Kia refreshes 2014 Sportage with new grille design, additional standard equipment

Article by Anita Panait, on September 17, 2013

South Korean carmaker Kia refreshes on its 2014 Sportage, giving it several design enhancements as well as the installation of a number of convenience features. The 2014 Sportage could be availed in three trims – LX, EX and SX. Starting with its exterior, the 2014 Kia Sportage now dons a new grille design as well as new fog lamps on the EX trim. It now dons high beltline, sweeping angles and pronounced wheel flares for a more aggressive stance.

The compact crossover sports a spearing shoulder line throughout its length – linking the available HID headlamps and LED tail lights. For enhanced ride quality and more dynamic handling, the 2014 Sportage now features standard high performance dampers across all trim levels. Driver comfort is enhanced thanks to a tilt and telescopic steering column that comes as standard across all trims. Passenger comfort is likewise enhanced thanks to standard rear ventilation and reclining outboard seats.

The EX trim of the 2014 Sportage boasts of additional features like standard heated front seats, Infinity Premium Audio, auto-dimming mirror with Homelink and heated outside mirrors.

A customer could avail of a Premium package that includes ventilated front seats, navigation with SiriusXM Traffic and leather-trimmed seats as well as panoramic sunroof, smart key with push button start, and power-folding outside mirrors.

Available as a package for the LX and coming as standard for the EX and SX models is the UVO eServices system which now boasts of a new telematics suite enabled by an exclusive, free smartphone app providing in-vehicle connectivity experience.

UVO -- short for "Your Voice" -- through Advanced Voice Recognition technology, allows drivers to control music and mobile phone operations using just their voices. When equipped with UVO eServices, the 2014 Sportage also features a Rear Camera Display with a Back-Up Warning System and auto headlamp system. Sportage now offers three powertrains: the 2.4L GDI I4 for the LX and EX, and the 2.0L Turbo GDI for the SX.

Press Release

Kia Sportage

Kia has added a package of styling and equipment upgrades to its sporty crossover, the Sportage, to keep it at the forefront of its booming market sector. The Sportage is Kia's best-selling model in the UK, claiming around a quarter of the company's sales. That success is set to continue with the enhancements added for the 2014 model year.

Two new variants become available to further broaden the appeal of the range, which offers two-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models to suit every requirement. The 2.0-litre 134bhp turbodiesel engine is now offered with the all-wheel-drive entry-level 'KX-1' grade, while the 114bhp 1.7-litre turbodiesel engine is now an option with the range-topping two-wheel-drive '4' grade.

The 2014 range is based on '1', '2', '3', '3 Sat Nav' and '4' trim designations, with all-wheel-drive versions given the KX preface. In addition to the 1.7-litre diesel and the 134bhp 2.0-litre unit, Kia also offers a 1.6-litre direct-injection petrol engine and a high-performance 2.0-litre diesel delivering 181bhp. This is reserved for the flagship KX-4 variant.

The 1.6-litre petrol and 1.7-litre diesel models drive through the front wheels, while the 2.0-litre versions are exclusively all-wheel drive and are available with a six-speed automatic transmission as an alternative to the standard six-speed manual. Intelligent Stop and Go (ISG). Kia's fuel-saving, emissions-reducing engine stop/start system, is standard on 1.7-litre models and also fitted to the 1.6-litre Sportage '2'. It shuts down the engine when the car is stationary in traffic and restarts it instantly as soon as the driver is ready to move off again.

An even more polished appearance

From the outset the Sportage has been winning friends and influencing people with its stunning appearance, which combines much of the stance and attitude of a compact SUV with sleeker profile and greener conscience of a coupe. Those qualities are raised even higher with the subtle changes made to the 2014 model, which also benefits from premium-car touches to its spacious and stylish interior.

All versions have improved exterior styling and lighting. There are new versions of Kia's 'tiger-nose' grille across the range. Sportage '1' and 'KX-1' grades now have a black gloss grille with chrome grille surround in place of the previous silver-painted edging, while for the rest of the range there is a new arrow-shaped black-gloss mesh grille pattern, also with a chrome surround.

The rear combination lights are an evolution of those on the previous model, offering enhanced illumination and, therefore, better visibility to other road users. The whole unit, including the section mounted on the boot lid, is now lit through the tail-light functionality. Sportage 4 and KX-4 grades have LED lighting to further enhance their night-time presence and premium appearance. Sportage 3 models upwards have a shark-fin antenna mounted on the rear of the roof, another small but important addition for raising premium styling.

There are new-style 16-inch, 17-inch and 18-inch alloy wheels for all trim grades, complete with locking wheel nuts. The Sportage comes as standard with a full-size spare wheel. The choice of metallic paint colours has also been revised, with the addition of new Space Blue (from the Venga) and Fusion White (from the cee'd and pro_cee'd GT models) to the range.

