The roomy, conservatively elegant Magentis shares its underpinnings and certain body panels with the Hyundai Sonata, but does it have what it takes to stand out from its fellow Korean?The roomy, conservatively elegant Magentis shares its underpinnings and certain body panels with the Hyundai Sonata, but does it have what it takes to stand out from its fellow Korean?

There are three models, offered with a choice of two engines – a 2,0-litre 16-valve four cylinder and all-aluminium 2,5-litre V6.

The most obvious visual difference between the Kia’s mid-ranger and the Sonata is at the front and rear ends of the car. The Magentis has a bold slatted grille, rectangular headlights together with round brights and front fog lights are integrated into the large air intake with chrome finishes.

Door handles and exterior mirrors are colour coded. The flagship is fitted with 15-inch alloy wheels and 2,0-litre derivatives are fitted with wheel covers. Viewed from behind, the Magentis’ rectangular rear taillight clusters will definitely not be to everyone’s taste, but are protected by a polycarbonate lens covers. The license plate cut out area of the bootlid is also finished in chrome.

Inside, the Magentis features plush leather trim and aluminium trim throughout the range. Standard specification includes radio/CD/tape audio system with Infiniti speakers, air-conditioning, electric windows and mirrors, central door locking switch, power steering, map-reading and centre lights, electric fuel- and bootlid openers, tilt-adjustable steering wheel, night-time illumination for the door keyhole and remote control central locking.

The flagship model has additional one-touch button operated automatic climate control, steering wheel-actuated cruise control, and electrically-adjustable driver’s seat.

The base model is powered by a second-generation Sirius II engine, with five speed manual, or four speed automatic transmissions. The engine has a maximum power output of 101 kW at 6 000 r/min and delivers 184 N.m of torque at 4 500 r/min.

Kia claims the manual version will accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 11,5 seconds (automatic version 11,9 seconds). Maximum speed is rated at 207 km/h and 195 km/h respectively.

The top-of-the-range Magentis is available only with a dual gate H-matic sport mode transmission system and is powered by a Delta 2,5-litre V6 multivalve motor. The engine has a 123 kW power peak achieved at 6 000 r/min and delivers 230 N.m of torque available at 4 000 r/min. Kia says the 2,5 will sprint from zero to 100k m/h in 8,8 seconds and reach a top speed of 209 km/h.

The Magentis has independent double-wishbone front suspension, which comes with coil springs and an anti-roll stabiliser bar. The rear rides on an independent multi-link set up with coil springs and anti-roll stabiliser bar. The rear suspension also features DTC, dynamic toe-in control for added rear end stability, the manufacturer claims.

In terms of safety, it is equipped with dual front airbags and dual side airbags, seatbelt pre-tensioners and load limiters, traction control and ABS with optional EBD.