- Top European journalists descend on Mallorca, Spain to test drive all- new Sportage compact SUV
- Sportage set to hit European dealer showrooms starting in November
- Worldwide sales of 160,000 units forecast for 2005
(SEOUL) October 29, 2004 -- Following its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show in September, Kia Motors’ 5-door Sportage compact SUV has attracted the attention of some 300 journalists and dealers who descended on Mallorca, Spain to take part in the Sportage test drive from October 25-29. The new Sportage will hit dealer showrooms across Europe next month and North America in January 2005.
Media representing 24 countries including France, Germany, the UK, Italy, Spain, Russia and many others had access to 59 fully-equipped 2.0 and 2.7-liter gasoline models and 2.0-liter diesel models to tackle a demanding off-road course as well as cruise along high-speed motorways.
Completely redesigned from the ground up, the all-new 2005 Sportage is a radically different vehicle compared to its more rugged predecessor. Both sportier and more elegant, the new Sportage has a longer wheelbase and wider stance than the previous-generation vehicle, providing a much more spacious and adaptable interior combined with sleeker aerodynamics for quiet, refined high-speed cruising.
“Following in the footsteps of the highly successful Sorento SUV, we are confident that the Sportage will prove to be the model that elevates the Kia brand to new heights,” said Yong-Hwan Kim, Senior Executive Vice-President and COO of Kia Motors Corporation.
“This latest addition to our lineup is expected to appeal to young consumers with active lifestyles and further enhance the ‘exciting and enabling’ essence of the Kia brand,” added Mr. Kim.
The Sportage will contend with models such as the Toyota RAV4, Honda CRV, and Ford Escape in one of the industry’s fastest growing segments.
Overall, test drive participants praised the Sportage for its stylish design, high performance power plant and responsive handling, both on and off-road. In particular, many participants were surprised by the Sportage’s exceptional off-road performance and claimed that the dynamic feel of the suspension system is perfectly suited for European driving conditions.
The Sportage was also highly commended for its low NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) levels as well as high functionality and convenience of the “Drop & Fold” rear seating system. And the majority of participants gave praise to the monotone body coloring and brown premium interior package.
Kia expects worldwide sales of the Sportage in 2005 to reach 160,000 units.
Founded in 1944 and now celebrating its 60th anniversary, Kia Motors Corporation (www.kiamotors.com) is Korea’s oldest manufacturer of automobiles. As part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, Kia is among the world’s fastest growing automobile companies and aims to be a top five global automaker by 2010. Kia’s 15 manufacturing and assembly operations in 12 countries make more than a million vehicles a year that are sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 190 countries. Kia today has 30,000 employees and annual revenues of $12 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open and an international sponsor of the Davis Cup.