Sil­ver to Kia

NT News - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE -

SEC­OND place in the 2010 Cars­guide COTY con­test went to the Kia Sportage.

The new Korean SUV was the sur­prise packet of COTY 2010, but only made the fi­nal field in the first place at the ex­pense of the car from which it is cloned, the Hyundai ix35.

The Sportage edged the ix35 be­cause it looks bet­ter, is priced cheaper and drives con­sid­er­ably nicer than its Korean ri­val - at least un­til Hyundai put its sus­pen­sion crew to work on im­prove­ments for 2011.

Once into the COTY field the Sportage im­pressed on al­most ev­ery front.

It’s the sort of fam­ily car that most Aus­tralians now want, with solid per­for­mance, five-star safety, great value and a driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that’s a lot bet­ter than a clunky off-roader.

It is a wor­thy run­ner-up against a car that dom­i­nated the judges’ votes.

BRONZE: Skoda Su­perb Wagon

Any car with a name like Su­perb needs to be good and the Skoda qual­i­fies.

In fact, it’s bet­ter than just plain good.

The Czech wagon is cav­ernous in­side, is in­cred­i­bly flex­i­ble, good to drive, well up on safety and ideal for fam­ily work.

It also has the sort of thought­ful touches - an um­brella tucked into the back door and a clip-out torch in the boot - that will bring peo­ple back and have them brag­ging to their friends.

A start­ing price of $40,990 makes the Czech car a won­der­ful deal, and even the fully-loaded El­e­gance tur­bod­iesel lists for less than $50,000.

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