From certain viewpoints, the 2000-2005 Kia Magentis looks quite acceptable.
With the passage of many seasons and, especially in the context of engine downsizing, the V6 allied to a comfortable ride make the Magentis seem even more acceptable. The very same day I saw the Kia, a retired policeman and his wife proudly showed off the engine bay of their (metallic green) Volvo S70: a 2.4 litre quint. Both of these
remind me of the consequences of the prestige and sportiness wars. This much we know. The other thing is that apart from the unwise headlights, it hasn’t aged all that badly and the creases and chrome are very much in style. Had Kia tried less hard and opted for ordinary lamps this would be quite a fine saloon now, like a decent dark blue suit. That’d have left room for a wider grille. Customers for this kind of car would have appreciated “proper” conservative or vernacular forms. Radical can’t be partial (the W210’s lamps fail for the same reason).
Funnily enough this car sold well enough to be relatively common. The successor seems to have sunk without trace even though it apparently “rectified” the 2000 car’s faults. Here’s one:
It has no creases, less brightwork, sensible lamps and no discernable character. No wonder it fizzled: it alienated everyone. The 2000 version probably appealed intensely to all of a small sector of the public, much like the Ford Crown
Victoria in the US. While it left all the mainstream boxes unticked it did stand so far into the conservative sector it must have been like catnip to neglected mainstream big, inexpensive car
lovers: they could afford a loaded Golf for the price of the Kia and said no: I want space, a big displacement engine and a long warranty. Where did these people go after 2005?