Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Sportage for City Families

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Sportage for City Families

Article excerpt

Byline: MALCOLM ROBERTSHAW

THERE has been a Kia Sportage vying for business alongside the likes of the Land Rover Freelander, Hyundai Santa Fe and Toyota RAV4 since 1995.

The new Sportage is a radical departure from the 2004 model it replaces.

Now combining the higher than average ground clearance, high driving position of an SUV with the high shoulder line and windscreen angle of a coupe, this is very much a member of the so-called crossover vehicle club. Gone is the butch-like shape of the original compact SUV and, to borrow a line from legendary Danish storyteller, Hans Christian Andersen, this rakishly sleek newcomer has turned into a "very fine swan, indeed".

It displays a far more aerodynamic profile - sitting longer, lower and wider than its predecessor. In fact, as opposed to being simply a mover of folk and their stuff like its predecessors, today's Kia Sportage also shapes up very much as an object of desire and, as such, continues to follow Kia's remarkable ability to be ahead of the game when it comes to analysing buyers' needs and tastes.

This latest Kia Sportage is billed as a five-door, five-seater crossover, and the Korean carmaker does point out that it has been designed to meet the requirements of younger families with a busy urban lifestyle. Slightly larger than the second generation model, the new Sportage stands on a longer wheelbase, which ensures greater legroom.

It also weighs around 90kg less and, with a sleeker more aerodynamic profile, buyers can now step into a car which is not only more stylish than its predecessor but also more enviro nmentally-friendly.

Its upmarket exterior is carried through to the interior, where a beautifully constructed cabin is dominated by a dashboard deliberately designed to emphasise the increased width, while the eye-catching centre console adds further to a cabin which oozes quality, with better quality soft-touch materials.

Retaining its high command, fully-adjustable driving position, the new Sportage also delivers some fine all-round space for passengers and their stuff.

Stowage space includes a large glove box, a spacious centre console and pockets in all four side doors, while a quartet of cupholders add to the facilities. …

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