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New Kia Sportage revealed

Kia's baby SUV has undergone radical surgery at the Geneva motor show and the all-new model will go on sale in the UK in September.

Based on the recently launched Hyundai ix35, the new Kia Sportage will be come as a five-door off-roader and be built in Kia's Slovakian factory. Kia has kept the Sportage's styling simple and it will offer decent off-road ability to satisfy the demands of existing loyal owners.

However, the new Sportage will be offered in both front- and four-wheel drive for the first time. Kia expects a front-drive model will help expand sales thanks to lower emissions and better fuel economy.

When the Sportage reaches the UK, Kia says it will be offered with 1.6- and 2.0-litre petrol engines. Diesel engines will make up the bulk of sales and there will 1.7- and 2.0-litre turbodiesels, with the smaller engine producing 138g/km of carbon dioxide emissions as a front-drive model. The smaller petrol and diesel engines will also come as standard with Kia's Intelligent Stop & Go technology that switches off the engine when the car is at a standstill in traffic to save fuel and emissions.

Kia has yet to confirm pricing, but it's expected the new Sportage will continue to offer strong value for money with a starting price of around £15,500. All of the models in the next Sportage range will come with six airbags, ESP traction and stability control, air conditioning, CD stereo with MP3 connector and electric windows all round. For off-roading, there will also be Hill-Start Assist Control to prevent the car rolling backwards on slopes and Downhill Brake Control to let the car descend steep hills at a slow, measured speed.


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