Inside, soft 'nano' paint has been added to the dashboard and centre console of all trim grades, and there is now centre console illumination and soft-touch upper door trims. All are further indications of the importance Kia places on actual quality. The door-mounted audio tweeters have been repositioned to enhance sound quality.

The Sportage has always been exceptionally practical as well as stylish, with a host of storage areas dotted around the cabin - a front armrest with storage box, a combined rear armrest and cupholders, front and rear door pockets, seat-back pockets, 12-volt power outlets in the centre console and luggage compartment and luggage net hooks (with a net on grades '2' upwards). The 2014 model now has a removable tray within the centre console box, along with illuminated cup holders. New folding keys and, on models with an engine start/stop button, a smart key are further quality improvements to the range.

Superior instrumentation and audio

Sportage '3' and above feature new-style instrumentation which is yet another indicator of Kia's unstinting efforts to raise quality. A 4.2-inch LCD supervision cluster is mounted between the recessed dials of the newly designed dual-bezel instrument display. The supervision cluster incorporates trip information, outdoor temperature, information about the chosen Flex Steer mode on models where it is fitted, a gear shift indicator on manual versions and the Parallel Park Assist functionality on grades '4' and 'KX-4'.

Sportage 3 and KX-3 have a new 4.3-inch TFT LCD colour touch-screen audio system with an integrated rear-view camera display to help owners when reversing or parallel parking. The 'KX-3 Sat-Nav' and grade '4' models repace this with a 7-inch colour touch-screen with mapping for 44 European countries, full UK postcode recognition, traffic messaging with a detour function, motorway junction views, lane guidance, speed limit warnings and multi-route planning.

Grades '3' and above also have a premium Infinity audio system with seven speakers, including a sub-woofer mounted in the right-hand rear of the cabin. It has been tuned to provide outstanding sound quality under all conditions.

Improved safety, comfort and driving dynamics

Sportage '3' and above also come with Kia's Flex Steer system, another addition for the 2014 model year. This allows the driver to choose between three different levels of power assistance according to preference and where the car is being driven. Comfort mode provides increased help for parking or manoeuvring in tight areas, for example, while Sport lessens the assistance for increased feel and stability at higher speeds. There is also a Normal setting. The three modes are selected via a button on the steering wheel.

All versions now have Trailer Stability Assist to make towing safer. It works through the Electronic Stability Control system, and continuously monitors vehicle stability, gently applying some front braking force if it detects a potential loss of control. If this is insufficient, gentle all-wheel braking is introduced along with a reduction in engine power until the vehicle and trailer are stabilised.

A Tyre Pressure Monitoring System is also now standard to alert the driver to any significant under-inflation via an illuminated icon in the instrument cluster.

Even more fully specced

These additions to the standard equipment of all models enhance a car which has always been fully-specced car regardless of trim grade. Standard items include alloy wheels, air conditioning, all-round electric windows, a two-way adjustable steering column, LED daytime running lights, body-coloured electric door mirrors, remote central locking, a leather-covered steering wheel and gearlever knob, front fog lights and cornering lights, rain sensing wipers, Bluetooth connectivity with voice recognition, cruise control and steering wheel-mounted controls.

Sportage '2' and 'KX-2' add part-leather upholstery, dual zone automatic air con, roof rails, privacy glass, reversing sensors, a panoramic sunroof, 17-inch instead of 16-inch alloy wheels, folding LED mirrors, a luggage net, vanity mirror illumination and adjustable driver's seat lumbar support.

Sportage '3' and 'KX-3' versions additionally have leather upholstery with heated front and rear seats, dual-zone climate control, reversing camera, TFT cluster, flex steer, Xenon headlights with washers, auto light control, a front wiper de-icer, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and 18-inch alloy wheels. All 3 and KX-3 versions are also available as Sat Nav models with a rear-view safety camera that transmits an image to an LCD colour display integrated into the 7-inch in-dash screen.

The Sportage'4' and 'KX-4' is available only with the high-power 181bhp diesel engine. Key spec additions include the Parallel Park Assist System (PPAS), stainless steel door scuffs, electric driver's seat, heated steering wheel and an engine start/stop button with smart key entry.

Powertrains and chassis

The 1.6-litre direct-injection petrol unit and 1.7-litre turbodiesel made their debuts in the Sportage and are the mainstays of the range in the UK. They come as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox, while with the 2.0-litre engines buyers are offered the choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic. The Dymax intelligent all-wheel-drive system is standard on every 2.0-litre model.

With the new 1.7-litre turbodiesel engine and the fuel-saving assistance of ISG, average fuel economy is 54.3mpg, while CO2 emissions are only 135g/km on 16- or 17-inch alloys. Yet it is still a sprightly performer thanks to its 114bhp and 260Nm (192lb/ft) of torque. The 1.6-litre direct-injection petrol engine, which develops 133bhp and 165Nm (122lb/ft) of torque, gives the Sportage even livelier performance, yet not at the expense of fuel economy or emissions. With the help of ISG, average fuel consumption is 44.1mpg, while CO2 emissions are 149 g/km.

