Revamped Sportage arrives for 21st celebration

Revamped Sportage arrives for 21st celebration


Kia is celebrating the 21st anniversary of its medium-sized Sportage SUV with the New Zealand introduction of the updated 2014 model.

The European built and sourced Sportage features an all-new direct-injection 2-litre petrol engine amongst other minor cosmetic and specification changes.

Launched in 1993, the Sportage has become a global success for the Kia brand, with the third generation enjoying more than 1.5 million global sales to date.

Buyers now have the choice of two power plants; a new 2-litre GDi (Gasoline Direct Injection) petrol engine or the 2.2-litre R-series turbo-diesel engine, both matched to a 6-speed automatic with sequential shift.

As more Kiwi motorists prefer not to have a 4×4 drivetrain in a small and medium sized SUV, Kia Motors NZ is adding another front-wheel-drive variant to broaden the appeal of Sportage.

Kia was among the first to introduce front-wheel-drive SUV models to this market with the second generation Sportage Urban. When the third generation Sportage was introduced, it expanded the front-wheel-drive range with a mid-luxury EX model to complement the LX Urban. Now a third front-wheel-drive Sportage has gone on sale in New Zealand in the form of the luxury specification Limited variant.

While the popularity of two-wheel-drive SUVs continues to grow, Kia Motors says that all-wheel-drive models remain an important part of the Sportage range – there are two petrol (EX and Limited) and three diesel 4×4, with an LX model joining the EX and Limited in the line-up.

Under the bonnet a 2-litre, “Nu’ GDi engine replaces the formerly used 2-litre MPi (multi-point injection) unit. Boasting compression of 11:5, the ‘Nu’ engine is engineered for improved drivability, with torque rising to 205Nm (but peaking at 4,000rpm, instead of 4,600rpm), whilst power is unchanged at 122kW.

The 2-litre R-series diesel engine, which delivers 135kW and 392Nm, is carried over to the 2014 model.

Driving the enhanced Sportage will be more rewarding experience, thanks to a number of changes designed to minimise noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) says Kia Motors. A new soundproof windscreen, with an interlayer film between the glass laminations, reduces wind noise.

Key engineering improvements have been introduced to counter vibration. Among them, the front subframe is now bush-mounted (rather than bolted directly to the body shell), an intermediate shaft is added to the drivetrain, resulting in symmetrical (equal length) front drive shafts and a new mounting bracket for the transmission has greater rigidity and reduced resonance.

For greater security when towing, the latest Sportage has an improved ESC (Electronic Stability Control), now incorporating a trailer stability control system.

The 2014 Sportage rides on an all-independent suspension that is further refined through the ANZAC programme to take account of the roads and driving conditions in this part of the world.

Additionally, the 2014 Kia Sportage has received exterior styling tweaks and revisions to the interior, including higher-quality cabin materials. It is distinguished from its predecessor by a new mesh front grille, revised LED rear cluster lights, newly designed 17 and 18-inch alloy wheels (LX now rides on 17-inch wheels, instead of 16-inch) and a shark fin roof antenna.

The cabin is enhanced by greater use of soft-touch materials on the dashboard and door sills, while the seats feature new cloth/leather upholstery combinations.

All new Sportage models have LED day-time running lights, rain-sensing wipers and all except the LX Urban now have front and rear parking sensors, along with a reversing camera (LX Urban has rear sensors only).

The Sportage boasts a long list of standard features, with the Limited models featuring heated/electric front and rear-outboard seats, leather upholstery, cooling glovebox, dual zone climate control, proximity sensing key, Infinity sound system and Satellite Navigation among its lavish specification.

Prices for the 2014 Kia Sportage start from $34,240+ORC, including a 5-year/100,000km factory warranty programme.

  • 2014 Kia Sportage RRP
  • 2-Litre GDI petrol
  • Urban LX 2WD $34,240
  • Urban EX 2WD $38,340
  • Urban LTD 2WD $44,490
  • EX 4WD $42,490
  • LTD 4WD $48,490
  • 2-Litre R-series Diesel
  • LX AWD $44,240
  • EX AWD $48,490
  • LTD AWD $54,490
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