Most of the Asian automakers are known for making cheap and bland cars. Though they do have some luxury marques that they use to sell their premium models, still their core business is selling nondescript cars. To confirm this, take a look at Toyota, then take another look at Nissan. You’ll see that as much as they do have luxury spinoffs Lexus and Ifiniti respectively, their business architecture is high volume and low margins. Kia does sport some of these characteristics, though it doesn’t have a luxury brand. However, to change this perception the Kia Sportage is a great all-round SUV that has quality and a lot of verve. It’s positioned to compete with the likes of the Nissan Qashqai and the Ford Kuga.
Kia’s Sportage first generation was released back in 1993, it was based on the Mazda Bongo platform. This was during Kia’s alliance with Ford and Mazda, where Ford/Mazda gave Kia technology, while Kia provided cheap manufacturing facilities to Ford. It didn’t perform well in its domestic market in South Korea or in other international markets. Its production run lasted from 1993-2004, although in some markets it was discontinued in 2003.
Currently, the Kia Sportage has reached its fourth generation, which was unveiled in the Frankfurt Auto Show in September 2015, and it went on to be available from the dealers as a 2017 model.
Available base trims of the Kia Sportage are:
Powering the Sportage are a set of four cylinder engines. A 2.4L turbocharged petrol engine is the standout performer here, producing 240 hp and 350 Nm of torque. For transmission depending on your model you can pick either a 6-speed auto, 6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual-clutch auto. Also, the Kia Sportage is available in front-wheel or all-wheel drive configuration.
Inside, the Sportage is made of soft-touch plastics, coupled in with a lot of tech. All trims get a touchscreen except for the entry-level one.
Since its third generation the design has been headed by former Audi designer Peter Schreyer. Since its third incarnation the Kia Sportage has received a lot of plaudits for its exterior. The current design isn’t as striking as the last but the Sportage is still one of the best looking cars in its segment.
Kia have uncovered a real gem here, ever since they got Schreyer to do the design of the Sportage the car has changed the Asian automaker’s image. Hyundai which owns Kia is currently the fifth largest automaker in the world. It seems like the Asian automaker as a whole is getting a more premium touch, as they aren’t satisfied with making bland cars only.
The Sportage is a great car, however its styling has to be what really sets it apart from all the other models in its segment.
Prices start from $ 22,900 for the Sportage.
The Sportage has a premium touch no doubt about it, but does it belong to the upper echelons of its class? Have your say, leave a comment.
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