Kia released details of the new Kia Magentis and although here at Car Advice we are not the biggest fans of the Hyundai-Kia brands, we do get a few emails now and then asking us to talk more about realistic cars. I guess posts about the Pagani Zonda are not exactly for everyone.
Nevertheless, here is the new Kia Magentis. Now let me just say again, this is the new Magentis. I will let that sink it for a few minutes, while I take a deep breath and try to come up with words that can describe how ugly a car can be in 2006. It almost looks like the Mitsubishi 380 from the front, which is not a good thing for the 380.
Kia Motors Australia chief executive, YK Chun, said:
The new Magentis is a complete package of high level specification, modern styling, European-standard ride and handling, and segment-leading safety and value – all the things that Australian medium new car buyers are seeking.
Its performance and equipment rivals or surpasses in many areas its natural competitors including Mazda6, Subaru Liberty, Honda Accord VTi and the newly-launched Toyota Camry.
Now more than ever, Kia is capable of meeting the expectations of both retail and fleet car buyers in the medium segment,
Hmmm something in my head starts hurting when I get told that a Kia is comparable to a Honda Accord or a Subaru Liberty. Now while I respect the buyer’s choice to fork out a great deal of money ($26,000 – $31,500 plus on roads) for a Kia, I would urge them to give the likes of Honda Accord and Subaru Liberty a go before taking Mr Chun’s word for it.
The Kia Magentis is available in 3 models the 2.4-litre EX the 2.4-litre EX-Luxury and the 2.7-litre EX Luxury V6. Below are a list of Features that are available onthe new Kia Magentis.
The 2.4-Litre EX comes with :
• 119 kW 2.4-litre DOHC CVVT 4-cylinder engine
• Cruise control
• 16” alloy wheels with 205/60 x16 tyres
• 5-speed manual transmission
• 5-speed Tiptronic-style automatic (optional)
• Cloth interior
• ABS brakes
• Dual front SRS airbags
• Side SRS airbags
• Curtain SRS airbags
• ESP (Electronic Stability Program)
• Pre-tensioner front seatbelts
• Active headrests
• Chrome outer door handles
• Manual air conditioning
• CD/MP3 player
• Steering wheel-mounted remote audio controls
• 6-speaker audio
• In-glass antenna
• 60:40 rear fold seat
• Metal-look console trim
• ‘D’-shaped chrome grille
• 5-function trip computer
• Automatic headlights
• 5-years/130,000kms warranty
The 2.4-Litre EX Luxury comes with all the above plus:
• Front foglights
• Telescopic steering wheel adjustment
• Leather interior trim
• 17” alloy wheels with 215/50 x17 Michelin tyres
• Climate control
• Aluminium-look console trim
• 8-way power driver seat
• Leather-covered steering wheel and shift knob
2.7-litre V6 EX-L
Same as 2.4-litre EX-L, plus:
• 138kW 2.7-litre DOHC V6
• Dual mufflers
• V6 badging
New Kia Magentis offers a complete and segment-leading package of standard safety equipment across ALL three models – anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) and emergency brake assist (EBA), electronic stability program (ESP) with traction control, dual front SRS airbags, side SRS airbags, curtain SRS airbags, pre-tensioner front seatbelts and active headrests.
ABS brakes allow drivers to maintain steering response and directional control even when braking heavily, minimising the risk of an accident. Electronic brake force distribution adjusts the force applied to individual brakes as a further aid to directional stability.
Emergency brake assist recognises when a driver is applying emergency braking and ensures maximum retardation to reduce stopping distances. Electronic stability program and traction control prevent skids by monitoring the car’s course compared to that intended by the driver, and applying the brakes or slowing the engine if necessary.
Should an accident be unavoidable, occupants are protected by a remarkably stiff and strong body and six airbags in all models. In addition, the front seatbelts are fitted with pre-tensioners and active headrests.
While a Magentis has yet to be crash-tested by independent testing organisations, Kia anticipates a four-star Euro-NCAP crash-test rating and a five-star NHTSA rating in the US.
With such a complete safety package – including ESP – standard in ALL models, every Magentis occupant is protected in “real world” crash conditions.
No other car in the medium segment offers such a complete package of safety equipment in every model at such a competitive price.
Two petrol engines are available in the new Magentis – the 119kW all-new 2.4-litre four-cylinder unit and a revised version of the smooth 138kW 2.7-litre V6, both of which come with a new five-speed Tiptronic-style automatic transmission. The four-cylinder engine is also available with a five-speed manual transmission in the EX model.
