Snow surprise, Kia
THE product-driven push by Kia never seems to end. Just as the baby Soul hits Australia — after being rushed through months ahead of schedule — this picture of the Korean company’s new compact four-wheel-drive has just surfaced.
It’s the forthcoming Sportage and it was caught in driving snow in Scandinavia as engineers finalised the update package for the 2010 model that will be ready for showrooms in the second half of this year.
The biggest change is a six-speed automatic gearbox to go with the Sportage’s 135kW turbodiesel engine.
The goal is to improve performance and fuel economy in an engine that is becoming more important to Kia.
But Kia is tied to Hyundai on product development and that means the same package is likely to be seen in the next update of the Hyundai Tucson, which is twinned with the Sportage.
The updated turbodiesel powertrain will find its way into other Kia models sold in Europe, though there is no firm plan to use it in the latest compact Cerato in Australia.
The Sportage update is only a mid-life tickle but is important for a vehicle that has been its most successful since being introduced in 1995.
The current model was only introduced with a full model change in 2005.