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Kia reveals price and spec for refreshed Sportage SUV

By Paul Connolly

Kia has revealed the UK price and spec of its popular Sportage model, the car that helped change perceptions of the brand in Britain.

The car will cost from £20,305 for the entry-level model, rising to £34,545 for the most powerful and highly-specced 4x4 in the range.

The Sportage is a key vehicle for Kia, and played a significant role in changing perceptions of the Korean manufacturer from a value brand to a mainstream player.

It first appeared in 1993, although the first generation models were never sold in the UK or even Europe, and was mostly discontinued around 2003

However, the Sportage bounced back a couple of years later in second generation form.

This was a vastly improved car that went on sale around the world, including in the UK, and quickly gained traction amongst buyers.

Fast forward to 2015, and the current model, now in its fourth generation, has become Kia’s biggest seller globally.

The latest revamp adds a new level of slickness to the fourth generation car, and there are now 21 possible variants for customers to consider.

It’s not a massive overhaul, but the new Sportage gets an updated exterior and interior design with new safety and infotainment technologies, as well as efficient new powertrains and modifications to higher-specced ‘GT-Line’ models.

The most obvious development is the car’s advanced all-new EcoDynamics+ 48V diesel mild-hybrid powertrain, the first to be launched as part of Kia’s global powertrain electrification strategy.

Kia says it is now the first manufacturer to offer hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery-electric and 48-volt mild-hybrid technology across its model line-up.

The look of the Sportage has been modernised, with a redesigned front bumper with new fog lamp housings, and new gloss black or bright chrome inserts leading from the fog lamps into the lower air intake.

The Sportage is also now available with an evolved version of its ‘tiger-nose’ grille, with new gloss black or matt black grille.

New full-LED headlamps with four-point LED daytime running lights and redesigned fog lamps also provide improved visibility and offer a more modern appearance.

Silver painted front and rear skid plates are fitted to ‘Edition 25’, ‘4’, ‘GT-Line’ and ‘GT-Line S’ models.

New 16-, 17- and 19-inch alloy wheel designs are available, and there are five new paint colours including new shades of silver, grey, blue, and copper.

There are further changes to ‘GT-Line’ to make it even sportier, including 19-inch alloys, a dual exhaust rear valance and revised ‘ice cube’ LED fog lamp designs.

The line-up of petrol engines remains the same in the upgraded Sportage, though with minor modifications to emissions, with buyers able to choose between two powerplants.

Both petrol engines are direct-injection (GDi) 1.6-litre units from Kia's Gamma family.

The Sportage now offers a wider range of diesel engines, including Kia’s ‘EcoDynamics+’ 2.0-litre ‘R’ diesel mild-hybrid powertrain and 1.6-litre ‘U3’ diesel engine.

The compact nature of the mild-hybrid powertrain made it relatively straightforward to integrate into the Sportage’s existing architecture, the manufacturer says.

The 48-volt battery is located beneath the boot floor, minimising the impact on practicality. Because the MHSG integrates directly with the engine, driving the crankshaft via a belt, there was reportedly little need to repackage the engine bay.

A number of advanced driver assistance systems are now offered on the Sportage, all designed to minimise the possibility of an accident, including Trailer Stability Assist, Hill-Start Assist Control and Downhill Brake Control.

Entry-level '1' cars are well specced, including 16-inch alloys, LED daytime running lights, air-con, reversing camera, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto set-up.

Level '2' trim (from £22,405) adds a seven inch touchscreen with sat nav and a range of other extras.

The top-spec is the GT-Line S’ 2.0 CRDi 48V 8-speed auto ISG AWD, which costs from £34,545.

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