The Sportage has been valuable to Kia with sales exceeding 2600 units in Ireland since its launch in 2005. With this in mind, Kia Irelands Managing Director James Brooks is confident that sales of their all-new Sportage will flourish, he’s confident of selling 600 examples this year.
On first impressions I can share James’s optimism, the new Sportage is an attractive proposition and will give Nissan’s popular Qashqai some stiff competition. Prices commence at €25,600 for the base LX model, its features include 16” alloys, bluetooth and cruise control. Next up is the EX model which is priced at €27,800, the extra cash earns you 17” Alloys, half leather upholstery, bluetooth, cruise control and air conditioning amongst others. The top spec GSE will set you back €29,995, it comes equipped with a full leather interior, Xenon lights and dual climate control.
Inside, the cabin is spacious and has an airy feel to it thanks to the panoramic roof. My EX test model like the other two within the range is powered by Kia’s 1.7l diesel engine that features Stop and Go technology as standard. The Sportage’s six-speed manual gearbox provides light and precise gear changes, the ratios are spot-on and despite having just 115hp it never feels under strain. Whilst comfortable on the move the Sportage’s steering is somewhat light and lacks some feel, there is also a certain degree of body-roll when you drive on twisty roads, the chassis could benefit from stiffer suspension. That said, the overall driving experience is a positive one, as the kilometres clocked up during the week, I truly settled into the relaxed driving style that the Sportage seems to instil on you.
For peace of mind motoring, the Sportage comes with Kia’s infamous seven year warranty. With its sensible pricing and keen running costs I envisage Kia exceeding their 600 units target.[table “25” not found /]