2nd December, 2010
If someone told you a decade ago that some of the best-looking cars on the road inÂ 2010 would be Korean, youâ€™d have laughed hard. With a few exceptions, early KiasÂ were unexciting. Kia brainstormed and poached Peter Schreyer from Volkswagen in 2006Â and installed him as its Chief Design Officer. The same Peter Schreyer, who designedÂ the iconic Audi TT.
The Kia Cerato and especially the two-door Koup launched in Nigeria before the exitÂ of Chetan Mehan, the then Marketing Manager, showed that Kia had ditched itsÂ unexciting styling and was ready to party. The new third-generation SUV yet to beÂ introduced officially to the Nigerian market shows that Kia is really swinging.
Schreyerâ€™s philosophy has been to give the brand a recognisable â€œfaceâ€ with aÂ signature grill called the Tiger Nose. In the new Sportage, this sexy nose isÂ combined with LED lights, outlandish wheels and muscular styling to create a shapeÂ that leaps at you. Apart from being better looking the Sportage is longer andÂ slightly wider than its predecessor, and slightly lower too, giving it a more humbleÂ stance. The cabin space is quite generous and four full-sized adults wonâ€™t findÂ themselves involuntarily close to each other. Though itâ€™s not a full-bloodedÂ offroader, ground clearance compared to its predecessor has reduced from 195mm toÂ 172mm.
According to Melissa Lewis, Marketing Manager, Dana Motors, to save fuel, theÂ drivetrain by default delivers 100 per cent of engine torque to the front wheels inÂ normal condition. With the AWD lock mode selected, the central diff lock distributesÂ equal power between the front and rear wheels up to 40km/h, whereafter the AWD modeÂ will deactivate. Following this, the system will engage the necessary wheel toÂ assist in traction where needed. HAC (Hillstart Assist Control) prevents slip-backÂ during stop-start driving up inclines, while DBC (Downhill Brake Control) maintainsÂ a steady 8 km/h speed down steep slopes.