I have been a huge fan of Kia's Sportage for a number of years now, I've always found it capable, pleasant, good off and on road and although it did have some body roll and the handling could have been better, I found it to be great value for money.
Your right, it doesn't seem that long ago that Kia caused a huge stir with its all new hatchback, the cee'd. Maybe it was the daft name with the irritating spelling and punctuation, or (which is more likely) because it was a great little motor. It didn't cost the earth, came with plenty of kit, looked great and it proved that not every car from Korea had to be made from recycled, and had all the handling finesse of, Tupperware.
Kia have been making a lot of noise recently about exciting new products and projects, having Peter Schreyer on side definitely seems to have got the Korean brand excited about their concepts and for all the right reasons. Not only has he created a signature new grill, but he is also creating some beautiful new concepts and promising sneek peaks.
Kia are pretty pleased with themselves at the moment and they have every right to be smiling from ear to ear, having launched the very popular cee'd hatchback followed by the equally popular cee'd SW (estate) in the past year and I've been waiting for the news to come through announcing a hot hatch version. What I didn't expect was Kia to call me up and take me to Istanbul for 3 days to non-stop test all versions of its all-new 'warm' 3 door hatch.