Kia UK has announced specifications and prices for its new, expanded Sportage crossover range, reviewed by just-auto last week. The model is the automaker's top seller in the UK and the extent of the model line shows the options available to the various national sales companies operating across Europe.
Cherry picking the options available from the Slovakia factory, Kia UK has priced its range from GBP17,995 to GBP31,645, carrying over the previous four trim levels but adding an additional trim option, a new, 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine and the new Hyundai Motor group-developed dual clutch automatic transmission to create a range of 18 variants based on four engines, three gearboxes and six trims. In a move now becoming common, the range includes a special First Edition launch model.
Newly added GT-Line models start at GBP24,350 and sales start on 5 February.
The new 1.6-litre T-GDi (turbocharged gasoline direct injection) unit and 7DCT (seven-speed dual-clutch automatic) transmission will only be offered with the new GT-Line trim.
All versions powered by the 1.6-litre GDi and 1.7-litre CRDi engines are front-wheel drive, while those powered by the 1.6-litre T-GDi unit and the two two-litre CRDi diesels have all-wheel drive. As before, 4WD versions are distinguished by the 'KX' prefix in the model designation – except for GT-Line and First Edition versions.
All versions except the entry-level grade have a seven- or eight-inch touch-screen satellite navigation system linked to Kia Connected Services with TomTom, providing full European mapping and detailed traffic, speed camera, weather and local services information. Further up the range, Speed Limit Information, Lane Keep Assist, High Beam Assist, Autonomous Emergency Braking and Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert are available.
Even entry models have 16-inch alloy wheels and all-round disc brakes, a black diamond-mesh grille with chromed surround, front foglights, LED daytime running lamps, cornering lights, chrome-coated belt-line mouldings, black cloth upholstery with a grey headlining, electrically adjustable door mirrors, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearshifter, all-round electric windows, air conditioning, DAB (digital) radio, Bluetooth with music streaming, USB and AUX ports, 12-volt power outlet in the front and rear, Trailer Stability Assist, Hill-start Assist, Downhill Brake Control and cruise control with speed limiter.
Each grade up the range adds additional items while the top First Edition includes Smart Parking Assist system, a smart powered tailgate, a wireless mobile phone charger, metallic paint in either Fusion White or Phantom Black, 'First Edition' decals and stone grey two-tone leather upholstery.
In the UK the sportier GT-Line sits between grades 2 and 3 with exclusive 19-inch alloys, LED rear combination lamps, front parking sensors, heated front and outer rear seats, a 4.2-inch TFT instrument cluster and, with the DCT gearbox, paddle shifters. And exterior styling pack adds ice-cube LED front foglights, a high-gloss black 'blade mesh' grille, dual exhausts, satin chrome belt-line mouldings and door sills and silver front and rear skid plates.
The interior styling pack adds black leather upholstery with grey inserts, a high-gloss black centre fascia, a black headliner, stainless steel pedals and a D-shaped leather-covered sports steering wheel.
A six-speed torque converter automatic (standard on First Edition) continues as an option for models with the two-litre diesel engine.
All UK models also get the new rack-mounted Motor Driven Power Steering (R-MDPS). Previously, the electric motor which controls the steering was mounted half way up the steering column. This brings sharper responses and greater precision. Kia likens it to trying to steer a blindfolded person from behind: if you direct them from the waist they are able to follow a more precise path than if directed at shoulder level.
Top-of-the-range grade 4/KX-4 and First Edition versions are fitted with Autonomous Emergency Braking, which employs both short- and long-range radar systems so that it can detect vehicles and pedestrians at greater distances and higher speeds. The short-range radar operates at typical city speeds of up to 43mph. Between 19mph and 50mph the longer-range radar also comes into play to detect obstacles in the car's path and responds by automatically slowing the car, to a complete stop if necessary. The pedestrian detection function operates at up to 37mph.
There is also Blind Spot Detection to act as an extra pair of eyes for the driver when changing lanes, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert to warn a driver who is about to reverse out of a perpendicular parking bay that there is a vehicle approaching at right angles. All models from grade 2/KX-2 also have Lane Keep Assist to alert a tired driver who may be about to stray into the path of a vehicle approaching from behind; High Beam Assist to switch between full and dipped beam automatically when there are other vehicles in the vicinity; and a Speed Limit Information function within the instrument cluster.
From grade 2/KX-2 a reversing camera is integrated with the 7.0- or 8.0-inch navigation touch-screen and reversing sensors are standard.
The outgoing Sportage claimed almost 29% of the company's sales in the UK.