Kia Sportage Judged NZ’s Best Compact 4WD

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The all-new Kia Sportage has secured the first of several major Car of the Year titles that are up for grabs this summer in New Zealand.

In winning the Compact Recreational 4WD of the Year with Adrenalin Publishing’s NZ 4WD, the new Sportage CRDi triumphed against some heavyweight opposition, including the BMW 1-Class, Toyota RAV4 Diesel and Hyundai ix35.

Compact SUVs represent the fastest growing segment of the 4WD market with NZ4WD stating that the Sportageis surprisingly capable in some off-road conditions with the Kia Sportage having a distinct advantage over the competition, thanks to the Dynamax 4WD system, the first of its type in the world.

The magazines said: “It was a tough fight between the Kia and its close relative the Hyundai. Both have the same superb turbo-diesel engine and 6-speed auto gearbox, with great looks and a useful size.

“However the Kia won through because of its Dynamax 4WD system, one of the best of its type in the business.”

Dynamax represents a significant technical advance over current all-wheel-drive systems, says Kia Motors. By continuously monitoring driving conditions, it anticipates AWD system requirements, compared to other AWD systems, which can only react to conditions after they occur.

Advantages of Dynamax include, improved lateral stability while cornering, removal of unintended over and under steer by reducing unwanted traction forces to the front and rear axle, and high thermal capacity, which helps prevent overheating and subsequent shutdown of the coupling during events such as hill climbing and trailer towing. Because it works so efficiently, Dynamax also consumes less fuel and produces lower CO2 emission than comparable all-wheel-drive systems.

The new Kia Sportage, which recently took out the overall Scottish Car of the Year trophy, is also among the finalists for the NZ Guild of Motoring Writers’ Car of the Year award, the AA Motoring Excellence Car of the Year award and the AMI AutoCar Car of the Year awards. The Sportage also scored a win in Australia where it was selected as the best SUV under $40,000 at the prestigious Drive awards.

“We are delighted with this award from NZ4WD magazine – it confirms what we already knew about the 2011 Kia Sportage; that we have a real winner on our hands,” says Todd McDonald, General Manager of Kia Motors New Zealand.

“Whilst it is always nice to pick up awards, it is the customers who benefit the most from owning a car that delivers a winning combination of style, performance, comfort, versatility and safety.”

The Kia Sportage range also recently gained a maximum 5-Star rating in the latest Euro NCAP safety tests, placing it among the top of its class.