Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

14 August 2014

South Africa: Kia Sportage 2.0 CRDI AWD Auto - Honing a Keen Machine

analysis

When Korean car maker Kia hired Peter Schreyer, and gave the affable, jazz-loving ex-Audi designer a clean sheet of paper, it changed the brand forever. Today's Kias are sleek and sexy machines, with a distinctive brand identity. The vehicle that heralded the Schreyer revolution was the Kia Sportage. DEON SCHOEMAN drives the recently updated version.

It's been just more than four years since I braved five lanes of traffic in downtown Seoul behind the wheel of what was then an all-new Kia Sportage SUV.

At the time, I predicted that the Sportage, with its clean, European styling and stylish cabin, would change perceptions about Kia, and about Korean cars in general, forever. Today, the Sportage is a top seller, and Korean cars are no longer considered inferior. Which brings us to this car: the freshly updated 2014 Kia Sportage.

There's no real reason for Kia to update the Sportage. It's been popular since launch, and has a long list of awards and accolades to its name. And yet, it seems that Kia wasn't prepared to rest on its laurels - or, perhaps, more likely, it's a mark of just how competitive the compact SUV segment really is.

Ironically, the mechanically...

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