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Kia’s third generation Sportage has enjoyed its fair share of the limelight, forming one of the strongest parts of Kia’s local product portfolio.  Now, 3 and a half years after its original release, Kia have released the facelift, citing it as an “enhanced and upgraded sportage”.  So what’s new exactly?

The Sportage received a series of small, but important upgrades all round, with a refreshed interior design and materials upgrade throughout the cabin.  On the outside, the Sportage’s front grill has been re-moulded, whilst the front fog lamps and lower front bumper add a more dynamic visual appeal.  Newly designed 17- and 18-inch alloys are available, which are said to improve the vehicle’s rigidity and driving refinement.  The rear end benefits from a slight change – the rear combination lamps have been redesigned with sportier touches than the pre-facelift model.

Inside, the Sportage features newly added comfort features.  These include soft trim padding on the doors with higher quality finishes, relocated tweeter speakers for better sound delivery, a newly designed centre fascia, and an Infinity sound system which includes a sub-woofer and built in hard drive.  The AWD derivatives benefit from a new supervision cluster, which features a 4.2-inch LCD screen providing vehicle information.  The infotainment setup in the AWD Sportage has also been upgraded with the previous dot-matrix display being tossed out in favour of a 4.3-inch LCD touch screen, which doubles up as a rear-view camera display.

Technologically, the Sportage benefits from the addition of electronically assisted power steering over the old hydraulic steering unit, whilst refinement has been improved with the use of soundproof winsdscreen glass, bush-mounted sub-frames and new transmission mounting brackets.

Engine-wise, the Sportage features a 2.0 CVVT petrol engine generating 116kW @ 6200 rpm and 192Nm @ 4000 rpm.  The 5-speed transmission has been upgraded to a new 6-speed unit with improved comfort and fuel efficiency.  A diesel offering in the guise of the 2.0 VGT CRDi engine is available with 130kW @ 4000 rpm and 382Nm of pulling power available between 1800 and 2500 rpm.  Both engine variants are available with either a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission.

At launch, the upgraded Sportage will be available in eight colours: Clear White, Bright Silver, Mineral Silver, Sand Track, Black Cherry, Vintage Blue, Signal Red and Sage Green. All models come standard with a 5-year / 150 000 km warranty (up from 100 000km), a 5-year / 100 000 km service plan and a 3-year / unlimited roadside assistance plan.

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