passenger seat detects presence of an occupant preventing unnecessary deployment of the airbag. Magentis is fitted with ISOfix child seat anchor points as standard. The Magentis features a 5mph bumper, which offers four times more protection against minor damage than a 2.5mph bumper. 

Braking performance has been improved with the use of an 8-inch plus 9-inch tandem brake booster allied to an advanced 4-channel, 4-sensor ABS system with EBD (Electronic Brake Force Distribution), providing superior braking performance. While a state-of-the-art traction control system (TCS) is fitted to the SE.

Trim levels clearly demonstrate that the 2.0-litre LX is not a stripped out "entry-level" model. Standard equipment includes ABS with EBD, air conditioning, alloy wheels, four air bags, front fog lights, CD player, four electric windows, electric aerial, leather trim steering wheel, remote controlled key entry including separate boot opening and an alarm. The LX is available either with a manual five-speed gearbox or the advanced Sports H-Matic automatic gearbox. 

The top specification 2.5-litre V6 SE features the Sports H-Matic automatic gearbox as standard along with traction control, climate control with an advanced air quality control system, cruise control, electrically-operated driver's seat and leather upholstery.

At £11,995 the Magentis LX is the most affordable 2.0-litre executive saloon on the UK market, while the SE is the best priced V6 saloon on the UK market. With a high standard specification, very accomplished road manners and a price below the entry level for any similar size executive saloons, the Kia is attracting a new raft of customers who couldn't previously have purchased a new car of this size, specification, quality and performance. The Magentis LX with Sports H-Matic gearbox costs £13,195, while the fully loaded Magentis SE retains its exceptional £15,995 price tag.

The Magentis is placed in insurance group 14 for the LX and 15 for the SE. Service intervals are every 10,000 miles.

Kia's executive saloon received the title Best Family Car at the annual AA/Association of Scottish Motoring Writers (ASMW) Scottish Car of the Year 2001. Voted the winner by 17 leading Scottish motoring writers, the Kia Magentis fought-off tough competition including the Renault Laguna.

All Kias benefit from a three-year/unlimited mileage warranty, six-year anti-perforation warranty and three-years' European roadside assistance for peace of mind when abroad. For further details go to

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