What is it?
This is the newly facelifted Kia Magentis 2.0 CRDi TR. Kia has called in the slow-selling Magentis for a substantial visual makeover and some mechanical revisions. The range has been simplified too with the dropping of petrol engines.
Now buyers are only able to choose the 2.0-litre CRDi diesel engine, with full-on ‘TR’ trim. That brings climate control, part leather upholstery, a power-operated driver’s seat and an iPod dock.
What’s it like?
The revised styling works reasonably well. The previous Kia Magentis suffered from a bug-eyed headlamp treatment that didn’t work at all well on a car this size – now there’s a far more conventional front end that bears a strong resemblance to the previous-generation Honda Accord. The rear lights have been tidied up as well.
The Kia Magentis’s cabin looks and feels old fashioned, but it offers plenty of space for four adults and standard equipment levels are generous.
The new iPod connectivity works well, with playlists accessed directly via the stereo controls.
The 2.0-litre CRDi diesel engine has been revised to produce slightly more power than before, a respectable 147bhp.
The engine lacks enthusiasm below about 2000rpm, but once into its comfort zone it pulls strongly and reasonably quietly.
Unfortunately the rest of the dynamic experience is underwhelming at best.
Controls are poorly weighted, the steering lacks feel and the composure of the Kia Magentis’s over-soft chassis goes to pieces when asked to deal with anything more than the steadiest progress. There’s excess road noise at motorway cruising speeds too.
Should I buy one?
Despite generous standard equipment it remains difficult to see exactly where the Magentis fits into its talented segment.
Fuel economy and CO2 emissions are worse than the class average, depreciation is likely to be steep and for similar money you could have an entry-level diesel-powered Insignia, Mondeo or Passat.
Against that background, it’s hard not to conclude the Magentis will continue to be of minority interest.