The Sportage has had some minor exterior tweaks, but on the inside Kia has re-tuned the steering and change the dampers to reduce body roll.
Braking power has been increased with a change from 15-inch to 16-inch brake discs, transmission ratios have been adjusted and the towing capability has been increased to 1,800kgs.
All seats have been remodelled and UK customers will be pleased to know the indicator stalks have been moved to the left side of the steering wheel as a response to customer feedback.
Kia has also simplified the range, with the entry level as the XE, while XS adds more kit ahead of the range topping TITAN.
The new Sportage is also available with a two-wheel drive version, bringing the entry level price down to £13,995 on-the-road. Following further customer demand, a diesel-automatic combination will also be available.
With the move of production to Zilina, Kia is adding its seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty and an improved corrosion warranty of 10 years for the Sportage range.
2008 Kia Sportage price list:
The major changes are all external, with new front and rear bumpers, new headlights, rear clusters, bonnet and wing mirrors.
A sporty-looking model will be available for the first time, called the Picanto 3. The range topping model will feature a mesh grille, front fog lamps, black bezel headlamps, 15-inch alloy wheels, heated and electrically adjustable wing mirrors with integrated side repeaters, unique dials, headrests and alloy pedals. The Picanto 3 will be based on the 1.1-litre engine.
The launch model, Picanto Ice, comes with air conditioning while the range topping Picanto 3 adds full iPod compatibility through the new factory fitted audio system.
Like the Sportage, and in response to customer demand, the indicator stalks are now on the left hand side of the steering wheel.
2008 Kia Picanto price list: