Exclusive! First drive: Kia Magentis

Kia Magentis

Kia is set to launch its Mazda 6-rivalling Magentis in the UK next summer – but Autoblog has been privy to an early taste of the car the maker is dubbing its 'game changer'.

Nearly a year ahead of schedule we've managed to get behind the wheel of the new D-Segment motor that's described as 'a dramatic leap forward for the brand'.

Aimed at 30 to 40 year old males, the Magentis has been given an emphasis on 'fun, value and style'. But what's most impressive is its striking looks – it really is an eye-catcher and has an aggressive stance that looks great on the road.

The Magentis is likely to be powered by a 166bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine or 115bhp 1.7-litre diesel unit with optional ISG stop start technology when it's launched. However, decisions on this have not yet been made officially.

Kia Magentis Drive
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Exclusive! First drive: Kia Magentis

Specification is high with a panoramic sunroof, memory air ventilated seats, Bluetooth and a camera integrated into the rear view mirror all included.

On the track we got to try a US-spec 2.4-litre petrol powered model. This won't be coming to the UK, but was a good indication of the level of refinement the Magentis will offer. It's a smooth drive especially when mated to the silky six-speed auto that will be on UK cars.

Inside there's an impressive amount of space in the front and back, a classy dash and centre console with comfortable seats. The Magentis handled well from what we could gather on our short test and road noise was noticeably low.

Kia wouldn't be drawn on engine performance details or prices for the Magentis as it's still a year off, but expect it to be 'affordable and competitive' for the segment.

One obstacle to overcome in this class will be some badge snobbery, but we're sure its combination of good looks, keen pricing and lengthy seven-year warranty will win buyers over.
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