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Following in the footsteps of the Hyundai Sonata, the Kia Optima, known as the Magentis in Europe, has also received a ground-up redesign. Kia debuted the Magentis in Frankfurt and it seemed to win over the journalist crowd with its larger size, the addition of a diesel engine, and its new more mainstream styling.

While not distinctive enough to stand out in a crowd, the Magentis is a fine looking sedan with a deep grille and headlights that evoke the Infiniti Q45 by climbing up the fenders. The new diesel engine is a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder producing 138 hp and 225 lb-ft of torque. Also available are a four- and five-speed automatic, as well as a five-speed manual and a six-speed manual transmission available in conjunction with the diesel engine.

Kia seems to be content existing in the shadow of its parent company, Hyundai, and it will no doubt stay there for the foreseeable future. But as Hyundai continues to rise up the sales chart thanks to a stable of more competitive products, Kia stands to benefit greatly from new vehicles like the Magentis that possess all the winning qualities of the Hyundai products from which they?re derived.

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