Used Kia Magentis Saloon 2001 - 2003 review

Category: Family car

A low-cost family saloon. Snobs need not apply

Used Kia Magentis Saloon 2001 - 2003
  • Used Kia Magentis Saloon 2001 - 2003
  • Used Kia Magentis Saloon 2001 - 2003
Used Kia Magentis Saloon 2001 - 2003 review
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Steve Huntingford
Published01 January 2006

What's the used Kia Magentis saloon like?

It isn't a car for the style-conscious, but that's their loss because, for the money, the Magentis drives pretty well and is as practical as many dearer used saloons.

You're nicely cushioned from most lumps and bumps and the car feels composed in fast sweeping bends. Even quick changes of direction are executed tidily.


A low-cost family saloon. Snobs need not apply

  • Comfortable, cheap to buy and well kitted out
  • Cabin quality could be better
  • the 'wrong' badge

The engines are up to the job, too, especially on a steady high-speed cruise, where your only complaint will be the amount of wind noise around the mirrors and side windows.

However, it's not all good news, and the interior controls feel below-par in a cabin that has always looked dated. On the other hand, it's all well equipped, solidly screwed together and reasonably roomy. You can fit two adults comfortably in the back, although three may find it a bit of a squeeze. The boot is large and the rear bench splits and folds.

Ownership cost

What used Kia Magentis saloon will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Kia Magentis saloon?

If it was going to break the bank, no one would ever buy a Kia Magentis. This saloon has four main areas of appeal, and its cheap prices are at the top of the list (the others are space, reliability and stacks of kit).

The Magentis is cheap to buy used because it lost value from new at a frankly alarming rate. Now, most models have reached the age where they'll depreciate at roughly the same rate as a mainstream European family saloon (think Ford Mondeo or Peugeot 406), so you shouldn't lose a fortune when you resell it.

The V6 model will be a little dearer to run - group 15 insurance, an official average of 27.4mpg and slightly dearer servicing, whereas the 2.0 comes in at 32.8mpg and in group 14 for insurance. However, the 2.0 is noticeably cheaper to buy, and that will swing it for those on a tight budget.

Our recommendations

Which used Kia Magentis saloon should I buy?

The 168bhp 2.5 V6 is the more enjoyable drive - it's a sweet, willing engine with decent performance and fair economy. And, if you're set on a V6, get one with the auto gearbox.

However, the 136bhp 2.0-litre car makes better economic sense. It's a little gentler on fuel, insurance and servicing but, crucially, you can put it on your drive for a lot less cash. It's a reasonable drive, too.

We'd also be happy with basic LX trim, which is anything but basic, really. You get twin front airbags, anti-lock brakes, an alarm, electric power for the four windows and the door mirrors, central locking, CD player and air-con. The posher SE throws in leather trim, climate control, side airbags and traction control.

Kia dealers have good used examples, although they tend to focus more on the later Magentis model (2003 onwards), so check out independent traders for a model of this age.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Kia Magentis saloon?