Review: KIA Magentis (2000 – 2005)


Stacked with kit and very cheap to buy. V6 makes a pleasing sound and is a decent drive.

Early cars better looking. Facelift had the opposite effect. Some suspect quality plastics and trim.

Recently Added To This Review

13 January 2003

For 2003 the Magentis got a new look, better refinement and a smaller, more economical 134bhp 2.0 litre four cylinder engine option. Prices now: 2.0LX £11,995; 2.0LX 4-speed auto £13,195; 2.5SE... Read more

13 December 2002

385 Magentis SE models VIN KNEGD224315084013 to 25170542 recalled because side airbags connections transposed. New wiring harness to be fitted. Read more

22 April 2001

Biggest new car bargain available in the UK in its day. A 166bhp 2.5 litre KV6 saloon for just £12,995 on the road. 15' 6" long and 6' wide with an interior volume of 2,832 litres and a boot capacity... Read more

KIA Magentis (2000 – 2005): At A Glance

The 2001 Kia Magentis is a big, five-seater 166bhp V6 air-conditioned saloon with ABS and alloys for £12,995 on the road. Well, obviously, I had to check it out.

As you can see, it's not bad looking either. There's a bit of Mitsubishi about it, a hint of Honda Accord, and something of the BMW 3 Series, but nothing startling or strange

What does a KIA Magentis (2000 – 2005) cost?

KIA Magentis (2000 – 2005): What's It Like Inside?

Plenty of thoughtful touches, like three proper three-point rear seatbelts; split-folding rear seat to extend the boot-space; big red lights on the open front doors to help save the lives of cyclists; a fully adjustable driver's seat; useful console trays to store mobile phones, loose change and keyrings; electric windows and mirrors; remote central locking; bags of rear legroom. It's very easy to live with.

True, the seat material is a bit off-putting and the blue-grey plastic of the dash and steering wheel assaults the nostrils as well as the eyes. The radio and single CD player is a cheapskate Philips item, and you have to pull the antenna out of the back wing manually. The keys are unnecessarily enormous. You'll be pushed to get 30mpg in day-to-day driving. But you can't have everything for £12,995.

Child seats that fit a KIA Magentis (2000 – 2005)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

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What's the KIA Magentis (2000 – 2005) like to drive?

It drives well enough. Where you might have expected feel-free, over-light power steering, this actually has some meat in it. The engine is smooth and almost completely silent at idle. But step on the gas and it responds willingly with a joyful, Alfa-like whoop.

You get a few old-fashioned Mitsubishi Galant-like clonks from the suspension when negotiating the pot-holes which our councils should have filled instead of using the tarmac for road humps. Again, no big deal. The ride quality is pretty good. And you'll still be smiling at how much money you've paid compared to anything else that comes even remotely close.

Out on the open road you're always tempted to give the car some welly just to hear the glorious snarl of its engine as the revs freely whip past 6,000, taking you to serious speeds quite quickly. Then slot it into 5th and you're cruising at 25mph per 1,000 rpm with the engine inaudible at the legal limit. Wind noise is also almost non-existent. All you hear is a bit of tyre roar from the 205/60 R15 Hankook Radial 866 tyres, which you'll probably swap for better rubber when they wear out anyway.

Push very hard into a corner and you do encounter a kind of lurch understeer that encourages you to lift off. Definitely cruder than a Mondeo 24v, but better than a Vectra V6 and certainly nothing to get alarmed about.

What have we been asked about the KIA Magentis (2000 – 2005)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Should I replace my KIA Magentis with a KIA Carens?

Currently I am driving a KIA Magentis SE in which I drive an average of 8,000 miles pa. It is beginning to cost a lot at MoT time. Having had a shoulder injury, I have been advised to get a vehicle with a flat loading area so that I do not have to lift my golf gear over a "lip". My budget is a maximum of £14,000. I have been considering a KIA Carens but would consider other suggestions. In addition, will a diesel suit my mileage better than petrol?
A KIA Cee'd is a better car and makes more sense than a Carens, and there is a Cee'd SW. See: 8000 miles isn't enough to justify a diesel, but Cee'ds don't yet have diesel particulate filters, so don't suffer from related problems.
Answered by Honest John
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