1 Aug 2006
WE may have laughed at Kia’s previous mid-sized offerings – the medieval Credos of 1998, followed by the invisible Optima duo sold here sporadically for five years from 2001 – but the South Korean firm is deadly serious with the Magentis.
OK, so it’s a Kia with another funny name, but only a fool would ignore a pleasantly presented medium-sized sedan brimming with an alphabet soup of safety-related acronyms – including ESP stability control – and a load of standard features, all for mid-range small-car cash.
And did we mention the new five-year warranty and upcoming Magentis CRD turbo-diesel for under $30K?The MG-series Magentis is a loose development of parent Hyundai’s current NF Sonata platform.
However, with different front suspension and a shorter wheelbase, the two four-door sedans share virtually nothing else beyond a few drivetrain components. They’re not even built in the same South Korean factory.
Driving the front wheels is a development of the 2.4-litre twin-cam 16-valve four-cylinder engine shared with the Sonata. Power and torque outputs are rated at 119kW at 6000rpm, and 221Nm at 4250rpm.
Only the base EX model offers a five-speed manual gearbox, while a five-speed automatic transmission with a Tiptronic-style sequential-shift mechanism is available in all other models.
This includes the 2.7-litre twin-cam 24-valve V6 unit, also known as Hyundai’s Delta V6, which has undergone a series of revisions.
In this application, the power and torque figures are 138kW at 6000rpm and 247Nm at 4000rpm respectively. No manual V6 is offered.
By mid 2007 Kia is expected to also offer a 2.0-litre CRD turbo-diesel four-cylinder version, pumping out 103kW at 4000rpm and 305Nm at 1800rpm.
The new Camry, the Mazda6, Subaru Liberty, and Honda Accord VTi are the Kia’s main rivals.