In such a competitive marketplace with near endless alternatives, KIA has certainly managed to hold its own and has come full circle from its origins of selling ho-hum but affordable cars, to now offering truly great buys. Yet its story grows still more curious in the telling. The Sportage is KIA’s global best-selling vehicle, and has come to represent the brand’s most superlative device, if you discount the Stinger. This top-line 2.0I Diesel EX PLUS 2WD is certainly not a half-baked effort but at R546,995, it and its direct segment rivals are creeping uncomfortably close to the entry level offerings from the premium league of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Lexus. This grade’s cabin is lined with fine cowhide and filled to the rafters with features. The cabin, which has now increased in overall length by a 30mm extension of its wheelbase from the previous generation, means the living quarters are huge, harmonious and, dare I say, indulgent. There is no geeky aspiration tech such as he...

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