Kia says the new Sportage is expected to appeal to the lifestyle of New Zealanders, where its versatility and compact dimensions make it a great everyday vehicle for both city driving and adventurous get-aways.
Longer, wider and lower than the previous model – by 90mm, 15mm and 60mm respectively – and with a 10mm longer wheelbase, the third generation Sportage “is roomier, stronger yet lighter, more powerful yet thriftier, safer and greener than before”.
The Sportage weighs 91kg less than the previous model, and a lower drag figure. More than 70% of the body is made from high tensile or ultra high tensile steel, so is stronger, safer and more rigid.
Sportage benefits from a completely new drivetrain, with a choice of 2-litre and 2.4-litre petrol or 2-litre diesel and 6-speed sequential automatic (manual is available to special order on some models). Petrol models arrive first, with the diesel slated for the first quarter of 2011.
The R2.0 diesel in the Sportage generates a reported 28% more power than its predecessor (130kW @ 4000rpm versus 103kW @4000) and a 30% increase in torque (392Nm between 1800 and 2500rpm, against 305Nm) thanks to new variable vane turbocharger technology. Overall, fuel consumption has been lowered by 6%, with the diesel auto averaging 7.5L/100km.
The 2-litre and 2.4-litre petrol engines are both from the new Theta II family, featuring CVVT (continuously variable valve timing) technology for improved power and smoothness. The 2-litre unit delivers 122kW @ 6200rpm of peak power and 197Nm of torque @ 4600 rpm, while the 2.4-litre produces 130kW @ 6000rpm and 227Nm @4000rpm.
As well as the front-wheel-drive, the Sportage boasts a new all-wheel-drive system called Dynamax. It is an on-demand system that Kia says continuously senses conditions and anticipates when AWD will be required. On more demanding surfaces the driver can lock the axles together.
Sportage also features a suspension system that Kia tuned especially for roads in this part of the world.
Also new to the Sportage is Downhill Brake Control and Hill Start Assist, the latest version of Kia’s Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system with new Rollover Sensor technology, in addition to Anti-Lock Brakes, Traction Control, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Cornering Brake Control and Brake Assist System.
Inside, there is increased legroom and the seats are newly designed.
The new dashboard layout is styled similar to that on the Sorento R, with instruments easy to read at a glance. There’s even a chilled glovebox on some models.
Steering wheel mounted audio controls, cruise control, rear park assist, keyless entry and an alarm are also part of the standard package.
Limited models acquire leather upholstery, a double length sun roof, electric driver’s seat, heated front seats, engine stop/start button, dual zone climate control, rain sensing wipers and privacy glass.
The third generation Kia Sportage will go on sale in New Zealand from 1 October, with the entry model targeting the $32,990-to-$34,990 bracket.
“It’s an active lifestyle vehicle with attitude. The styling is edgy, resembling a sports coupe, yet when you climb inside, the new Sportage is extremely roomy, practical and packed with thoughtful features, such as a reversing camera on most models,” says Todd McDonald, General Manager of Kia Motors New Zealand.
See the Kia Sportage for sale.