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Kia Magentis

Broadcast dates : 21st Nov 2004
25th Nov 2004


Some 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 features.

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 nicely

There is quite generous use of chrome along the flanks, on the door handles, around the door openings and on the grille-surround.

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 two-point-seven GLS.

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 appreciate.

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 high.

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 model.

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.

Kia Magentis
  • Engine: V6 petrol, transversely-mounted, 2 493 cc
  • Power: 123 kW @ 6 000 rpm
  • Torque: 230 Nm @ 4 000 rpm
  • Transmission: Four-speed automatic, front-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 10,47 seconds (Car Magazine)
  • Top speed: 209 km/h (Car Magazine)
  • Fuel consumption: 11,1 litres/100 km (Car Magazine)
  • Price: R219 995

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