kiaKia’s sexy new Sportage crossover is now on sale as a full 16-model range. The line-up includes four engines, including brand-new 1.6-litre direct-injection petrol and 1.7-litre turbodiesel units.

These engines come as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox and front-wheel drive, while the 2.0-litre engines offer the choice of fi vespeed manual or six-speed automatic on the petrol and six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions on the diesel.

The new Dymax intelligent all-wheel-drive system, from Magna Powertrain, is standard on every 2.0-litre model while all 1.6 and 1.7-litre versions feature Kia’s Intelligent Stop and Go (ISG). The 16-model range is based on Kia’s 1, 2 and 3 trim designations, with all-wheel-drive versions given the ‘KX’ preface. There is also a special range-topping ‘sat nav’ grade availabe on new Sportage 3 and KX-3, featuring a fully integrated 7in touch screen satellite navigation with built-in reversing camera and upgraded audio sound system. Prices start from an attractive £16,645.

The new Sportage is a five-door, five-seat crossover that’s designed to attract those looking at a Nissan Qashqai, Peugeot 3008, Ford Kuga or Volkswagen Tiguan; young families or anyone who leads busy, primarily urban-centric lifestyles. Disappointingly for keen off-roaders, the previously very capable Sportage has reduced ground clearance, but Kia promotes this as aiding fuel consumption and emissions – 54.3mpg/135g/km – on 16/17in alloys.

The new 1.6-litre direct-injection petrol engine develops 133bhp and 122lb ft of torque, with fuel consumption at 44.1mpg and CO2 emissions of 149 g/km. The 2.0-litre turbodiesel develops 134bhp at 4000rpm and 236lb ft of torque from 1800rpm. With the six-speed manual gearbox the new 2.0 CRDi achieves combined economy of 49.6mpg – 9.8mpg better than the old model – with CO2 emissions of 149g/km, a huge reduction of 38g/km. It also accelerates more quickly and has a higher top speed. The six-speed automatic betters the previous manual model, with fuel consumption from 40.9mpg (versus 39.8mpg) and CO2 emissions from 179g/km (formerly 187g/km). It is also quicker and faster than the previous manual Sportage. The 2.0-litre petrol engine develops 161bhp, with 144lb ft of torque. In manual form fuel consumption is 37.2mpg with CO2 emissions from 181g/km, while the automatic is only fractionally behind with 34.4mpg and 195g/km.

The Dymax single, high ratio all-wheel drive system anticipates when all-wheel drive is needed. It normally delivers 100 per cent of torque to the front wheels but it canbe redistributed up to a maximum of 60:40 front-to-rear to enhance cornering stability or if road conditions deteriorate. Off-road, owners can manually select lock mode, which gives a 50:50 torque split at speeds of up to 25mph.

Standard items include 16in alloys, air conditioning, LED daytime running lights, leather-covered steering wheel and gearlever knob, front fog lights and cornering lights, automatic rain-sensing windscreen wipers, Bluetooth with voice recognition, cruise control, steering wheel-mounted controls and an iPod connection. New Sportage 2 and KX-2 add part-leather upholstery, roof rails and privacy glass, reversing sensors, panoramic sunroof, 17inch alloys, a luggage net, adjustable driver’s seat lumbar support and trip computer.

The flagship Sportage 3 and KX-3 versions have full leather with heated front and rear seats, dual-zone climate control, Xenon headlights with washers, automatic headlights, front wiper de-icer, auto-dimming rear view mirror and 18in alloys.

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