The lesser-powered 2.0-litre turbodiesel develops 134bhp and 320Nm (236lb/ft) of torque. With the six-speed manual gearbox it delivers sparkling performance with parsimonious fuel consumption and low emissions - 49.6mpg on 16- or 17-inch wheels and CO2 emissions of 149g/km. Even with the six-speed automatic it averages 40.9mpg, with CO2 emissions of 179g/km.

And the high-power 2.0 diedel version for the 'KX-4', which develops 181bhp and 383Nm (282lb/ft) in manual guise and 392Nm (289lb/ft) in the automatic version, brings even more exciting performance to the Sportage range without adding significantly to fuel consumption or emissions. In manual form the 'KX-4' is capable of 46.3mpg with CO2 emissions of 158g/km, while the figures for the automatic are 39.2mpg and 189g/km.

The Dymax intelligent electronically controlled all-wheel drive system developed by Magna Powertrain for KX variants continuously monitors driving conditions and anticipates when all-wheel drive will be needed, whereas other systems react only to changing conditions. With Dymax, the new Sportage is always in the correct drive mode for the prevailing circumstances.

Dymax normally delivers 100 per cent of engine torque to the front wheels. But the torque can be redistributed up to a maximum of 60:40 front-to-rear to enhance cornering stability or if road conditions deteriorate. For off-road driving, owners can manually select lock mode, which gives a 50:50 torque split at speeds of up to 25mph.

Kia engineers conducted final testing on UK roads to ensure that the all-independent suspension delivers agile and safe handling and an absorbent and comfortable ride, despite the unique, challenging demands that British roads present.

A number of electronic features increase both safety for on-road driving and the car's capability for those owners who wish to go off-road or who live in areas where bad weather and poor driving conditions are facts of life.

Electronic Stability Control (ESC) counteracts any tendency of the car to understeer or oversteer in hard cornering or slippery conditions. It is linked to three additional systems - Downhill Brake Control (DBC), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) and a Roll-over Sensor. DBC ensures the car maintains a steady speed of 5mph when descending steep slopes. HAC has the reverse effect, preventing slip-back when setting off uphill and eliminating the possibility of wheelspin. The Roll-over Sensor detects when the car might be in danger of tipping over and deploys the curtain airbags and seat-belt pre-tensioners so that occupants are fully protected should the worst happen.

Warranty and after-care

In keeping with every Kia, the Sportage comes with the company's unique-in-the-UK seven-year or 100,000-mile warranty, subject to certain wear and tear conditions. It is fully transferable should the car be sold before the time or mileage limits have been reached, and if the car is sold when less than 18 months old or with less than 18,000 miles on the clock the warranty is topped up to match that of a new model.

The Sportage is available with Kia's Care-3 and Care-3 Plus servicing package, offering retail customers fixed-cost, inflation-proof servicing for the first three or five years. All work is carried out by trained technicians using genuine Kia replacement parts and specified oils. All packages cover the car, not the owner, so are transferable should the vehicle be sold. If a vehicle with a Care-3 package is sold on then the next owner may upgrade to the five year service package.

DESIGN

Under former Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer, now Hyundai Group President of Design, Kia has shown a remarkable ability in recent years to be ahead of the game when it comes to spotting changes in buyers' tastes and needs.

So, when starting work on Sportage, Schreyer and his design teams in Europe, Korea and the United States identified that the old school of compact SUV would play an increasingly small role in the years to come, and that a crossover would best meet the needs of buyers of the future.

The car they created, combining the higher-than-average ground clearance, raised seating position and command view of an SUV with the high shoulder line and fast windscreen angle of a coupé, has been a phenomenon around the world and is Kia's best-selling model in the UK. Buyers cite the car's stunning looks as one of the principal reasons for their choice. That design has been honed even closer to perfection for the 2014 model year.

All versions have improved exterior styling and lighting. There are new versions of Kia's 'tiger-nose' grille across the range. Sportage '1' and 'KX-1' grades now have a chrome grille surround in place of the previous silver-painted edging, while for the rest of the range there is a new black gloss arrow-shaped mesh grille pattern, also with a chrome surround.

The rear combination lights are an evolution of those on the previous model, offering enhanced illumination and, therefore, improved visibility to other road users. The whole unit, including the section mounted on the boot lid, is now lit through the tail-light functionality. Sportage '4' and 'KX-4' grades have LED lighting to further enhance their night-time presence and premium appearance. Sportage '3' models upwards now have a shark's-fin antenna mounted on the rear of the roof, another small but important addition for raising perceived quality.

There are new-style 16-inch, 17-inch and 18-inch alloy wheels for all trim grades, complete with locking wheel nuts. The Sportage comes as standard with a full-size spare wheel. The choice of paint colours has also been revised, with the addition of new Space Blue (from the Venga) and Fusin White (from the cee'd and pro_cee'd GT models) to the range.

