dates : 21st Nov 2004
25th Nov 2004
time ago Kia joined forces with Hyundai, the most successful
Korean car company to date, although the two brands are marketed
very much as separate entities.
But itís clear that the Kia Magentis has drawn heavily on the
large Hyundai Sonata for both its styling and some mechanical
Itís available here in two four-cylinder variants in either
manual or automatic form.
Our test car was the range-topping two-comma-five-litre V6,
which is offered only in automatic form.
Compared to European brands, the styling is definitely
different, but there is a crispness about the Kia that is
pleasing on the eye.
We also enjoyed the unusual pearlescent paintjob, which had a
quality look to it and offset the rather edgy three-box styling
There is quite generous use of chrome along the flanks, on the
door handles, around the door openings and on the
The four-eye headlamp treatment may well be a nod to the
previous-generation E-Class Mercedes.
And the alloy wheels are chunky-looking, adding a certain
solidity to the styling.
The obvious target market for the Magentis is populated by cars
like Toyotaís Camry two-point-four Xli and the Hyundai Sonata
What the Kia does have going for it in this league is a
high-specification of interior features, a cabin thatís
generally of very good quality, and leather upholstery.
Standard-fit luxury items include climate control, a quality
audio system, lumbar support and electric adjustment for the
driverís seat, and plenty of storage compartments.
The storage sections house a pair of cup-holders both at the
front and for the rear passengers.
The audio system includes a cassette player, something many
buyers in this target-market Ė 35 years plus Ė will
While itís not very torquey at low revs, this is one engine
that enjoys being spun up the rev-range!
The power delivery is more than adequate for this class of car.
As a five-seater family car you wouldnít expect sports car
handling from the Magentis, but its ride is a nice balance
between comfort and accuracy.
The steering has good feedback, although the steering wheel rim
is a bit hard and narrow for comfort.
Safety has not been overlooked. There are dual front and side
airbags and seat-belt pre-tensioners.
Traction control is standard, although the likelihood of anyone
indulging in serious performance driving in this car is not
The boot is not very large for a car of this class and this is
where it will be out-gunned by cars like the Camry.
According to Car Magazine, which tested the Magentis for its
November edition, fuel consumption varies between eleven and
eleven-comma-two litres per hundred kilometres, which is quite
acceptable for a V6-engined automatic five-seater.
Like many of its Korean counterparts, itís in the pricing
department where this car scores.
At just under R220 000 it undercuts the four-cylinder Camry by
R10 000, and it offers more features than the Toyota mainstay
In fact its resemblance to the Camry is quite marked in layout.
Itís in the engine department, though, where its V6 refinement
is the pleasant surprise with this Korean newcomer.
- Engine: V6 petrol,
transversely-mounted, 2 493 cc
- Power: 123 kW @ 6 000
- Torque: 230 Nm @ 4
Four-speed automatic, front-wheel-drive
- 0-100 km/h: 10,47
seconds (Car Magazine)
- Top speed: 209 km/h
- Fuel consumption:
11,1 litres/100 km (Car Magazine)
- Price: R219 995
Car Torque is