In the global automotive market, sport utility vehicles (SUV) are all the rage, with the segment estimated to reach sales of US$414 billion by 2017. Crossovers in particular are getting more and more popular thanks to their combination of SUV power with the ride comfort of a sedan. In this highly competitive segment, the Kia Sportage has been one of the most compelling CUV models and is one of Kia Motors’ global bestsellers, second only to the B-Segment Rio. Today, we explore the evolution of Kia’s flagship CUV and how it strikes the perfect balance between the capabilities of an SUV and the comfort of a sedan car.
The first generation Kia Sportage was introduced back in 1993, in a 2-door convertible SUV and a 5-door SUV body style. In 2004, the second generation Sportage featured larger space and improved driving performance.
The first generation Sportage (left) and the second generation Sportage (right)
The current model is the 3rd generation Sportage, introduced in 2010 with significantly upgraded exterior design based on the KUE concept revealed at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show. The 3rd generation Sportage was the first model in the current Kia line-up whose design was fully overseen by Peter Schreyer, Chief Designer of Kia Motors.
The KUE concept car
The 3rd generation Sportage
For sheer fun driving
The major strengths of the current Kia Sportage are highlighted in its name: a sporty look and outstanding capabilities. The car is equipped with the brand’s signature ‘tiger-nose’ grille while the steep A-pillar design and the sleek roofline add to its powerful image.
Given its high ride stance and firm body control characteristics, the Sportage offers drivers car-like driving dynamics. A soundproof windscreen and new suspension bushings add to the overall driving comfort. For those who are looking for a smooth drive and greater traction on- and off-road, an electronically controlled all-wheel drive (AWD) system is available for the 2.0-litre diesel engine. Some premium features like a panoramic sunroof, alloy wheels and Bluetooth phone connectivity will make your drive even more of a joy.
Excellent safety – its overarching capability
When it comes to safety, the Sportage is pretty impressive. It has received the maximum five-star rating from EURO NCAP, indicating good overall performance in crash protection and extensive robust crash avoidance technology compared to its competitors.
What’s more, six airbags, active head restraints, stability control and tire-pressure monitoring come as standard. Advanced safety features also include Electronic Stability Control (ESC), which provides optimum brake-force distribution in the event of sudden braking or turning in order to slow the car down safely. The system encompassing all basic control features such as Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Cornering Brake Control (CBC) and Brake Assist System (BAS).
After several facelifts and upgrades, the Kia Sportage still remains one of the most compelling choices for today’s motorists. Last year, it won the J.D. Power Germany Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study™ in the ‘Compact SUV’ category. Follow us as the Sportage continues to build a new path in its segment!
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