Object of desire

The Sportage has almost a sports car-like ratio between sheet metal and glass. 'The side windows are very narrow, which gives you an almost rally-car feeling from the inside,' says Schreyer.

His aim was to make the new Sportage, like all other Kias crafted under his stewardship, an object of desire rather than simply a mode of transport. 'The allure of a Kia should extend well beyond the fact that it moves people from one place to the other,' he says. 'It should be universally attractive, because a car's design needs to survive globally, not just in one market place.'

Sleek and rakish, the Sportage successfully incorporates the key features of an SUV in a more urban-friendly, more athletic and more muscular package. It is long, low and wide, with stringent efforts to reduce weight and improve its aerodynamic profile - its Cd is only 0.37.

The 'tiger nose' radiator grille and piercing front light units sit beneath the front end of a clamshell bonnet that runs into the raised shoulder line, giving the car a sense of strength and solidity while also making it easier for the driver to place the car on the road. The steep windscreen angle sweeps seamlessly into the low roofline. The castellated top edge of the windscreen mirrors that of the grille and is repeated at the bottom edge of the rear window.

The high shoulder and low roof lines meet in striking reverse-angle C-pillars. Mirroring the large headlamps up front are prominent tail lights that flow across the tailgate into the car's broad shoulders. The ribbed roof, chunky door handles and large wing mirrors are as much signs of the Sportage's street-wise urban toughness as its capability in difficult conditions.

Internal affairs

The spacious five-seat cabin is as dynamic as the exterior and is given an even more premium look with the 2014 changes. Soft nano paint has been added to the dashboard and centre console of all trim grades, and there is now centre console illumination and soft-touch upper door trims. All are further indications of the importance Kia places on actual quality. The door-mounted audio tweeters have been repositioned to enhance sound quality.

Sportage '3' and above feature new-style instrumentation which is yet another indicator of Kia's unstinting efforts to raise quality. A 4.2-inch LCD supervision cluster is mounted between the two recessed dials of the newly designed dual-bezel instrument display. The supervision cluster incorporates trip information, outdoor temperature, information about the chosen Flex Steer mode on models where it is fitted, a gear shift indicator on manual versions and the Parallel Park Assist functionality on grades '4' and 'KX-4'.

Sportage '3' and 'KX-3' have a new 4.3-inch TFT LCD colour touch screen audio system with an integrated rear-view camera display to help owners when reversing or parallel parking. The '3 Sat Nav' models replace this with a 7-inch colour touch screen with mapping for 44 European countries, full UK postcode recognition, traffic messaging with a detour function, motorway junction views, lane guidance, speed limit warnings and multi-route planning.

Grades '3' and above also have a premium Infinity audio system with seven speakers, including a sub-woofer mounted in the right-hand rear of the cabin. It has been tuned to provide outstanding sound quality under all conditions.

The Sportage has always been exceptionally practical as well as stylish, with a host of storage areas dotted around the cabin - a front armrest with storage box, a combined rear armrest and cupholders, front and rear door pockets, seat-back pockets, two 12-volt power outlets and luggage net hooks (with a net on grades 2 upwards). The 2014 model now has a removable tray within the centre console box, along with illuminated cup holders. New folding keys and, on models with an engine start/stop button, a smart key are further quality improvements made across the range.

The dashboard narrows as it sweeps in from the sides towards the middle, leading into an eye-catching centre console. The design deliberately emphasises the width of the Sportage and also gives occupants a feeling of protection and safety.

Horizontal layers break up the dashboard - 'So you are not facing a vast cliff of plastic,' says European Design Chief Gregory Guillaume - while a high centre tunnel dissects the cabin. 'It is anything but the typical T-shaped dashboard/console layout you will find in most vehicles,' Guillaume adds.

'Although you sit high in the cabin there's still something very sporting about it because the windscreen has a very fast angle and the shoulder line is very high,' he continues. 'This gives you a cocooned and safe feeling, and yet from a practical point of view there is still plenty of rear headroom.'

The car has been designed and engineered predominantly for buyers with families and active lifestyles. The Sportage attracts people downsizing from large, inefficient cars and others upgrading from fashionable but impractical smaller models.

Within a length of less than 4.5 metres the Sportage provides excellent space for up to five occupants with the commanding driving position and heightened sense of security of an SUV, yet with a relatively low hip point which lowers the height of the seats to make entry and exit easier.

There is a minimum of 564 litres of boot space, which can be extended to more than 1,353 litres when both parts of the 60:40 split rear seats are folded down. Just to prove Kia has thought of everything, there's a one-touch folding operation for the rear seats, including a useful remote release strap handle which means the seats can be folded simply and swiftly from the rear.

Stylish as well as spacious

The driver and passengers do not just enjoy generous leg, head and shoulder room and excellent space for their luggage. Dramatic interior styling matches the striking looks of the exterior with no compromises in usability; the fit and finish and choice of materials ensure the Sportage has the look and feel of a premium car; and the active and passive safety features are designed to protect owners and their families.

