Kia Magentis saloon (2006-2010)
"The Magentis is one of the oldest cars in Kia's line-up and in places it shows, but a strong diesel engine and low price mean it's still a sensible choice"
- Strong diesel engine
- Easy to drive
- Roomy cabin
- Dull design
- Numb steering
- Poor-quality interior
The Kia Magentis is the Korean firm's rival to the likes of the Volkswagen Passat and Ford Mondeo. Originally launched in 2006 and updated in 2009 the ageing saloon is due to be replaced by the stylish Optima, which made its debut at the New York show last year, and is due to be released towards the end of this year. It's quiet and punchy diesel engine and relatively comfortable ride make it a good motorway companion, but its driving dynamics are well behind the class best.
MPG, running costs & CO2
The 2.0-litre diesel is an economical engine, and 47mpg is impressive on a car this size. Servicing and parts should also be very cheap for the life of the car.
Engines, drive & performance
Both petrol engines were dropped in 2009 - but the 2.0 CRDi diesel is the pick of the bunch. With 147bhp, the Magentis takes 10.4 seconds to get to 62mph, although it's quite noisy on start-up. The six-speed manual gearbox is a little vague, but has much better economy stats than the dated automatic, with 47mpg on the combined cycle. It's an easy car to drive, but is let down by slack controls, vague steering and poor body control through corners.
Interior & comfort
On smooth roads and motorways, the Magentis rides well, making it a relaxed cruiser, but on broken surfaces it struggles to absorb bumps and pot-holes. The driving position is also cramped, making longer journeys tiring. There is plenty of space for passengers though, and the recent facelift added extra noise insulation, so wind and road noise is well supressed.
Practicality & boot space
The saloon's 452-litre boot is decent, better than rivals like the Peugeot 407 for example, but well behind the Ford Mondeo and VW Passat, which both offer over 500 litres. The lack of an estate or hatchback version also means than Kia's smaller C'eed model is much more practical.
Reliability & safety
Kia has a good reputation for reliability, and the Magentis is no exception, with no major mechanical or electrical faults reported. Originally the Magentis only came with a three year warranty, but since 2010 this was extended to seven years or 100,000 miles.
Price, value for money & options
Because Kia isn't associated with building saloons, the Magentis loses a lot of its value over the first three years of ownership. It's priced lower than key rivals, but the depreciation cancels out the initial saving.