This entry-level specification model in the Sportage range illustrates just how far and how quickly Kia has evolved into a quality car manufacturer.
Despite the base trim, the interior is tidy and doesn’t scream cheap. Standard items include 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, all-round electric windows, a two-way adjustable steering column, body-coloured electric door mirrors, remote central locking, a leather-covered steering wheel and gearlever knob, front fog lights and cornering lights, a rain sensor, Bluetooth connectivity with voice recognition, cruise control, steering wheel-mounted controls and an iPod cable.
Customers get a lot for their money. Features such as LED daytime running lights as standard add to the quality feel.
Peter Schreyer’s design means Kia’s intentions to be known for style rather than just value isn’t just a load of PR fluff.
The 1.7 diesel has enough poke to pull the 2WD SUV through city centres with ease.
The engine’s intelligent stop/go system cuts emissions down to 135g/km, drivers can achieve 54.3mpg and it gets an Eco Dynamic badge on the back for environmental brownie points.
Kia believes it will sell 10,000 Sportages in the UK this year, with this model taking the biggest slice of the pie with 39% of sales.
While the majority of customers in this segment are retail buyers, the new 1.7-litre CRDi will increase Kia’s fleet presence.
It believes it can achieve a 69% retail and 31% fleet sales split, dominated by the 1.7 CRDi, but the majority of corporate drivers will go for the next trim up in the model range.