Kia Sportage

As previously reported, Naza has unveiled a locally assembled version of the Kia Sportage. One suprise that might come to some is that Naza has kept the Kia badge on this one, unlike it’s previous moves rebadging the Carnival, Sorento and Picanto as the Naza Ria, Naza Sorento and Naza Suria respectively.

This leads me to believe Naza might be changing it’s marketing strategy for its locally assembled Kia cars, or perhaps it is a licensing issue, or perhaps some models will always remain a Kia, locally assembled or not.

The new locally assembled Kia Sportage features a 2.0 litre DOHC CVVT (Continuously Variable Valve Timing) engine making 142 PS at 6,000rpm and 184Nm of torque at 4,500rpm mated to a 4-speed Shiftronic automatic gearbox. It’s 4WD system is Kia’s Active Torque Transfer 4WD with manual override.

Wheels are 16 inch split-spoke alloys, and other specs include reverse sensors, chrome inner dor handles, dual SRS airbags, antilock brakes, traction contol, a Saturn Black interior with metal grain trim, an MP3-capable 2-DIN head unit with both USB and AUX input matched to a 6-speaker system, a trip computer, real aluminium trim assist grip, fog lamps, as well as signal lamps on the wing mirrors.

It’s available in four colours – Smart Blue, Satin Silver, Black Cherry and Natural Olive. The Kia Sportage scored 5 Stars on the American NHSTA NCAP crash test.

It goes for RM112,000. Dealers have been taking bookings since mid-April 2007.