What is it?
The facelifted Kia Sportage – a car whose success, both in the UK and throughout Europe, has been remarkable these last few years.
More than a quarter of Kia’s UK sales last year were of Sportage – and given how fresh and handsome the car still seems, it's obvious what folks are responding to. But the car will need more than good looks to continue to thrive in a segment with a brand new Nissan Qashqai in it – more, perhaps, than Kia’s just armed it with as part of a 2014 facelift.
Regular readers may remember how comprehensively the Kia was trounced by the new Qashqai in a group test earlier this year – not least on refinement, quality and dynamic wieldiness.
Kia’s response is to fit the Slovakian-built crossover with some new interior trim plastics, a new audio system, a new instrument pack and some fresh seat upholsteries.
A thicker windscreen has been fitted as well, and under the skin there’s a new variable-assistance steering rack, new front subframe bushes, revalved dampers, softer anti-roll bars, a new symmetrical driveshaft and a new transmission mounting.