High anticipation for new Sportage

High anticipation for new Sportage

Kia New Zealand says sales for its new Sportage are off to a brisk start, with pre-launch orders at ‘record highs’.

“The 2016 Sportage SUV is the most anticipated new model we have ever launched,” general manager Todd McDonald says. “Our dealers are seeing unprecedented interest from their customers and are placing a record number of orders.

Sportage has long been a key model for the company since it was launched 21-years ago, and the last generation was successful both here and abroad. In New Zealand the company sold as many as they could lay their hands on for a significant period after its launch, and worldwide 1.6 million units have sold since 2010.

It is its top-selling model, and also its entrant in the key medium SUV segment. SUV’s made up 34% of the market last year, and medium SUV 12%. Sportage has a 7% share of the sector.

It has been particularly strong as a 2WD petrol model, and when you remove rentals from the market is second only to the Nissan X-trail.

GT Line...2

The 2016 model is bigger, more sophisticated and carries more technology the company says.

While the silhouette remains largely the same it has a distinctly different new face, the headlamps are positioned higher, sweeping back along the outer edges of the sharply defined bonnet. A lower, wider grille – enlarged for greater engine cooling – adds more volume to the lower half of the front of the Sportage.

It now has a 30mm longer wheelbase (now 2,670mm), 40mm increase in overall vehicle length (to 4,480mm). Passenger space is increased, with headroom rising to 997mm (+5mm) and 993mm (+16mm) for front and rear passengers respectively, while maximum legroom has expanded to 1,129mm (+19mm) and 970mm (+7mm).

“Similar to the Sorento and Carnival models launched last year, one of the most important advances is in the styling and quality of the cabin,” says McDonald.

Leather is now standard on all but the LX model following a generous upgrade of equipment across the range.

“The specification on our new Sportage EX is much closer to the previous top-spec model and the entry level LX, in my opinion, will stack up well against mid-range models on some of our competitors,” says McDonald.

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Reversing camera, 7-inch colour touch screen for the infotainment system, leather steering wheels incorporating audio and cruise control functions, LED indicators and rear parking sensors are fitted to all models, along with new 17” to 19” alloy wheels.

A new GT Line model sits at the top of the Sportage range to give customers the option of exclusive features, including a D-shaped steering wheel with paddle shifters, distinctive two-tone leather, panoramic sunroof, quad LED fog lights, Bi-Xenon HID headlights and dual exhaust tailpipes. A first for any car in this segment, the GT Line has a new wireless charger for selected smartphone devices, as Kia looks to meet increasing demand for new technologies.

Both the GT Line and Limited also have satellite navigation, electronically adjustable driver and front passenger seats, and a smart hands-free power tailgate that activates automatically when the key fob is within proximity of the rear for three seconds or more.

The redesigned fully independent suspension and electric power steering have been further fine-tuned for this part of the world through the ANZAC handling programme.

Already rated Euro NCAP five-star, the upgrade introduces Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert on all but the LX. Limited and GT Line models gain Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Warning systems, as well as High Beam Assist.

Updated carryover engines include a 2.0-litre MPI petrol engine, producing 114kW of power and 192Nm of torque, features in the front-drive LX, EX and Limited models. A choice of either a 2.4-litre GDi petrol (135kW and 237Nm) or 2.0-litre common rail turbo-diesel (136kW and 400Nm) engines are offered, with AWD available on EX, Limited and GT Line. A six-speed automatic is standard.

Pricing starts at $35,990 for the LX, topping out at $54,990 for the GT Line diesel.

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