WHAT’S NEW

Herald Sun - Motoring - - FIRST DRIVE -

PRICE

The RRP is up marginally but the drive­away price the pub­lic sees has ef­fec­tively re­mained the same, de­spite up­grades and ex­tra equip­ment. For now, only the Si-Pre­mium has a per­ma­nent dis­counted drive-away deal (to $31,990 from its full re­tail $35,990). Kia says it should be pos­si­ble to pay the RRP as a drive-away price on the rest of the range, so be sure to ne­go­ti­ate.

TECH

Every model gains au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing, for­ward col­li­sion warn­ing, lane keep­ing as­sis­tance, auto dim­ming rear view mir­ror, dual zone air­con­di­tion­ing, and a new hi-res touch­screen. Dearer mod­els gain an elec­tric park brake, pre­mium au­dio and radar cruise con­trol, among other ex­tras.

PER­FOR­MANCE

The new eight-speed auto in the 2.0 turbo diesel AWD is aimed at boost­ing econ­omy as well as re­spon­sive­ness.

DRIV­ING

Kia en­gi­neers have retested and re­tuned the up­dated Sportage on lo­cal roads. A new type of shock ab­sorber irons out the bumps bet­ter and the steer­ing now has a more lin­ear feel. Some mod­els come with slip­pery Nexen tyres, oth­ers come with the bet­ter Kumho or Hankook rub­ber.

DE­SIGN

Vis­ual changes to the model in­tro­duced in 2016 are sub­tle but the head­lights and tail-lights are new, as are the front and rear bumpers. All al­loy wheels (17, 18, and 19-inch) are a fresh de­sign.

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