After a teaser and JPJ Putrajaya sightings, Naza Kia has officially launched the facelifted Kia Sportage at the nationwide Kia World Cup Bonanza Customer Day, which runs from today till March 16. The fresh Sportage is said to have 25 enhancements, including some under the skin.
Outside, you’ll find redesigned grilles, new front and rear bumpers, new and “structurally-enhanced” 18-inch alloys and a shark-fin antenna. The projector headlamps with LED daytime running lights, fog lamps and LED rear combination lamps have revised looks, too. It’s a mild facelift – the pre-FL front looks like this.
Inside, the leather-wrapped steering wheel now controls a Motor Driven Power Steering (MDPS, Hyundai-Kia’s EPS) with Flex Steer, which provides three steering weights for the driver to choose from – Comfort, Normal and Sport.
Other cabin highlights include push-start ignition (with redesigned smart key), panoramic roof, dual-zone air-con with ionised filtration, illuminated and cooled glove box, two-step adjustable rear seats, eight-way electric seat for the driver, Infinity sound system with seven speakers (two tweeters, four door speakers, one sub-woofer), head unit with 4.3-inch touch screen and reverse camera, and an upgraded Supervision cluster with a 4.2-inch TFT LCD screen.
Naza Kia says that the new Sportage rolls with reduced noise thanks to improvements on the mounts and windscreen. Revisions to the drive shaft and mounting system (now with laterally assembled bracket) contribute to a smoother ride and better NVH.
Under the hood, the Sportage is now powered by the Group’s current “Nu” 2.0 litre MPI engine with Dual Continuous Variable Valve Timing (DCVVT), 154 PS and 191 Nm of torque. A six-speed auto does transmission duties. The old motor was the previous-gen Theta II 2.0L with 166 PS and 197 Nm.
The five-star Euro NCAP rated SUV (six airbags, ABS, EBD, hill-start assist, traction control) is priced at RM138,888 on-the-road with insurance, unchanged from the June 2011 launch price despite the added kit. It is available in five colours – Clear White, Mineral Silver, Bright Silver, Sand Track and Signal Red – and comes with a five-year unlimited mileage warranty.
UPDATE: Live pictures from Kia’s Red Cube showroom in Petaling Jaya have been added.