Kia has released a Sportage Axis Edition - a limited-run model of only 1,200 units.
The special edition SUV has been styled and equipped 'to provide retail and fleet customers with many of the features of a high-grade Sportage for a mid-range price'.
Available with a choice of two powertrains - a 1.6-litre GDi direct-injection petrol unit develops 133bhp and 165Nm of torque, and when mated to the ISG has a combined fuel economy of 44.1mpg and CO2 emissions of 149g/km. The 1.7-litre common-rail turbodiesel which develops 114bhp and 260Nm or torque features a 0-60mph time of 11.9 seconds, while combined fuel economy is 54.4mpg and CO2 emissions are 135g/km. Both are front-wheel-drive models featuring a six-speed manual transmission linked to Kia's Intelligent Stop & Go (ISG) engine stop-start system to save fuel and eliminate emissions when idling in traffic.
The standard colour is solid Arctic White, but buyers are able to opt for one of three metallic finishes - Phantom Black, Fusion White or Dark Gun Metal - for an extra £525. The Axis Edition sit between trim grades '2' and '3' in the range, but includes many of the features found higher in the line-up, says Kia. The black gloss arrow mesh radiator grille with chrome surround, LED daytime running lamps and rear LED combination lamps and the roof-mounted 'shark's fin' antenna deliver a 'premium look' while automatic headlight control are included in the lighting package, as well as electric folding door mirrors with LED indicators. The Axis Edition is also fitted with the same 17-inch light alloy wheels and 225/60 R17 tyres found on Sportage '2' and 'KX-2' grades.
The interior is upholstered in unique black leather with contrasting grey Dinamica microfiber inserts. This is complemented by the light grey door inserts unique to the Axis Edition. Kia says the 'premium look' of the interior is enhanced by black headlining, black B and C pillar coverings and black sun visors, grab handles and map light switches. Privacy glass and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror are other luxury flourishes fitted as standard. 'Axis Edition' logos are applied to the outer C pillars.
The limited edition Sportage's specification features a seven-speaker Infinity high-end sound system incorporating a subwoofer and external amp. This includes an AM/FM radio, CD player, USB and AUX sockets and iPod connectivity. Bluetooth music streaming and hands-free phone operation are also supported, with voice control in any of ten languages. The Axis Edition models also come with a seven-inch touchscreen satellite navigation system including full UK postcode recognition and European mapping for 44 countries. The system includes TMC traffic messaging with a detour function, motorway junction views, lane guidance and a speed limit alert. It allows the driver to input quick, short and economy routes. A reversing camera with views displayed in the touchscreen is an additional useful feature built into the system.
Prices for the Kia Sportage Axis Edition start at £20,995 for the 1.6 GDi ISG and £22,395 for the 1.7 CRDi ISG.