Sportage makes early UK debut

6 Jul, 2010 4:55pm

Kia’s new SUV arrives here earlier than planned with special First Edition.

Kia is so keen to get its new Sportage onto the market, that it’s built a special early batch of right-hand drive models. The first cars, which go on sale on August 1st, will be sold as a high-spec First Edition, and will only be offered with the firm’s 2.0-litre diesel engine and four-wheel drive.

Buyers will be able to choose manual or automatic transmissions, and from a choice of five colours, including the special Techno Orange colour that the car was launched in at the Geneva Motor Show.

All First Edition cars get a full leather interior, climate control, automatic wipers, LED daytime running lights and 18-inch alloy wheels as standard.

Full details of the First Edition, including the on-the-road price will be available on 20th July. The rest of the Sportage range, which includes two-wheel drive variants and petrol and additional diesel engines goes on sale in November.

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We Aussies will be very interested to hear how this car compares to its rivals. Kia's designs have been generating lots of interest. This one is very interesting.

I must say I have been a bit of a fan of recent Kia designs. They seem to be flying the flag for cool, tasteful exteriors while the europeans are busy forgetting how to do this, and producing all manner of gimmicky horrible things.

Sadly this looks pretty grim. The rear threequarter vision must be diabolical too.

I am looking forward to test driving the new Sportage, i have to agree though, it does look a bit grim! I personally prefer the look of the old Sportage, except for the grill, i always preferred the Tiger nose grill of the Sorento, that would have looked good on a Sportage. Before i decide which SUV i am going to buy i would like to take out the oldie to? Then perhaps see what the new boy has to offer, i don't know there will be too much between them. My own local KIA dealer informs me the new look Sportage is just going to be a smaller version of the Sorento! I like the old guy, it looks like a proper 4X4 unlike the likes of the Nissan squashcar and many similar looking! We shall have to see, time will tell!

From the one picture we can see the new Sportage on the same production line as the Cee'd Estate. Very obvious that the Sportage is Cee'd size then and therefor spot-on for taking the fight to the traditional "compact" 4x4 size of the RAV4, Freelander, Antera, Captiva, etc. Very good to finally see the fruits of the efforts Kia is making to adjust its model range towards European taste.

Does this mean that we can expect a new "sub-compact" 4x4 from Kia to replace the old Sportage?

I have been lucky enough to bag a couple of hours test drive, non accompanied in the new Sportage. Craking vehicle, had the cool reverse camera in the rear view mirror, LED running lights and full leather interior. It was great to drive too, very good pick up, slightly clunky gear change, but smooth acceleration and good road manners made up for that. Rear view was not great, not helped by the privacy glass, but for reversing, once you got your head around it, the reversing camera was a neat touch aided by reverse parking sensors. I've got to say for £20,800 and a seven year warranty, the Ford Kuga looks over priced, the same car spec would be Titanium with leather pack £28,700 almost £8000 grand more and a 3yr warranty. I think Kia have finally arrived and the rest of the car industry should be very worried indeed!

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