If you’ve never heard of the Kia Magentis, you’re not alone. Despite the success Kia has enjoyed here in recent years, the Magentis may be one of the most obscure cars in the Canadian market.
I recently spent a week with the 2010 Magentis, a loaded SX-V6 model, which lists for $30,795, and came away with the feeling that the biggest problem with the car is that it just doesn’t get noticed.
It blends in with the crowd so much that it gets lost in the shuffle -- not a good thing in a mid-size segment with so many excellent automobiles like Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Chevy Malibu, Ford Fusion and, of course, the popular Sonata.
The four-door, five-passenger Magentis starts life in LX trim with a five-speed manual transmission and a 175-hp, 2.4-litre inline four-cylinder engine. Priced at $21,995, it features six airbags, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, electronic stability control, cruise control, an audio system with AM/FM/CD/MP3 and six-speakers and steering wheel controls, keyless entry, manual air conditioning, heated front seats, windshield wiper de-icer and 16-inch wheels. All in all, it’s a pretty impressive entry-level package. A five-speed automatic transmission adds $1,200 to the price.
My tester was nicely outfitted inside with leather seats, aluminum accents and more use of chrome than in the LX. It was spacious and comfortable, but with a bit too much of a plastic look for a $30K-plus car.
This is more of a driver’s car than the other trim lines as it has a sport-tuned suspension and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. I’m not sure how often drivers would use these paddle shifters, but it’s a nice touch nevertheless.
The interior appears very spacious with generous rear seat legroom, certainly on par with others in the segment. Trunk room is generous and the 60/40 split rear seats can also be folded down to add to the cargo capacity.
The cabin is quiet and comfortable at speed and although this trim level was equipped with the sport suspension, the ride tends toward the comfort side of the ledger, handling bumps and potholes without too much jarring.