Used Kia Magentis Saloon 2003 - 2006 review

Category: Family car

A cheap, roomy family car, but nowhere near as talented as the best cars in the class

Kia Magentis Saloon (03 - 06)
  • Kia Magentis Saloon (03 - 06)
  • Kia Magentis Saloon (03 - 06)
Used Kia Magentis Saloon 2003 - 2006 review
Star rating

What's the used Kia Magentis saloon like?

This version of the Magentis is better looking than the model it replaced in 2003, but its design remains bland, conservative and dated. However, there's much to interest a family on a tight budget.

For a start, there's stacks of space in the cabin, and the boot is big enough to hold a growing family's luggage. And, if you need any more space, the rear bench splits and folds, too.


A cheap, roomy family car, but nowhere near as talented as the best cars in the class

  • Space, price
  • comfort
  • reliability
  • safety kit
  • Bland looks and a so-so drive
  • Rare, too

However, it's short on driving pleasure. All three engines are fine on a steady cruise, but noisy when you work them. The ride - adequate on smooth surfaces - deteriorates as soon as the road surface does, and the car feels wallowy through a series of corners. There's also too much wind noise at speed.

While the cabin has plenty of kit, the design lacks any flair, and you don't get the same feeling of quality that you do with European rivals. Still, it's all planned out logically and easy to use.

Ownership cost

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

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

The Magentis is all about cheap family motoring and the easy life, which, to many motorists, will be more important than its off-the-pace drive or lack of design flair.

New cars - and nearly new examples - depreciate very heavily so enjoy a bargain, but be careful not to get stung when you sell it.

Routine service costs are reasonable - typically dearer than for a Ford Mondeo but cheaper than for a Hyundai Sonata. Should anything go wrong once the car is out of its three-year unlimited mileage warranty, repair costs should be no worse than average, according to Warranty Direct.

Fuel costs should also be easy to stomach - 35mpg for the 2.0 petrol, 30mpg for the 2.7 V6 and high-40s for the 2.0 turbodiesel. Insurance is group 13 for all models apart from the 2.7, which falls into group 15.

Our recommendations

Which used Kia Magentis saloon should I buy?

There are two petrol engines - a 2.0 and 2.7 - and a 2.0 turbodiesel. The latter throws a decent enough punch, but only over a narrow range of revs, and isn't worth the extra it costs over the 2.0 petrol model.

The 142bhp 2.0-litre petrol needs to be revved hard to give its best, but it's reasonable enough, and the best choice for those on a tight budget. The 2.7-litre V6 doles out an easy, smoother 185bhp but you'll pay for the privilege.

All models are stuffed with kit: six airbags, anti-whiplash head restraints, an alarm and immobiliser, alloy wheels, air-con, four electric windows and a CD player. So basic GS trim will do for most.

SE (later badged LS) adds leather trim and larger alloys, while 2.7 models also have auto transmission and cruise control.


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