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Redesigned, quieter, safer, smarter SUV

KIA has been really putting on the style with its all-wheel-drive Sportage GT Line, offering an enticing blend of comfort and safety in what is more a genuine, substantial SUV than a modified station wagon.

The Sportage is a product of Kia’s European design studios in Frankfurt and it shows with its sculpted and sporty look, tastefully-designed interior and bright colour options. All Sportages come with a rear spoiler and roof rails.

But beneath that eyecatching interior there is some real power in the 2.4 petrol engine, with specifications of maximum power of 135kW at 6200rpm and maximum torque of 237Nm at 4000.

All Sportages come with a six-speed automatic transmission and the GT has an acceptable fuel consumption of 8.5 litres per 100km.

One advance is the way that the latest version of the Sportage has been made much quieter thanks to advanced noise vibration- reduction technology.

Kia has given a lot of attention to safety, with a treble of lane departure warning, blind spot technology and rear cross-traffic alert systems.

The lane departure system gives an audible alert when the Sportage leaves its lane without indicating and blind spot detection will pick up a vehicle coming in to the danger zone within 70 metres.

The rear view cross-traffic alert is a virtual pair of eyes in the back of the head when you are backing out of a driveway or parking spot. It will detect any cross-traffic in the direction the vehicle is heading.

These three, along with ABS brakes and stability management, topped off with six airbags, have easily achieved the standard for a five-star European ANCAP rating and will make the Sportage even more attractive to families for which it is already perfectly suited in all other respects.

The Sportage has a reversing camera and an electronic parking brake that activates by simply lifting the button. Automatic vehicle hold will keep the vehicle at a standstill without the need to put your foot on the brake.

The Kia interior is comfortable for five large adults, with comfort features like dual zone climate control and hands-free Bluetooth technology. Rear seat passengers can charge their electric devices separately.

The smart key will automatically release the boot in three seconds when it is detected as the driver approaches.

Centrepiece of the cabin is the 7.5 inch colour screen that operates the Kia navigation system, while all other controls are available on the leather steering wheel.

Somehow Kia has managed to put this desirable SUV on the market at a competitive price of $51,990 to make it something of a steal.