The fully adjustable driving position includes a leather-covered steering wheel which can be moved fore and aft and up and down, plus a multi-adjustable driver's seat. The '4' and 'KX-4' versions have a six-way power-adjustable driver's seat. Chrome and metallic highlights and soft-touch dash and door materials attest to the interior quality. Depending on model, steering wheel-mounted controls, electrically folding door mirrors and a trip computer add to driver convenience.

Other comfort and convenience features fitted higher up the range include a full-length panoramic electric tilt and slide sunroof, welcome home lights, Xenon headlamps with washers, leather upholstery with heated front and rear seats, dual-zone climate control and a Parallel Park Assist System (PPAS) and heated steering wheel.

Enhanced safety across the range

The monocoque bodyshell of the Sportage incorporates almost 72 per cent ultra-high-strength and high-tensile steels, making the structure stiff and safe, and with minute attention to detail given to every facet of the suspension, subframe mountings and door and window seals, the Sportage is a quiet and refined car in which to travel. All of this has been enhanced on the latest model.

All versions now have Trailer Stability Assist to make towing safer. It works through the Electronic Stability Control system, and continuously monitors vehicle stability, gently applying some front braking force if it detects a potential loss of copntrol. If this is insufficient, gentle all-wheel braking is introduced along with a reduction in engine power until the vehicle and trailer are stabilised.

A Tyre Pressure Minitoring System is also now standard across the range to alert the driver to any significant under-inflation via an illuminated icon in the instrument cluster.

The bodyshell features a front energy dispersion structure to prevent forward crash loads being passed through to the passenger safety cell, a ringed and reinforced area around the B-pillar, high-mounted side impact beams in the doors and thigh protection pads on the rear interior door trims, and impact-dispersing sections in the rear floor side members, all to protect occupants from the effects of collisions.

Six airbags are standard, both front seats have active head rests which help protect against whiplash injuries and the front seatbelts are fitted with pre-tensioners and load limiters.

But it's always best if a collision can be avoided, and the Sportage has a complete set of electronic braking and cornering aids. Together, these ensure maximum braking efficiency at all times, allow the driver to steer around a potential accident even while braking, and maintain the car's course in slippery conditions.

Working through the sensors that control the anti-lock braking system, the Sportage has Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, traction control, Electronic Stability Control and Cornering Brake Control. Together, these measures ensure braking effort is apportioned to the wheels with most grip, that maximum braking effort is automatically delivered in an emergency regardless of the pressure applied to the pedal by the driver, potential understeer or oversteer are automatically corrected either by selective braking of wheels or torque reduction of the engine - or both - and that traction is maintained when setting off or cornering on slippery surfaces.

Wide front and rear tracks and the lower ride height enhance stability, while all-wheel-drive versions have the intelligent drive system - Dymax - from Magna Powertrain.

All versions feature Downhill Brake Control (DBC), Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) and a Roll-over Sensor. DBC ensures the car maintains a steady speed of 5mph when descending steep slopes. HAC has the reverse effect, preventing slip-back when setting off uphill and eliminating the possibility of wheelspin. The Roll-over Sensor detects when the car might be in danger of tipping over and deploys the curtain airbags and front seat-belt pre-tensioners so that occupants are fully protected should the worst happen.

THE TECHNICAL STORY

Kia is endlessly striving for technical solutions that will bring down the carbon footprint of its products while allowing its customers to continue to enjoy personal mobility. Part of the rationale behind the Sportage was to bring down the CO2 emissions of the range dramatically, but the engineers also wanted to deliver a car that is engaging to drive and that can still fulfil the requirements of buyers.

With its range of powerful and efficient engines - including 1.6-litre direct-injection petrol and 1.7-litre turbodiesel units - all-independent suspension, widened stance and electronic power-assisted steering, the Sportage delivers strong performance, agile and nimble handling, a smooth ride and low noise levels.

But it is also fuel efficient thanks to the asdoption of front-wheel drive for the strongest-selling models, the adoption of Intelligent Stop and Go (ISG) on all but one front-drive variant, weight-saving and improved aerodynamics.

Intelligent all-wheel drive, with world-first adoption of the active Dymax system from Magna Powertrain, continues to be available for those owners who want to tow, who live in areas prone to extremes of weather or who have leisure pursuits that take them off the beaten track. It is fitted as standard to all 2.0-litre versions of the new Sportage.

The petrol engine

The Sportage is available with just one petrol engine - a direct-injection (GDi) 1.6-litre Gamma unit. This marked the first use of GDi technology in a Kia. GDi makes it possible to increase power and torque levels while reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Typically, a GDi engine will deliver 7 per cent more torque at low engine revolutions and 12 per cent more torque at high rpm than a conventional engine of similar capacity - and all with a fuel economy improvement of around 10 per cent.

