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Striking sporty design of the trendy fifth generation Sportage which after 30 years has proved its mettle.

By Rubin van Niekerk

Being so driver-centric with advanced driver-assistance systems and state-of-the-art interior finishes is stunning.

“The Sportage has always been a car of ‘firsts’ for the Kia brand,” says Gary Scott, CEO of Kia South Africa. “When it first debuted in the late 1990s, it set the tone for multiple automakers to pursue the design and development of what we know as an SUV today. It went on to become one of the first Kia models to receive multiple global design awards, a feat that was thought impossible for a Korean brand up until the launch of the third-generation model in 2010.”

Over 1.6 million units of the third-generation model was sold between 2010 and 2015 and the fourth generation was introduced in South Africa in 2016.

Kia’s new design language – Opposites United – defines a sporty road presence with razor rear lamps connected by a slim horizontal rear design. Clever technology fuses with luxury features, premium materials and a beautifully sculpted integrated curved display with a slim touchscreen pad and finely detailed air vents. The high-tech 12.3-inch touchscreen is designed for intuitive, soft-to-touch ease-of-use.

Interior space provides class-leading head and legroom while luggage capacity is 591 litres, and a new platform enhances the dynamic driving characteristics. A lively, but economical 1,6-litre T-GDi petrol engine matches well with an advanced version of Kia’s 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT). It delivers 132kW of power at 5 500rpm, with 265Nm of torque and sprints to 100km/h in 8,8 seconds, with a top speed of 201km/h. CO2 emissions are rated at 149g/km.

High torsional rigidity, comprising high quantities of Advanced High Strength Steel and hot-stamping technology reinforces safety along with many active and passive safety features and advanced driver assistance systems.

Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) helps avoid collisions with objects in front of the vehicle while driving. If the preceding vehicle suddenly slows down, or if a forward collision risk is detected, such as a stationary vehicle, a pedestrian, or a cyclist, FCA provides a warning, then if the risk of collision increases, it automatically brakes.

The flagship Sportage has everything you could possibly want. A centrally located rotary gearshift uses shift-by wire technology, enabling effortless gear shifting and automatically puts it in park.

Pricing ranges from R539 995 to R734 995 and includes an unlimited kilometre/5-year warranty, with Roadside Assistance and a 6-year/90 000 km service plan.

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