A new year usually sparks new optimism but, if we look back before we look forward, there’s not a lot to be hopeful for in terms of car sales. New car sales figures for 2018 dipped by 4.4% and the forecasts for 2019 show little signs for a recovery.
Hyundai’s Tuscon SUV was last year’s best-selling model in Ireland followed by the Nissan Qashqai and both will be battling for supremacy again as the order books open for 2019. There are other contenders in the segment though and this week’s test model, the Kia Sportage GT-Line deserves deliberation after being added to the range following a facelift towards the end of last year.
Kia’s top selling model in Europe is freshened up with a new 1.6 diesel engine – replacing the original 1.7 version – some tasty new body changes and a couple of interior adjustments.
Changes extend to a new GT Line model that includes a new gloss black radiator grille, gloss black and silver skid plates, and dark chrome inserts on the front bumper, the side sills and rear tailgate. The GT Line’s unique 19-inch alloy wheels have been redesigned, and all models are fitted with a dual exhaust rear valance and revised ‘ice cube’ LED fog lamp designs.
Inside, the layout of the cabin is much the same apart from a new steering wheel and revised driver instrument cluster and some new upholstery finishes. The design of the ventilation and air conditioning controls at the centre of the dashboard has also been revised, with new bezels around the dials adding further clarity to the dashboard layout.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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