The Kia Gamma engine develops 133bhp at 6,300rpm and 165Nm or torque (122lb/ft) at 4,850rpm. It is an aluminium 1,591cc 16-valve twin-cam unit with variable valve timing on both the inlet and exhaust valves, and featuring a high 11.0:1 compression ratio.

A fine mist of petrol is injected directly into each of the four cylinders at up to 135 bar in minutely precise quantities and with millisecond timing to ensure the Sportage uses only as much fuel as it needs, exactly when it needs it. The result is highly efficient combustion that ensures excellent performance with low fuel consumption and emissions - the 1.6-litre GDi Sportage with ISG has a combined fuel economy of 44.1mpg and CO2 emissions of only 149g/km. It accelerates from 0-60mph in 10.7 seconds and has a maximum speed of 111mph. The entry-level version without ISG is still capable of 41.5mpg, with emissions below 160g/km at 158g/km.

The turbodiesel engines

The Sportage is also offered with two turbodiesel engines - a 1.7-litre version of the U2 engine and a 2.0-litre R unit which is available in two power outputs.

The 1.7-litre U2 engine was engineered and designed at Kia's research and development facility in Germany. Developing 114bhp at 4,000rpm and 260Nm (192lb/ft) of torque at 1,250 - 2,750rpm, it has been designed for optimum driveability, with more than 90 per cent of maximum torque available from just 2,000rpm. Similar in construction to Kia's European-designed and -built 1.6-litre CRDi engine, but with 84.5mm cylinder bores and a 90mm piston stroke to give a cubic capacity of 1,685cc, it has been designed with the needs of European motorists in mind. Performance is similar to that of the 1.6-litre Sportage, with a maximum speed of 107mph and 0-60mph acceleration in 11.9 seconds, but combined fuel economy is up to 54.3mpg and CO2 emissions are a remarkably low 135g/km, depending on the choice of wheels and tyres.

The standard 2.0-litre (1,995cc) version of the R-family diesel engine develops 134bhp at 4,000rpm and 320Nm (236lb/ft) of torque from just 1,800rpm. The higher output engine develops 181bhp at 4,000rpm with 383Nm (282lbft) for the manual and 392Nm (289lbft) for the automatic from just 1,800 rpm.

With the six-speed manual gearbox and 16- or 17-inch alloys the lesser-powered version of the engine achieves combined economy of 49.6mpg with CO2 emissions of 149g/km. Its urban and extra urban fuel consumption figures are 41.5mpg and 55.4mpg respectively. It accelerates from 0-60mph in 10.9 seconds and its maximum speed is 112mph. The manual on 18-inch alloys achieves combined economy of 47.1mpg with urban and extra urban figures of 40.4mpg and 52.3mpg. CO2 is 156 g/km.

Even the six-speed automatic version beats the previous-generation Sportage manual, with fuel consumption on 17-inch alloys of 40.9mpg and CO2 emissions of 179g/km. Its urban and extra urban consumption figures are 32.5mpg and 48.7mpg. It can accelerate from 0-60mph in 11.7 seconds on the way to a top speed of 113mph. The automatic on 18-inch alloys achieves combined economy of 40.4mpg with urban and extra urban figures of 31.7mpg and 47.9mpg. CO2 is 183 g/km.

With the higher output 181bhp model the six speed manual model achieves combined economy of 46.3 mpg with urban and extra urban figures of 39.2mpg and 52.3mpg and CO2 of 158g/km. The six-speed automatic version achieves combined economy of 39.2mpg with urban and extra urban at 31.0mpg and 46.3mpg respectively. CO2 is 189g/km. The 0-60mph acceleration time is 9.5 seconds for both the manual and the automatic version and the top speed is 120mph for the manual and 121mph for the automatic version.

Intelligent Stop and Go (ISG)

All 1.7-litre turbodiesel versions of the Sportage and the 1.6-litre Sportage '2' petrol models come with front-wheel drive and manual transmission as standard and are fitted with Kia's Intelligent Stop and Go (ISG) stop-start system. As the name implies, this switches off the engine when the car comes to rest in traffic and the driver puts the gearlever into neutral and releases the clutch pedal. The engine restarts instantly as soon as the clutch pedal is partially engaged again. This feature significantly reduces fuel consumption in stop-start traffic and means the car is not emitting CO2 when it is at rest.

ISG consists of crankshaft position, battery and vacuum sensors plus neutral, on-off and clutch switches that feed into an electronic control unit. This operates the ISG starter, intelligent alternator and cluster. The air conditioning units and hood switch also feed into the ISG ECU.

The crankshaft position sensor measures the crankshaft angle during engine run-out and monitors it while the vehicle is stopped, ensuring the starter is activated for as short a time as possible by optimising cranking and combustion. The battery sensor monitors battery condition and temperature, while the clutch and neutral switches recognise when drivers wish to continue driving and ensure the engine is started. There is a brake booster pressure sensor to make sure the engine continues to operate if brake boost falls too low.

