Kia Magentis driven
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What's not to like about the new Kia Magentis? Well, now that Kia has decided to bump the price up to £17,295, rather a lot actually.
Time was when the Magentis was a bit of a bargain, offering the space and luggage capacity of a Volkswagen Passat at the price of a Golf. That meant that you could put up with the soggy handling, poor driving position, unsupportive seats, some decidedly iffy interior trim and a duffer of a diesel engine.
Along with a pretty major face-lift, Kia has tried to address these shortcomings, but it hasn't been entirely successful.
The cabin is still an uninspiring place to while away the miles, and although the 2.0-litre diesel engine has been replaced with a stronger 147bhp unit, it still feels very flat under 2000rpm and runs out of puff by 4000rpm. Just as damningly, it's married to a notchy, slow-shifting six-speed gearbox.
At least an average fuel consumption figure of 47.1mpg is competitive, and CO2 emissions of 158g/km put the Magentis into the 22% company car tax bracket.
Back on the road, the ride is comfortable enough on the motorway and there's now less body sway through bends, but the steering is extremely vague and the Magentis runs out of grip early on more taxing roads.
Although wind and road noise aren't massively intrusive, they're nowhere near as well isolated as they are in the class-leaders.
At least you still get a fair bit of kit for your money, including alloy wheels, air-conditioning and electric mirrors – but then again, so does the massively superior (and only £250 more expensive) Volkswagen Passat 2.0 TDI 110 S.