The car is bigger in all directions: length (+5mm), width (+15mm) and height (+70mm). It feels roomy inside, front and rear, and has a 420-litre capacity boot. The only thing that isn’t bigger is the nose (25mm shorter front overhang), which opens up the space inside.
Soundproofing in the cabin is much improved. Unfortunately, all this does is highlight the noise from the rear. This is no problem for the driver and front passenger, who experience a quiet ride. Passengers in the rear get a much noisier deal.
The driver gets a simple dashboard to look at. The instruments are laid out in a logical manner, but it is a little dull. The handbrake is the biggest bugbear, as it comes nearly up to your armpit when you use it.
The new Magentis offers a turbodiesel engine for the first time, which increases its chances of competing in the coveted fleet market. And the diesel gives by far the best drive. It is smooth, responsive, quiet and frugal. This is the engine that will win over conquest sales.
The fact that the Magentis offers so much for the money over its competitors will get people into the showroom; the fact that the diesel is so easy and comfortable to drive will help complete the sale.
Price: From £14,495
Engine: 2.0-litre petrol, 2.7-litre V6, 2.0-litre diesel
Performance: Petrol: 0-62mph: 10.2 sec; top speed: 129mph; V6: 0-62: 9.1sec; top speed: 137mph; Diesel: 0-62mph: 10.4sec; top speed: 125mph
Transmission: Manual or automatic
Efficiency: Petrol: 36.7mpg (combined); 184g/km CO2 ; V6: 30.7mpg (combined); 220g/km CO2; Diesel: 47.1mpg (combined); 162g/km CO2
Rivals: Vauxhall Vectra, Škoda Octavia, Ford Mondeo