A new heavy-duty maintenance-free Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) battery delivers the power necessary to run the system, and intelligent alternator management reduces drain on the battery while accelerating and recharges the battery during coasting and braking. The system has been engineered not to stop the engine during warm-up after a cold start or if the air conditioning is working hard. Drivers can also manually turn off ISG through a switch on the dashboard.

Other fuel-saving measures fitted to the Sportage include gearshift up/down eco-indicator lights on manual models, an Eco indicator to encourage more economical driving on automatic versions and a power-saving alternator management system. Michelin low rolling resistance tyres are fitted as standard to all versions with 16-inch wheels.

Intelligent Dymax all-wheel drive

All 2.0-litre versions of Sportage come as standard with the Dymax intelligent electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system from Magna Powertrain. Dymax continuously monitors driving conditions and anticipates when all-wheel drive will be needed, whereas other systems react only to changing conditions. With Dymax, the new Sportage is always in the correct drive mode for the prevailing circumstances.

Dymax normally delivers 100 per cent of engine torque to the front wheels. But the torque can be redistributed up to a maximum of 60:40 front-to-rear to enhance cornering stability or if road conditions deteriorate. For off-road driving, owners can manually select lock mode, which gives a 50:50 torque split at speeds of up to 25mph.

Dymax makes its decisions by analysing data from the car's electronic control unit. Its fully active all-wheel-drive coupling is electro-hydraulically activated via a multi-plate clutch. The benefits for the driver are reduced fuel consumption because all-wheel drive is engaged only when necessary, greater cornering stability and the elimination of under- and oversteer in extreme circumstances or road conditions. The system has a high thermal capacity, which means it will
not overheat and need to shut itself down in repeated hill climbing or when towing at maximum capacity.

A number of new electronic features have been added to the Sportage to increase safety during on-road driving and to maximise the car's capability for those owners who wish to go off-road or who live in areas where bad weather and poor driving conditions are facts of life.

All versions are fitted with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) to counteract any tendency of the car to understeer or oversteer in hard cornering or slippery conditions. ESC automatically brakes one or more wheels, reduces engine torque - or does both - to stabilise the car and return it to the driver's intended course.

This is linked to three additional systems - Downhill Brake Control (DBC), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) and a Roll-over Sensor. DBC ensures the car maintains a steady speed of 5mph when descending steep slopes so that the driver does not need to touch the brakes, which might result in a loss of traction. HAC has the reverse effect, preventing slip-back when setting off uphill and eliminating the possibility of wheelspin.

The Roll-over Sensor detects when the car might be in danger of tipping over and deploys the curtain airbags and seat-belt pre-tensioners so that occupants are fully protected should the worst happen.

All versions now have Trailer Stability Assist to make towing safer. It works through the Electronic Stability Control system, and continuously monitors vehicle stability, gently applying some front braking force if it detects a potential loss of control. If this is insufficient, gentle all-wheel braking is introduced along with a reduction in engine power until the vehicle and trailer are stabilised.

Transmissions

All versions of the Sportage have a six-speed gearbox. Front-drive 1.6-litre petrol and 1.7-litre turbodiesel models are fitted with a manual shift, while 2.0-litre all-wheel-drive petrol and diesel variants also offer the option of an intelligent six-speed automatic.

The manual was upgraded for the current-generation Sportage and offers improved synchronisation, reduced power loss, enhanced efficiency and greater durability. The automatic was developed in-house by Kia for use in a wide range of vehicles.

Running gear

The Sportage has been engineered to be fun to drive on the UK's twisty country roads and comfortable and refined to travel in at motorway speeds. Kia engineers conducted final testing in the UK to ensure that the all-independent suspension delivers agile and safe handling and an absorbent and comfortable ride, even with the unique challenges that British roads present.

The suspension features a multi-link arrangement at the rear, while electronic power steering always delivers the right amount of assistance and feedback regardless of speed, while helping to save fuel by virtue of being active only when needed. Sportage 3 and above now come with Kia's Flex Steer system, which allows the driver to choose between three different levels of power assistance according to preference and where the car is being driven. Comfort mode provides increased help for parking or manoeuvring in tight areas, for example, while Sport lessens the assistance for increased feel and stability at higher speeds. There is also a Normal setting.

The electronic power-assisted steering system delivers good feel and precise control, with low turning effort for parking and low-speed manoeuvres and firmer feedback at higher speeds. It is a speed-sensitive rack-and pinion system requiring just 2.9 turns from lock-to-lock for a tight turning circle of only 10.5 metres. Compared with a hydraulically activated system it contributes to fuel economy savings of 3.5 per cent.

The front and rear suspension systems are mounted on lightweight hydro-formed subframes that help to isolate occupants from irregularities in the road and surface-generated noise.

At the front, compact MacPherson struts have been fine-tuned to take into account the ride height and weight. The suspension geometry has been designed to improve stability and steering feel, while side-load coil springs reduce friction.

