Williams also pointed out that the new Sportage diesel will come with automatic transmission alternatives for just a £1,000 premium - a feature that several direct competitors currently do not feature and where it is offered it is often an even higher priced option.
He said: "Although we do not see the existing 4x4 competitors as our primary targets, the motorists who will choose to buy Sportage have told us it is the cost of these vehicles that keeps them out of SUV ownership.
"Kia’s philosophy is to provide the very best products at the very best price and that is why we believe we will enable a whole new generation of motorists to join the SUV club with Sportage. And I do not believe there is a better all round product in the market than the new diesel Sportage. Its blend of diesel economy and flexibility coupled to an intelligent four-wheel-drive system and high off-road ability makes diesel Sportage the intelligent choice for anyone looking for a vehicle that will enable them to live the lifestyle they choose.
"This is a serious compact SUV - not a look-alike with just two-wheel drive - but its value is outstanding.
"No-one needs to give up luxury or even basic safety by choosing Sportage as even the lead-in XE model comes with six airbags, an MP3-compatible CD-radio, air-conditioning, electric windows and all the other standard features Kia has become renowned for," he added.Impressive specification
The four-model diesel Sportage range comes with an impressive standard specification and starts with the 2.0 CRDi XE manual at £15,695 on the road. In automatic form the XE costs £16,695. The higher-specified XS manual has an on-the-road price of £17,195 and the automatic version is priced at £18,195.
The diesel-engined Sportage is powered by a Euro III compliant, four-cylinder, 16 valve 1,991cc common rail diesel engine that produces 111bhp at 4,000rpm and 245Nm of torque at an impressively low 1,800rpm.
The power unit is coupled to either a five speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic and delivers its power to the road through an electronically controlled four-wheel drive system that in most conditions utilises only front- wheel drive but on sensing loss of grip automatically diverts up to half the drive to the rear wheels as well.
The Sportage has a solid and controlled stance on road and off-road thanks to its monocoque construction and the fully independent suspension. The front is controlled by a MacPherson strut and coil spring arrangement with an anti-roll bar and at the rear the Sportage rides on an independent dual link and coil spring arrangement, also with an anti-roll bar.
Secure braking is provided by front ventilated discs and solid rear discs and a four-wheel, four-sensor, four-channel anti-lock braking system with electronic brake force distribution.
A highly class competitive insurance group of 9D for all four diesel Sportage variants reinforces Kia’s focus on security and every Sportage comes with a large-capacity lockable glove box, remote central door locking, an electronic engine immobiliser and a perimeter alarm.
|Model||OTR Price||Insurance Group|
|Sportage XE 2.0 CRDi m/t||£15,695.00||9D|
|Sportage XE 2.0 CRDi a/t||£16,695.00||9D|
|Sportage XS 2.0 CRDi m/t||£17,195.00||9D|
|Sportage XS 2.0 CRDi a/t||£18,195.00||9D|
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