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New York show: Kia upgrades Magentis

New look: New bumpers increase the Magentis' overall length by 75mm.

New interior and exterior cosmetics are highlights in a facelift for Kia's Magentis

Kia logo25 Mar 2008

By DAVID HASSALL

KIA has given its mid-size Magentis a major facelift with a redesigned exterior and interior that were shown for the first time at the New York motor show last week.

Called Optima in the US and some other markets, the Magentis has been made longer overall – extended by almost 50mm at the front and 25mm at the rear – with refined styling features at both ends, including the grille, lower fascia, headlights and tail-lights.

Inside, the interior has been revised with new seat trims, a new audio system and optional satellite-navigation for the first time.

17 center imageMechanically, the big news is the adoption of double variable valve timing on the 2.4-litre four-cylinder base engine, which boosts power from 119kW (at 4000rpm) to 130kW, while torque also rises, from 221Nm (at 4250rpm) to 229Nm. Fuel consumption is also said to be improved.

The alternative 2.7-litre V6 carries over from the current model, but also gets a slight increase in performance – up from 138kW/247Nm to 142kW/250Nm.

Kia has also introduced a sportier model called the SX, which gets a firmer suspension tune, black-bezeled grille and headlights, LED repeaters in the wing mirrors, foglights and bigger 17-inch alloy wheels.

The new Magentis will not go into production until August, so expect it to arrive in Australia around October, but no decision has yet been made about the SX coming here.

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