2.4-litre petrol engine
Kia’s all-new 2.4-litre petrol engine is a state-of-the-art four-cylinder 16-valve unit that is powerful, quiet and economical. Weight-saving measures include a die-cast aluminium block and a plastic cylinder head cover and intake manifold.
It features continuously variable valve timing to optimise low and medium-speed torque plus high-speed performance and economy.
The valve gear is chain-driven to minimise maintenance requirements and cut noise, while auxiliary systems are powered by a serpentine belt. The exhaust manifold is mounted close to the cabin bulkhead to reduce catalyst warm-up times and cut emissions.
A counter-rotating balancer shaft in the crankcase dampens vibrations, noise and harshness. The engine produces 119kW at 6000rpm, with torque of 221Nm at 4250rpm.
Mated to a five-speed manual gearbox, it can power the new Magentis to a top speed of 208km/h. Combined fuel consumption is 8.1 litres/100kms.
With the optional five-speed Tiptronic-style automatic gearbox, the new 2.4-litre Magentis tops out at 195 km/h, and achieves 8.6 litres/100kms on the combined cycle.
2.7-litre V6 engine
The new Magentis is also available with a comprehensively upgraded version of Kia’s powerful and responsive 2.7-litre V6 petrol engine. Performance-boosting modifications include a three-stage variable intake system, mechanical lash adjusters that allow the valve gear to go 100,000kms before maintenance is needed, a quieter timing belt drive and a redesigned block with new cylinder liners.
The changes to the engine have raised power and torque levels to 138kW at 6000rpm and 247Nm at 4000rpm. Driveability is enhanced by continuously variable valve timing and multi-point fuel injection, while dual exhaust pipes distinguish V6 models from the outside.
With a five-speed automatic gearbox as standard, the V6 Magentis is capable of a top speed of 220 km/h and a combined fuel economy of 9.3 litres/100kms.
The new Magentis is available with two five-speed transmissions.
The base model 2.4-litre EX has a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional, newly-developed five-speed Tiptronic-style transmission with sequential shifting.
Both the 2.4-litre EX-Luxury and the 2.7-litre V6 are equipped as standard with the five-speed automatic transmission.
The five-speed automatic is ‘intelligent’ with electronic control that monitors a variety of parameters to guarantee smooth shifts adapted to individual driving styles. The transmission features Kia’s Sport Mode system that allows the driver to exercise sequential manual shifting in place of fully-automatic operation. High top gear ratios ensure reduced fuel consumption and quieter cruising at high speeds.
Both engines offer impressive economy. The 2.4-litre engine has an official combined fuel consumption of 8.6 litres/100kms which, matched with Magentis’ 62-litre fuel tank, means the four-cylinder car can travel up to 720kms on a single tank of 91RON regular unleaded fuel.
At $1.40 per litre of 91RON regular unleaded fuel a full tank costs $86.80, meaning that the 2.4-litre Magentis with five-speed automatic can travel farther than most competitors while costing less to refuel.
The free-revving V6 has an official fuel consumption of 9.3 litres/100kms using 91RON regular unleaded fuel, making it the most economical petrol V6 in the medium segment under $55,000 and placing it ahead of some four-cylinder rivals.
It also compares very favourably with the outgoing Optima which had an official consumption of 10.3 litres/100kms. This better economy and performance can be attributed to a number of improvements including revised engine design, the new five-speed automatic gearbox and a lower coefficient of drag.
The chassis has been tuned with European and Australian tastes in mind. The new car has a longer wheelbase and a wider track than the outgoing Optima, a stiffer body shell, and new suspension systems – all designed to deliver European-style steering response, roadholding, ride comfort and braking.
At the front, the Magentis uses the McPherson strut layout favoured by the majority of medium segment contenders. Mounted on the same sub-frame that supports the drivetrain, it is designed to provide optimum stability and ride comfort with good steering response.
Kia employs a compact transverse sub-frame to support a rear multi-link system with twin upper arms and long lower trailing arms, plus separate coil springs and dampers. The system is so tightly engineered (a significant percentage of the components are mounted within, or very close to, the interior space of the 46mm offset road wheels) that it has been called in-wheel multi-link. Taking advantage of the rigid structure of the new Magentis, it minimises body roll, reduces tyre-generated road noise and ensures negligible intrusion into the passenger or luggage compartments.
The steering is a hydraulically-operated rack and pinion system with 2.8 turns from lock-to-lock for a tight turning circle of 10.8 metres. It makes parking a breeze and allows quick response and good feedback on country roads without being over-sensitive for freeway driving.
