About 3 weeks ago, Kia-Lucky announced the release of the new Sportage in a rather basic Alpha trim level, also called the LX trim. The vehicle is a Crossover SUV that features the design that is similar to the originally launched versions but with a few features subtracted from the options list. For starters, the Alpha is only going to be offered with a front-wheel drive (FWD) drivetrain.
However, it will feature the same 2.0 litre petrol engine that is capable of making 155 horsepower and 196 Newton/Meters of torque, that will be mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Also, the Alpha shall still be offered with all the basic features like dual-zone climate vents, USB and AUX ports, steering controls for infotainment, driver-passenger airbags, Hill-start assist, downhill brake control and vehicle stability and traction control.
Missing from the Alpha shall be features such as Panoramic Sunroof, 18 inch Alloys replaced by 17’s, fancy headlights replaced by more basic halogen projectors, LED’s rear lights replaced by basic halogens, fancy quad-ice cube design DRLs, fog-lights, parking sensors, electronic parking brake replaced by manual handbrake and a 9-inch advanced infotainment system replaced by a smaller, more basic 7-inch infotainment system.
However, the plus-point here is that this rather large, comfortable and practical SUV can be had for a quite reasonable Rs. 4,399,000 which is cheaper than the top trim Honda Civic by almost Rs. 200,000.
And there’s also another important catch here. This launch has been done right around the time the Sportage’s only rival was about to enter the market, i.e. the 3rd generation Hyundai Tucson. Therefore, owing to an arguably better value proposition, a good number of SUV buyers are likely to turn their attention to the Sportage Alpha.
However, its not all sunshine and daisies for the Kia Sportage at the moment. Recently, it was reported that a Kia Sportage had a leakage from its panoramic sunroof after the car stood outside in the rain for a while. The video went viral on social media and caused a PR nightmare for Kia. However, luckily, the Alpha doesn’t have the panoramic sunroof so, that shouldn’t be a problem right? Not quite. This is just one huge slip up by Kia in terms of Quality Control and who knows what else is in store for Kia owners in the future. Let us hope that this error was the last one from Kia.