The top-of-the-range Kia Magentis saloon is on display for the first time in Europe at the Paris Motor Show. This elegant four-door saloon is being offered with a choice of 2.0-litre 4-cylinder or 2.5-litre V6 engines.

Kia will be offering a fully-equipped V6 powered saloon in the UK for the first time and Magentis is likely to become the best-priced V6 saloon available when the car is launched in 2001. The Kia Sedona MPV currently holds the crown as the most affordable V6 powered car on the UK market.

Also being shown for the first time in Europe is Kia Sephia II, a mid-range 1.6-litre 4-door saloon, which includes advanced features such as EBD (Electronic Brake-Force Distribution).

Mark Quinn, Managing Director of Kia Cars (UK) Ltd, said:

"The phenomenal success of Kia over the last 12 months has clearly demonstrated that there is an expanding market for well engineered but price competitive cars in the UK. The Magentis will strengthen our product offering and enable us to target customers who wouldn't previously have put Kia on their shopping lists."

He added:

"The quality of the latest line-up of cars shows just how fast Kia is progressing. It is also a dramatic illustration, if one was necessary, of the new-found confidence in the company."

Comfort is a high priority with Magentis. The car features gas filled shock absorbers allied to an advanced multi-link rear suspension to provide optimum ride comfort and stability. Extensive efforts have been made to make Magentis one of the quietest cars in its class.

Up-to-the-minute equipment available with Magentis includes four airbags (with a passenger presence detector system in the front passenger seat to prevent unnecessary deployment), traction control (on V6), 4-channel, 4-sensor ABS with EBD (Electronic Brake Force Distribution) and an integral child seat. A 4-speed automatic transmission with "sports mode" has also been developed for the car.

Magentis is the first Kia product developed exclusively since the company joined the Hyundai Group in 1999.