After dissing the Kia Sorento recently by comparing it less favourably to the Sportage (seriously, why would anyone buy the Sorento with its questionable handling when the Sportage is available?) I get a chance to redeem myself.
That’s because Kia have launched a ‘range topper’ for the Sportage in the shape of the KX-4.
The turbodiesel engine is the most powerful Sportage yet, has all wheel drive and is launched this week.
The intelligent electronically-controlled single high ratio system continuously monitors driving conditions and anticipates when AWD will be needed ensuring Sportage is always in the correct drive mode for the prevailing circumstances.
The AWD system normally delivers 100 per cent of engine torque to the front wheels. But the torque can be redistributed up to a maximum of 60:40 front-to-rear to enhance cornering stability or if road conditions deteriorate. For off-road driving, owners can manually select lock mode, which gives a 50:50 torque split at speeds of up to 25mph.
It’s a popular crossover model which also has a spec which includes Parallel Park Assist System and full leather upholstery and a choice of a six-speed manual (and Kia do a great gearbox) or automatic transmission.
The KX-4 will reach 0-60mph in 9.4 seconds and, when fitted with the six-speed manual transmission, its top speed is 120mph. (Buy the six-speed auto and you’ll get 121mph!). The manual will return 46.3mpg whilst the auto will deliver 39.2mpg.
Prices start at £27,195 on the road for the manual and £28,500 for the automatic, with both models going on sale this week.