The fully independent multi-link rear suspension has been designed to maximise the contact patch of the rear tyres on the road even during the hardest cornering, maintaining stability at all times. The coil springs and dampers are mounted separately to minimise intrusion into the cabin while ensuring excellent bump suppression.

The Sportage has an all-disc anti-lock braking system (ventilated at the front and solid at the rear), backed up by Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BAS). EBD apportions the stopping power to the wheels with most grip while BAS ensures maximum braking power in an emergency regardless of the force exerted on the pedal by the driver.

FULLY EQUIPPED

Substantial upgrades in equipment accompany the interior and exterior styling changes on the 2014 Kia Sportage. The additional features add to the safety and comfort of occupants and make the Sportage even more premium in content and even greater value for money.

The 16-model range is based on '1', '2', '3', '3 Sat Nav' and '4' trim designations, with all-wheel-drive versions given the KX preface.

Additional equipment added to the entry-level 1 and KX-1 grades consists of Trailer Stability Assist to increase safety when towing and a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System to alert drivers to significance under-inflation of one or more tyres.

The '2' and 'KX-2' models add to this with dual automatic air conditioning and a cooled glovebox, neither of which was fitted previously, while the '3' and 'KX-3' models are even more luxuriously appointed with the addition of a supervision cluster with TFT LCD colour display, a 7-speaker premium sound system from Infinity with sub-woofer and external amp and a reversing camera system - all integrated into a 4.3-inch touch screen - Flex Steer and a shark-fin antenna. The '3' and 'KX-3 Sat Nav' substitute the 4.3-inch touch screen with a 7-inch colour touch screen with mapping for 44 European countries, full UK postcode recognition, traffic messaging with a detour function, motorway junction views, lane guidance, speed limit warnings and multi-route planning. The '4' and 'KX-4' models are further enhanced with LED rear combination lamps, a six-way power-adjustable driver's seat and a heated steering wheel, all of which are new for 2014.

Standard items continued from the previous model include alloy wheels, air conditioning, all-round electric windows, a two-way adjustable steering column, body-coloured electric door mirrors, remote central locking, a leather-covered steering wheel and gearlever knob, front fog lights and cornering lights, LED daytime running lights, rain sensing wipers, Bluetooth connectivity with voice recognition, cruise control, steering wheel-mounted controls and iPod connectivity.

Sportage '2' and 'KX-2' versions have part-leather upholstery, roof rails and privacy glass, reversing sensors, panoramic sunroof, electric-folding LED door-mirrors, a luggage net, vanity mirror illumination, adjustable driver's seat lumbar support, a trip computer and 17-inch rather than 16-inch alloy wheels.

The '3' and 'KX-3' versions additionally have leather upholstery with heated front and rear seats, dual-zone climate control, Xenon headlights with washers, auto-dimming rear view mirror, auto-light control, front wiper de-icer and 18-inch alloy wheels.

The range topping 4 and KX-4 models add a Parallel Park Assist System (PPAS), stainless steel door scuffs and an engine start/stop button with smart key entry.

BUILT FOR AN ACTIVE LIFE

The Sportage is a car that delivers the best of all worlds. Buyers who want a stylish, sophisticated, fuel-efficient crossover with all the advantages of an SUV, but none of the disadvantages, will find in it all they are looking for. But there are people who need to tow trailers or caravans, who occasionally venture off-road or who live in areas prone to extremes of weather. So, the range also includes KX versions with the Dymax intelligent all-wheel-drive system, ensuring the Sportage can meet all their requirements.

Dymax is an electronically controlled single high-ratio all-wheel-drive system from Magna Powertrain. It continuously monitors driving conditions and anticipates when all-wheel drive will be needed, whereas other systems react only to changing conditions. With Dymax, the new Sportage is always in the correct drive mode for the prevailing circumstances.

Dymax normally delivers 100 per cent of engine torque to the front wheels. But the torque can be redistributed up to a maximum of 60:40 front-to-rear. For off-road driving, owners can manually select lock mode, which gives a 50:50 torque split at speeds of up to 25mph.

Sportage 2.0 CRDi models with the standard 2.0-litre R-family diesel engine develop 320Nm (236lb/ft) of torque from just 1,800rpm. This increases to 383Nm (282lb/ft) with the high-power version, or 392Nm (289lb ft) with automatic transmission. This makes them ideal for towing or off-road use. Manual versions can tow a 2,000kg braked trailer (1,600kg with the automatic transmission) and both can tow an unbraked trailer of up to 750kg.

The smooth low-to-mid-range torque delivery of the 2.0-litre diesel engines gives the driver minutely precise throttle control when tackling slippery or difficult terrain or when setting off with a heavy trailer, while the short front and rear overhangs allow the car to cope with relatively steep approach, departure and ramp-over angles.

Even the two-wheel-drive 1.7 CRDi and 1.6 GDi versions of the new Sportage have impressive towing credentials. Both can pull a 1,200kg braked trailer (750kg unbraked).

Topics: kia, kia sportage, suv

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