The Korean firms come on strong
Wednesday July 14 Budapest
We are at the launch of the new Kia Sportage in Budapest and figures from the brand show that Kia and Hyundai combined are now the 4th biggest selling brand in the world. They have sold more than 5,000,000 cars this year globally and now sell more cars than Ford annually.
Kia’s new Sportage has been designed by Peter Schreyer, whose CV includes the Audi TT and all of a sudden the Korean brands need to be taken very seriously indeed. From a design point of view you can see the Audi influence in the new cars, in particular this new Sportage which almost looks like a mini Audi SUV.
The new Sportage is the third generation of the SUV, with the first a rather basic budget model in 1996, replaced in 2004 by the hugely successful second-generation model which had a peak in sales in 2005, when it sold 36,000 units and made up 9 percent of Kia’s sales in Europe.
The new genertion model is coming to Ireland in October Kia’s new Sportage is coming to ireland in October. The new car, which we are test driving here in Budapest and you can read about in Wednesday’s Motors will be available with two diesel power units, a 115hp 1.7-litre and a 136hp 2.0-litre.
The 1.7-litre is 2wd only, while the 2.0-litre comes with both 2wd and 4wd. The 1.7-litre falls in Band B with road tax of €156, while the 2.0-litre in both 2wd and 4wd falls into Band C. Kia Ireland will launch with the 2.0-litre diesel in October with the 1.7-litre diesel following in time for the January 2011 market. Local specs and pricing will be announced closer to launch date.