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Kia Magentis?

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This is the new Kia Magentis replacement or Optima as the Ford Mondeo rival is expected to be christened when it arrives in the UK.

We particularly like the interior, which is a real move forward in terms of quality and design.

The car is longer than the old Magentis and has a spacious cabin that provides plenty of room for four or five adults. There's a decent amount of luggage space, too.

The exterior design is a quantum leap ahead of the old car from any angle. This is all down to Kia's new design director, Peter Schreyer, whose previous work includes the original Audi TT.

See the Kia Magentis on video
Click below to watch our video from the New York motor show.
The Kia Magentis video

A 2.0-litre diesel is expected to be the core engine in the range, although a 2.0-litre petrol will also be offered from launch. Hybrids are planned for the future, but Kia is concentrating on putting such technology into its smaller cars first.

The car is designed by Peter Schreyer, previously of Audi TT fame, who compared the styling of it to that of a well-made, timeless Italian suit.

Simple design
It's got a high waistline, simple, clean surfaces free of fussy details and some nice highlights such as the 'visor' grille and headlights, Aston-style air intakes and interestingly shaped front and rear screens.

More photos of the Kia Magentis

Kia Magentis 1: click to enlarge
Kia Magentis 2: click to enlarge
Kia Magentis 3: click to enlargeSchreyer says he and his Frankfurt-based styling team had a number of benchmark cars on their design boards when putting the Magentis replacement together. He now says his hope is that those manufacturers will now use his car as the next benchmark.

The car goes on sale in the UK early next year, will cost from around 18,000 and is likely to be well equipped.

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