ALL NEW KIA SPORTAGE: THE SPORTY COMPACT REVAMPED

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As one of the frontrunners amongst its Korean counter parts, Kia Motors has enjoyed a considerable amount of success globally. Their quality and overall satisfaction have propelled it to success as an auto manufacturer in different parts of the globe. While in the past Japanese manufacturers reigned supreme in terms of quality, Kia have demonstrated their ability to go head to head with the best time and again.

The Korean automobile maker has always been a strong competitor in the Nepalese automobile market. It has been around for a very long time, and its popularity has experienced a gradual rise. One of the most loved and sold offerings from Kia Motors, under their distributors Continental Group, is the compact SUV Sportage.

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The Sportage has undergone several developments with each new progressive model. It is currently on its fourth generation and has received quiet an overhaul. With brand new looks and features, we set out to determine whether or not it is set on course to yet more success.

EXTERIORS

The Korean car makers haven’t been holding anything back in recent times, and Kia have come with all guns blazing with their bold new design for the Sportage. A lot of effort has gone into the architecture of the new Sportage. The design was penned in Kia’s European design studio in Frankfurt, Germany, not in South Korea, with significant input from the company’s Korean and Californian design studios.

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It boasts of an aggressive front end with a tall muscular bonnet. Kia’s signature tiger-nose grille, which was designed by their German born designer Peter Schreyer (who worked for Audi), makes an appearance in the Sportage. The headlights have been separated from the grille and placed higher so that they sweep back along the outer edges of the bonnet.

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The new Sportage has a longer wheelbase at 2670 mm, but retains the same height. Although the roof neatly slopes downwards, it has not affected the cabin space too much. As attractive as the face is the rear of the Sportage. The roof line slopes into a nice spoiler with a shark fin antenna. It has a very sleek element to it with the LED tail lamps flanking either side of an LED tail gate garnish.

(Scroll below for exterior highlights)

INTERIORS AND FEATURE

The interiors and features are nothing short of spectacular in the new Kia Sportage. The spacious cabin exuberate a premium feel. Fit and finish of the interiors are of top quality.In the full variant, you get a panoramic sunroof, cruise control, drive modes, parking sensors; you name it, it has it. A simple system console performs the duties of Bluetooth connection, phone and music. Steering wheels get a number of controls that manage telephony, music and mode selection.

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The instrument cluster provides the information you need when you drive in a visually appealing and readable manner in a 4.2” color TFT LCD flanked with analog speedometer and rev meter. Rear view cameras display what’s going on behind you on the inside rear view mirror. The lateral design of the dashboard divides it into two clear zones. The upper “display” zone delivers information to occupants via the instrument panel and new color touchscreen.The lower half, or the “control” zone, features easily identifiable switchgear to operate the available dual-zone climate system, audio and secondary controls. Similar to the touchscreen, the center console has been angled to face the driver.

There are a number of available safety features added, including lane departure warning, autonomous emergency braking, bi-xenon high-intensity discharge headlights, and rear cross-traffic alert.

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The boot is family-friendly, too, measuring 491 litres – which isn’t massive for the class, but the Sportage’s broad boot aperture means loading in items such as a heavy suitcase is simple. Six airbags come standard – driverand front passenger, first row side airbags, and first and second row curtain airbags.

(Scroll below for interior features)

PERFORMANCE

Forward visibility from the new Sportage has been significantly improved by the use of thinner A-pillars. Under the bonnet of the Kia Sportage is a 2.0 liter engine that churns out a healthy 153bhp which propels the SUV quiet comfortably on the roads. The available intelligent AWD makes all the difference.

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It shows a lot of confidence in varying terrains, maintaining composure and stability on tarmacs and corners while unwavering when put to the task of hitting rough roads. We had a lot of fun in this car as we put it thorough the courses.

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Steering and handling was precise and light, which didn’t make us feel like we were heaving a hefty beast within the city. On the contrary, it behaved pretty well while maneuvering through traffic. The suspension is firm enough for you to push through the corners and not feel like it’s going to tip over and soft enough to absorb the pothole impacts and sudden dips with ease. As with any SUV there was noticeable body roll. Braking was crisp and did a superb job of bringing the car to a halt, ABS come standard.

VERDICT

We can very much see ourselves going out on a road trip in the new Sportage. Firstly, the hip new design is spectacular. Although it does a splendid job of standing out in the crowd, it does not seem like it tries too hard doing it.

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This is a very well designed compact SUV which does a splendid job of giving a premium feel and it provides a great driving experience too. The top variant is yet to arrive in the Nepalese market but we have really high hopes for when it does arrive. You get both diesel and petrol variants so you have options to choose from.

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For specifications and pricing, click here

Exterior and Interior highlights: 

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