It looks as good as it drives

The basis of the 2009 Kia Magentis is a modern, dynamic, European-influenced four-door saloon that successfully harmonises the flair of the new design face of Kia which has been developed by Kia's Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer.

The styling has been given the 'Schreyer' treatment all round, most notably the new 'tiger nose' grille at the front, with a long sweeping, bold front bonnet edge which caps the grille and headlights. This is a design cue which has been seen on the international Kia Forte (Cerato) which has commenced sales in some markets in early 2009, and will be evident in the new Sorento, which was unveiled at the 2009 Seoul Motor Show.

Kia Magentis is a D-segment car that competes with the Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Insignia and Volkswagen Passat. Even with the gravitation of buyers to compact SUVs, MPVs and so-called premium-badge cars, this sector still accounts for well over a quarter of a million sales in the UK each year.

The Magentis has clean, crisp lines free of unnecessary ornamentation and the new enhancements give it a more premium look and feel. Dynamic from any angle, emphasised by the voluminous front, the sporty yet stable rear links to the the strong profile with its sweeping C-pillar. The car is 65 mm longer than the outgoing model, which gives a sleeker appearance.

When designing the Magentis, Kia made a totally clean start that involved an all-new platform to be shared with the Carens, the company's clever compact MPV - the 2009 Kia Magentis builds on that package. The platform allowed Kia designers to give Magentis a dynamic stance that does justice to the way it drives, plus exactly the proportions they wanted - not only for style but also for safety and aerodynamic performance. There is, naturally, ample room for five passengers and their luggage.

The airflow over, around and underneath the car is aided by careful shaping of the nose, door mirrors, A-pillars and upper door frames, plus the improved tight panel fit which are a result of increased investment in the Hwasung plant where Kia Magentis is built. With a lip on the front bumper, a full cover beneath the engine bay and airflow deflectors ahead of the fuel tank, the drag coefficient is just 0.32.

The ethos that Peter Schreyer has brought to Kia is clear within the 2009 Kia Magentis. The front is dominated by the bold, wide tiger nose grille, flanked by sharp almost aggressive headlamps and underlined by a deep front bumper. The restyled, smooth and more sophisticated rear lamp clusters underline a more premium look for the Kia Magentis while a restyled bumper gives a solid appearance. The car sits on newly styled 17-inch alloy wheels as standard.

The new styling is in keeping with the aim of Kia Motors Corporation - to bring Kia to the forefront of vehicle design by making it a brand famous for good quality products that offer value and all in a design led package.

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