The overall result is improved ride comfort, crisper handling and reduced levels of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). Much of the fine-tuning was done by engineers at Kia’s R&D centre at Russelsheim, Germany.
The use of high-tensile steel in more than 60% of the body improves rigidity, to the benefit of dynamic behaviour and crash safety.
Kia devised an all-new platform for the Magentis, bigger all round than the outgoing Optima.
The Magentis is longer (+5mm), wider (+15mm) and taller (+70mm) than the outgoing Optima. It has a 20mm longer wheelbase but a 25mm shorter front overhang. Front and rear track widths have increased by 23mm and 22mm respectively.
Airflow over, around and underneath the car is much cleaner, achieved by careful shaping of the nose, door mirrors, A-pillars and upper door frames and aided by tighter panel fit. With a lip on the front bumper, a full cover beneath the engine bay and airflow deflectors ahead of the fuel tank, the drag coefficient has been brought down from the Optima’s Cd of 0.34 to just 0.32.
Despite the shorter nose, Kia is confident of a four-star Euro-NCAP occupant crash-test rating and a five-star NHTSA rating, thanks in part to the adoption of McPherson strut front suspension in place of the wishbones on the Optima, and a new front subframe assembly. Together, these minimise the loads and stresses that pass into the stiffer body structure of the Magentis.
The new Kia Magentis is roomier, safer, quieter, more luxurious and better-equipped than the outgoing Optima it replaces.
The space improvements for both front and rear occupants are significant, enhancing the five-person comfort and capability of the Magentis.
Both driver and front-seat passenger enjoy up to 10mm more legroom, while rear occupants have a minimum of 40mm more legroom. The substantial increases in the car’s overall width and height deliver more shoulder and head space front and rear.
The hip point of all passengers is a considerable 42mm higher than before, giving a more commanding view of the road. Rear passengers sit 25mm higher than those in front to ensure they also enjoy a view through the windscreen.
Luggage capacity has been improved by 15 litres to an impressive 420 litres, meaning up to four golf bags can be carried, and there are 60:40 split rear seats with fold-down backrests to permit extra-long loads to be carried.
Levels of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) in the cabin have received particular attention. Sound-proofing materials in hollow sections of the body shell; the use of front and rear sub-frames for mounting the suspension; a thick under-bonnet sound-absorbing pad; insulation pads on the cabin floor, in the door cavities and on the bulkhead between the engine bay and passenger cell; triple layer rubber seals and weather strips around the doors and windows; and aerodynamically refined door mirror shrouds and mountings have all helped significantly reduce NVH levels.
Kia is renowned for offering great value but the new Magentis also offers an outstanding and complete package of standard specification in all three models, as well as traditionally low running costs and a comprehensive five-year/130,000kms warranty package.
The 2.4-litre four-cylinder EX model has a five-speed manual transmission or optional five-speed Tiptronic-style automatic transmission, air conditioning; 16” alloy wheels with 205/60 x16” tyres (including full-sized spare); front, side and curtain airbags; an MP3-compatible radio/CD player with steering wheel controls; driver’s seat height adjustment and a tilt-adjustable steering column; power door mirrors; power windows with driver’s side one-touch up/down; cruise control; remote central locking with immobiliser, alarm and ‘panic’ mode; automatic headlights; a five-function trip computer; and high-quality cloth seat trim.
The 2.4-litre EX-Luxury model is fitted with the five-speed Tiptronic-style automatic transmission as standard and in addition to the EX model offers telescopic steering wheel adjustment; full climate control with an air quality monitoring system; 8-way powered driver’s seat; leather interior trim; 17” alloy wheels with 215/50 x17” Michelin tyres (including full-sized spare); front fog lights; aluminium-look console trim; and leather-covered steering wheel and shift knob.
2.7-litre EX-L V6
The top-range Magentis EX-L V6 includes all the features of the EX-Luxury four-cylinder model with the addition of the 2.7-litre V6 engine, dual chromed tailpipes and V6 badging.
PRICINGThe Kia Magentis is a European-styled range which offers a high level of standard specification and segment-leading safety and value across every model.
The starting point is the Magentis EX 2.4-litre model at $25,990 plus on-road costs for the five-speed manual or $27,490 plus on-road costs for the five-speed automatic.
The Magentis EX-L 2.4-litre is available only with five-speed automatic transmission at $29,490 plus on-road costs, while the range-topping Magentis EX-L V6 also comes only with five-speed automatic for $31,490 plus on-road costs.