Key customer benefits of the new Sportage include automatic full-time four-wheel drive, ‘best-in-class’ headroom and legroom, a common-rail diesel engine mated to a manual or automatic transmission with a sequential manual mode, versatile seating, flat-floored cargo area, traction control and excellent safety features.
Every Sportage comes with a range of comprehensive features and offers unbeatable value. The LX model equipment includes: tinted windows, ABS with EBD anti-lock brakes, traction control (on 4WD), 60/40 split ‘Drop & Fold’ rear seat, centre console storage box, electric front and rear windows, twin roof bars, 16-inch alloy wheels, central locking, two power outlets, front, side and curtain airbags (in some countries), four two-way audio speakers, and three-point seatbelts for all five occupants.
The higher-specification Sportage EX model adds numerous items, depending on market, including: ESP stability control, twin front fog lamps, electrically heated front windscreen, body-colour door handles, door mirrors and rear tailgate garnish, dashboard passenger grab handle, luggage net, remote central locking and theft alarm, cabin air filter and courtesy ‘puddle lights’ in the front doors.
Optional equipment includes: privacy glass, powered glass sunroof, leather upholstery and steering wheel, electrically heated front seats, wider and lower profile Bridgestone tyres (in some countries), electric chromic interior mirror with compass, cruise control and climate control air-conditioning.
Although the new Sportage is undoubtedly a thoroughly modern, all-new model, Kia has revived an old model name for a host of reasons. Following a comprehensive review of name connotations, public opinion polls, and name effectiveness as a global brand, Kia ultimately decided to keep ‘Sportage’ as the name for its latest small SUV - reviving the name of Kia’s earlier 4x4 model which sold strongly, with more than 550,000 sales around the world, during the 1990s.
"The all-new Sportage is completely different to its predecessor in every respect," comments Yong-Hwan Kim, Senior Executive Vice-President and COO of Kia Motors. "However, since an entirely new name demands fresh awareness promotion and can also run the risk of failing to capture customers’ attention, we have decided to continue to use the Sportage name, considering the remarkable brand power it has accumulated over the years in many markets across the world. The blending of ‘sport’ and ‘mobility’ which the Sportage name encompasses also make it an ideal name for our exciting new model."
Kia expects demand for SUV's in Europe to grow faster than the overall new car market, and to reach one million units annually by late 2008. Kia also anticipates that demand for small SUV's will grow even faster than demand for mid-size and large models. Within that one million total the small SUV segment is expected to account for 35% of sales in 2008, up from 30% in 2004, with the greatest demand in Germany, Italy, France, Spain and the UK.Published 29 October 2004