Kia unveils all new Sportage in Nigeria
The 2017 all-new Kia Sportage was yesterday in Lagos, launched in Nigeria, with refreshed tweak to lead the Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) market segment in the country.
In the face of the economic shortfall, authorised dealer of the brand, Dana Motors is optimistic that the fourth generation Sportage, which was assembled in Nigeria to support government’s industrialisation efforts would strengthen the market and offer a new toast to car lovers in the country.
According to the Group Managing Director, Kia Motors Nigeria, Jacky Hathiramani “the development of the next-generation Sportage began with an in-depth analysis of market trends to best suit the needs of consumers. The thoughtful design, innovative packaging, premium materials, powerful engine and state-of-the art technology all translate into a stunning modern masterpiece of SUVs.”
The firm’s Vice President, Business Development, Olu Tikolo claimed the Kia is its best-selling in Nigeria, adding that the new model offers leading innovative strides and impressive performance to take on any competitor in the Nigerian market.
Dana Motors Limited’s Marketing Manager, Jimoh Olawale, who said the two variants of the Sportage, EX and LX would be available in Nigeria, and would sell for N14.4 and 13.5 million respectively. He admitted that the current economic situation in Nigeria, particularly the shortage of foreign exchange is biting hard on the organisation.
We didn’t back out when the economic situation became extremely difficult because we believe in the market. Right now, we are seeing a bit of recovery in the economy with the intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). We are hopeful that things will change for the better if the policies are sustained to meet demand,” Olawale said.
He disclosed that the organisation has overhauled its after-sales support with a new ultra-modern workshop, which he claimed is the biggest in the market.
Olawale is confident that the vehicle will appeal to the youths, work class and medium income earners. Kia said the fourth-generation Sportage, which boasts of a stronger chassis, adorned with more connectivity will make the model nameplate stick out in a field of compact crossover utility vehicles that are outselling.
The new Sportage is wrapped in a more rounded shape, penned in Kia’s Frankfurt design studio. It’s a more pedestrian-friendly exterior, particularly on the front end, one that is perhaps reminiscent of something like an Infiniti QX50.
The chassis is 39 per cent stiffer, with a five-fold increase in the use of bonding adhesives throughout. There is also more high-strength steel; over half of the body-in-white is made of the steel.
The base engine is a 2.0 -liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder making 181 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. The upscale power plant is the 2.0-litre turbo, making 240 hp and 260 lb-ft. Both are mated to six-speed automatics, the only choice available.