The Kia Magentis is a mid-size four door sedan produced by Kia Motors since 2000. The vehicle was marketed worldwide under various nameplates. In Europe and Canada the first generation cars were sold as the Kia Magentis, while in the United States they were known as Kia Optima. The second generation models were known under the Kia Lotze and Kia K5 names in the South Korean market, and the Kia Magentis name globally. In the United States and Malaysia the mid-size sedan was marketed under the Kia Optima name. The first generation Kia Magentis models came as a rebadged version of the Hyundai Sonata and differed from the Sonata only by minor exterior parts changes and range of equipment. The engine choices included a 2.4L Sirius I4 engine produced 149 hp and a 2.7L Delta V6 rated 185 hp. Both 4-speed automatic and 5-speed manual transmissions were available. The United States models received such redesigned Magentis parts as a grille with Kia badge in 2003 and restyled headlamps in 2004.
The second generation Kia Magentis went into production in November 2005. Unlike the first generation models and the original Hyundai Sonata, the new Magentis vehicles were based on a global platform, which was unique to Kia and specially designated to Kia Magentis in order to enter the large MPV segment of the European market. Due to a new longer platform, the Kia Magentis had a 3-inch longer wheelbase. Nevertheless, the Kia Magentis continued to share the power-train with Hyundai Sonata, that is a 2.4L inline-four engine producing 175 hp, 5-speed Sportmatic automatic transmission or 5-speed manual transmission. In 2008 a revised and updated Kia Magentis debuted at the New York International Auto Show. This update 2009 model was redesigned under the supervision of Kia's chief design officer Peter Schreyer, also a former chief designer for Audi and Volkswagen. New exterior parts were tail lamps and front-end styling. The interior main changes include a Sirius Satelite Radio/MP3/CD with an auxiliary jack and a redesigned instrument cluster. The new Theta II I4 engine power is increased to 176 hp. The 2.7L V6 engine has few changes, though its power is increased to193 hp. Five-speed manual transmission is standard in the base models. A proximity key with push-button start and paddle shifters on SX models is added to the 2010 models.
The third generation Kia Magentis debuted at the 2010 New York Auto Show. The new Magentis is completely redesigned under the leadership of Peter Schreyer and comes with much sleeker and sportier design. A new, known as the Tiger Nose corporate grille is offered. The Kia Magentis follows the new Kia's design language unveiled with Kia Sorento and Kia Forte. Three trim levels are available: the base LX, upscale EX and sporty SX models. The sedan is equipped with a naturally aspirated 2.4L I4 engine rated 200 hp, and a turbocharged 2.0L version of the same engine producing 274 hp. It is the first Kia's turbocharged application in the United States and first to come with a gasoline direct injection engine. Both power-trains are mated to 6-speed automatic or manual transmissions. The base LX model has standard 6-speed manual transmission. The Kia Magentis has a class leading power and fuel economy characteristics. The advanced safety features are ESC and ABS brakes, dual front airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. The SX models add carbon insert and black hybrid metal trims, a rear spoiler and metal pedals. The heated steering wheel, cooled front seats, heated front and rear seats, a panoramic moon roof are available.
The Kia Magentis takes on the world as a spacious midsize that provides a tasteful appeal in several ways. A nice touch of class underlines the scope of the exterior, adding a nifty touch of aerodynamic sensibility that cannot be overlooked by its competition. Is the interior as reputable as the outside of the vehicle? You bet, as the Magentis comes equipped with a modern setup and comfortable seating which elevates its profile even further. The Magentis may be one of Kia's more underrated models, but don't tell that any of its drivers.
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