Test drive Kia Sportage: And now – Spicy! I said, Spicy!

Almost 15 years it took artists Kia, to remove questions about the quality of the exterior. In the end, the “Tiger Nose”, which appeared in the middle of the “zero”, not only received public recognition, but also completely overcame the “Trending Line” Hyundai. The victory was recognized by the top management of Hyundai-Kia, raising Peter Schreier to the chief designer of the concern. Kia Sportage of the fourth generation has unexpectedly spawned a new round of discussions about the purity of the Asian style, although the exterior is not the most controversial feature of this SUV …

Eh, my friends, you, you see, forgot how in the 90s the buyers of the first Sportage, who had already received a residence permit in Kaliningrad, drove their car around my mother, which was not the reason for the faded exterior. The panels of hard plastic creaked shamelessly already on a small run, the gear chain in the distribution buzzed like an electric meat grinder, the soundproofing of the “Sportage” was slightly better than that of the trolley. Evil tongues claim that the body, planted on the frame, rotted at a rate of three square centimeters per month. However, other copies run along our roads till now.

Strange as it may seem, the 1990s models, with which Kia went bankrupt, still contributed to the success of current products. Open the test reports of the new Sportage in Euro NCAP – both lateral impacts (on the pillar and on the car) and frontal impact on the deformable barrier completely colored the mannequins in green. After the most difficult and insurmountable for many modern models of frontal testing with an undeformable barrier, the chests of “electronic dolls” have just turned yellow. The overall result of crash tests is higher than that of other “Mercedes”. And it must be understood, it was not from scratch: that 1993 Sport Sportage Frame was the first production car in the world equipped with … knee airbag. I admit that in the event of an accident at a “protocol” speed of 64 km / h, the right knee cap of the driver would remain the only surviving part of the body of the entire crew, but who knows if the mannequins in the current Sportage would have grown so green, did not appear 20 years ago This useless, at first glance, option …

Kia started Russian sales of Sportage .

Interest, money, boxes

Today the automotive industry is not a single constructive one. You will never guess why the car kit with the new Kia Sportage arrives in Kaliningrad from Slovakia by rail, and not by sea from Korea. The point, of course, is not that the train goes one week, and the journey by sea takes almost two months – shipping by water is as cheaper as it is for longer. It turns out that the Koreans are sending back packing … back to Slovakia. And in like manner one box is used up to 20 times! With such a long life cycle of the container, the sea way becomes completely unprofitable, and the disposable box Kia can not afford: with it, any delivery would have turned out to be gold.

Kia called the ruble prices for the new Sportage .

However, my question to Kia marketing specialists was not related to “wrapping” technologies, but to the protective price for the Sportage version with a petrol 1.6-liter turbo engine equipped with direct injection – 1,929,900 rubles, which is more expensive than a similar modification of the Hyundai Tucson as much as 344 thousand . rub. “We do not protect this version from anyone,” the “responsible employees” of Kia start joking, but immediately switch to a business tone and remind that by the end of 2015 Sportage has become a compact crossover number two, not in tandem with Hyundai ix35, And among all budget analogues of the Russian market: Toyota RAV4 excelled, and Hyundai ix35 remained the fourth, having passed forward also Nissan X-Trail.

Kia has always been openly talking about “internal cannibalism” with Hyundai, and the current Tucson is honestly named one of Sportage’s main competitors. Due to the “unfair” spacing on the price for the Sportage 1.6 T-GDi, only 2% of all model sales are planned, while for the analogue from Hyundai it is all 20%. Diesel performance should be 8% in the structure of demand for Sportage, but they are hardly achievable: in 2015 only 4% of Sportage’s customers chose the heavy fuel version, and it costs 200 thousand cheaper than the new one. By the way, Kia managers see the positive aspects of setting priorities in the Hyundai-Kia pair, for example, when I ask about the imminent appearance of a “duplicate” Hyundai Creta:

The first test drive of the new Kia Sportage: what it is against the background of its predecessor .

“Of course, it’s easy for us to launch a badge-engineering version of a subcompact crossover in St. Petersburg, but we’ll wait, there’s a feeling that Creta will eat off buyers from Tucson.”

Degree of freedom of statics

The interior of the new Sportage I was pleased to see at the Frankfurt Motor Show, where last September there was a world premiere of the “parketnik” – close to Sorento Prime. One of the best in the segment, and in this case it is not an exaggeration: the soft plastic of the upper part of the central panel, the European, though not completely flawless, ergonomics. And then again, progress is learned in comparison, especially in one of the official formulations of Cyril Cassin, the head of the product development department in Kia: “The third-generation Sportage did not match the level of finish of competitors’ cars.” Why were you silent before? However, the very awareness of the fact of the backlog is half of the success. The new interior is bigger than before.

Front and rear seats in the new Sportage are omitted, and the floor in the car was lower by 4 cm. This is done so that the passengers of the rear seats can freely place their feet under the front seats. Having located in the gallery, I understand that my feet are still cramped, but there are so many places for my knees that the purchase of Sorento immediately seemed completely meaningless. Although the Sportage wheelbase has not reached 2,700 mm, as with other compact classmates (Mazda CX-5), but has grown only to 2,670 mm (for example, the Mitsubishi Outlander), there are more places for the knees than competitors. Dissatisfied are only individuals of basketball.

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