The new Si Premium grade will sit at the top of the 2WD range of the 2014 Sportage with a standard 6-speed automatic gearbox, 17-inch alloys, automatic headlamps, roof rails, reversing camera, leather and cloth trim seats, outside mirror mounted indicators, LED running lights and driver lumbar support.
At $29,990 the Si Premium represents exceptional value for buyers shopping for the SUV experience with the practical benefits of 2WD.
Across the petrol range, the new Sportage benefits from an upgrade to the more sophisticated and efficient 2.0-litre GDI powerplant, while the 2.0-litre variable geometry turbo diesel R-Series will continue unchanged in the AWD models. The entry-level Si will also gain Kia's in-house 6-speed manual, replacing the previous 5-speed.
The 2014 Sportage also receives minor upgrades to its exterior, as well as a refreshed interior design and new materials throughout the cabin.
The exterior design features a new grille, new LED rear lamp clusters, a new range of alloy wheels with a choice of 16, 17 or 18-inch diameter, and a shark-fin roof antenna.
Inside, the enhanced Sportage benefits from greater use of soft-touch materials across the dashboard and the upper door panels, a new 'Supervision' instrument cluster with a 4.2-inch LCD display screen and power driver's seat.
2014 models also receive a range of new features, depending on model, to boost appeal to buyers.
Standard equipment continues with an across-the-range safety suite of six airbags, stability control with traction control, anti-lock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist. Hill-start assist and downhill brake control are also standard along with disc brakes and active front head restraints.
Other standard features include Bluetooth with phone and media streaming, cruise control, power windows, tinted glass, projection headlamps with cornering lamps, driver's seat height adjustment, trip computer, keyless entry and rain-sensing wipers.
Over the outgoing model, the entry-spec Si gains new style 16-inch alloy wheels with a full-size spare, a new grille design with chrome horizontal bar, rear parking sensors, trailer stability control on the automatic, front console storage box and more soft-touch trim.
For the SLi, additional equipment over the Si Premium includes the active AWD system, an 'ECO' setting on the diesel model, dual-zone climate control, sat nav, a high-quality 7-speaker Infinity sound system with added sub-woofer, front parking sensors with dash display, a 4.2-inch colour TFT supervision cluster and a shark fin antenna.
At the top of the range, the Platinum scores 18-inch wheels, smart key and push button start, leather trim seats - with power driver's seat, privacy glass, HID headlamps with washers, as well as heated seats front and rear.
Refinements, like a new soundproof windscreen, with an interlayer film between the glass laminations to reduce wind noise, front subframe bushes, intermediate drivetrain shaft and a new mounting bracket for the transmission are all designed to improve the driving experience by reducing noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels.
Pricing for the 2014 PE Sportage is: Si 2WD manual with 2.0 GDi $25,990; Si 2WD automatic 2.0 GDi $28,190; Si Premium 2WD automatic 2.0 GDi $29,990; SLi AWD automatic 2.0 GDi $34,790; SLi AWD automatic 2.0 CRDi $37,790; Platinum AWD automatic 2.0 GDi $38,390; Platinum AWD automatic 2.0 CRDi $41,390.
NOTE: All prices exclude dealer delivery and on-road costs