The new line-up now totals 16 versions, due to the loss of variants including KX-trim models of 2 to 5, as well as GT-Line Edition models, which sat near the top of the range.
A Kia spokesman said these versions “were each a small percentage of the sales mix”, so a decision to “rationalise” the range had been taken “for ease of understanding for customers”.
KX models formed the bulk of the four-wheel drive line-up for the Sportage, so losing them has significantly reduced the number of AWD versions on sale. However, GT-Line models still come available with two driven axles.
The Sportage remains Kia’s top-selling model in the UK. It accounted for 45% of demand here in 2017, with 40,077 of them sold. This beat 2016’s results, when sales for the Nissan Qashqai rival totalled 39,700 – equating to 43% of Kia’s UK sales.