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Lots of interest in the ALL NEW Kia Sportage

posted on Oct 22 2010 by Gary Shapland

Lots of interest in the ALL NEW Kia Sportage

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The new 2010 Kia Sportage is the first fully modern Kia under chief designer Peter Schreyer (he of Audi fame), who's only now making his influence felt after four years in charge of styling the Korean cars.

It's the most comprehensive look yet at the new face of Kia. Tiger-snout grille Check. Crisp, almost Germanic surfaces Yep. Complex headlamp graphics, Audi-esque LED day running light ticks and chrome tinsel move Kia gently upmarket.

The new Sportage launches in the UK with the range-topping 2.0 CRDi First Edition, available only as this well equipped 20,777 diesel 4wd. Joining the range in November 2010 will be a 1.6 petrol and a smaller, 1.7-litre diesel - both available with front-wheel drive.

So what's the new 2010 Kia Sportage aimed at
Think Nissan Qashqai. This is Crossover Central, a market that's leapt to a fulsome 8% of the total UK retail market worth 130,000 sales a year. There's much respect at Kia for the Qashqai's market saturation and they aim to repeat its rich mix of engines and transmission options. No +2 version though. In the fullness of time expect a downsized petrol turbo Sportage and even a hybrid option.

Schreyer's tiger-nostril detail pops up everywhere on this design, from the prominent grille to the windscreen graphic (noticed how the top edge of the glass rises up on either side A subtle but cool detail). It's repeated inside too, the dashboard running the same motif.

Makes you realise just how far Kia has come. The Ceed and its ilk are now firmly in the European mainstream, and the new Sportage only accelerates that shift in emphasis. Guess that's what happens when you employ a German design chief.