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Kia's latest version of the all-conquering Sportage is even better than we expected

The New Kia Sportage

Controls can be accessed quickly

Robbie Farrell

I just knew it. The minute I brought the new Kia Sportage home for a week-long test drive my resident Veruca Salt would say: ‘Don’t care how, I want it now’.

You see my very own Veruca already owns the out-going model and absolutely loves everything about it and she wouldn’t swap it for all the Beemers or Mercs in the world — that is until now.

She was so excited to see the new model this time around that she actually demanded I bring her to the Irish launch of the new model. I knew from that morning she would have her heart set on it.

Well I hate to break this to her in a national newspaper but you are going to have to wait, love. In fairness, I have to agree, the new Kia Sportage is absolutely outstanding. I honestly didn’t think that they could improve much on the last model but boy was I so wrong.

What the designers and developers have done with the latest model to roll off the production lines is above and beyond.

On the outside, the new Kia Sportage is a masterpiece in the making. The front-end has been modernised with a full-width grille and enormous ‘arrow-head’ LED running lights.

Controls can be accessed quickly

But it’s the inside where the real magic touches have been added.

The all-new Sportage’s interior has been designed to ensure all vehicle controls can be accessed quickly and easily.

On entry, drivers are greeted by a beautifully sculpted integrated curved display featuring two high-definition 12.3-inch screens that help to deliver a near-cinematic experience.

Located directly in front of the driver sits the Sportage’s instrument cluster that benefits from the latest liquid-crystal display technology for incredibly precise and clear graphics.

Located in the centre is a high-tech touch-screen that caters for all driver and passenger connectivity, functionality and usability requirements. On the road, the all-new Kia Sportage is as good as anything I have driven.

I can honestly say that there is big improvements in every department compare to my Veruca’s model.

I have driven both the petrol and diesel models and the choice for me is a no brainer.

Firstly, with a massive shift away from diesel these days I would definitely be recommending to the wife to steer away from the 1.6-litre diesel in favour of the 1.6-litre petrol one.

Or, even better still is to wait for the new plug-in hybrid version that should be arriving very soon. This model will be based on a version of the engine and battery setup found in the fantastic Kia Sorento PHEV.

I will also be advising her to move on from manual gearboxes, which are so last year. The six-speed automatic gearbox makes life so much easier in the new Sportage. Prices for the all-new Sportage start from €34,500.

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