The Kia Sportage Series II is now on sale in Australia, becoming the first European-built model in the South Korean car maker’s local line-up.
The Sportage Series II is manufactured at Kia’s Zilina production plant in Slovakia, the same facotry that will build the Pro_Cee’d GT hot-hatch for our market from early next year.
Favourable exchange rates see Sportage prices fall up to $1500, while Kia Australia says the promise of consistent supply makes sourcing cars from Slovakia rather than Korea a more attractive option for both dealers and customers.
Kia Australia public relations general manager Kevin Hepworth confirmed Sportage production for our market will shift completely to Zilina, with the last of the Korean vehicles expected to be sold over the next six to eight weeks.
The biggest change is the discontinuation of the 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. The all-wheel-drive mid-spec SLi and range-topping Platinum grades are now forced to make do with the 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine previously offered only in the base model. Prices have fallen $1000 and $1500 respectively to cover the downsize.
The smaller engine produces 122kW of power and 197Nm of torque, down 8kW and 30Nm on the 2.4-litre. Fuel consumption is set to improve one to two tenths from the claimed 9.2 litres per 100km figure of the old engine.
The 135kW/392Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel option carries over unchanged in the SLi and Platinum, while prices also fall $500 and $1000 respectively.
Both entry-level Sportage Series II Si grades are now $1500 cheaper than before, giving the compact SUV a new $25,490 starting price when paired with the six-speed manual transmission.
The Slovakian Sportage Series II is stylistically identical from the front and sides, and differs only slightly at the rear where it features a revised reflector cluster and lower bumper design.
New equipment added to the range includes HID headlamps, static cornering lights, aero blade front wipers, partial leather seat upholstery, rear seat warmers and front windscreen wiper de-icers, while diesel cars also gain an Active Eco efficiency mode.
Cabin changes include a new leather seat stitch pattern and colour, new headrest design, central locking button on the driver and passenger doors, lockable glovebox, digital clock in the audio display, additional soft-touch materials, and seven vent modes for the air conditioning system.
Satellite navigation is a $1500 option in Sportage SLi grades (standard in Platinum), while premium paint is a $520 option across the range.
Kia Australia’s decision to source the Sportage from Slovakia follows a similar move by sister brand Hyundai, which introduced its first European-sourced vehicle, the Czech Republic-built ix35 SE, in January.
Kia Sportage Series II manufacturer’s list prices:
Sportage Si 2WD petrol manual – $25,490 (-$1500)
Sportage Si 2WD petrol auto – $27,490 (-$1500)
Sportage SLi 4WD petrol auto – $31,990 (-$1000)
Sportage SLi 4WD diesel auto – $35,490 (-$500)
Sportage Platinum 4WD petrol auto – $36,490 (-$1500)
Sportage Platinum 4WD diesel auto – $39,990 (-$1000)