Kia has announced pricing and specification for the fourth-generation of its new Sportage crossover.
There are 18 variants on offer priced from £17,995 on the road and for the first time, GT-Line versions are added to the range, starting at £24,350. The flagship of the range is a luxurious First Edition model, priced at £31,645.
The new Sportage brings advances in fuel efficiency, comfort, connectivity, convenience and safety. The styling has been subtly modernised and Kia says that every model benefits from "a more premium look and feel to the interior".
There are now four engines and three transmissions with the introduction of a 1.6-litre T-GDi (turbocharged gasoline direct injection) unit and a 7DCT (seven-speed dual-clutch automatic) gearbox, both of which are reserved exclusively for GT-Line. They join re-engineered 1.6-litre GDi petrol and 1.7- and 2.0-litre turbodiesel power units with improved fuel economy and CO2 reductions of up to 29g/km, which means lower company car tax for business users.
The six trim lines are badged 1, 2, 3, 4, GT-Line and First Edition. 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 2.0-litre CRDi diesels have all-wheel drive. Four-wheel-drive versions are distinguished by the 'KX' prefix in the model designation - except for GT-Line and First Edition versions
Kia's latest offering slots into the compact SUV/crossover sector of the market, which is expected to grow from 9.4 per cent of the total in Europe in 2015 to 10.2 per cent by 2018, with total sales for the sector predicted at 1.6 million.
The outgoing Sportage was the best-selling Kia in the UK, claiming close to 29 per cent of the company's sales.
The new car comes with a seven-year or 100,000-mile warranty, subject to certain wear and tear conditions. It is also available with Kia's Care-3 and Care-3 Plus servicing packages, offering retail customers fixed-cost servicing for three or five years.
The new Kia Sportage is on sale from February 5, 2016.