Kia has introduced diesel-engined versions of its Sportage SUV, with prices starting from £15,695.

The four-model diesel Sportage range starts with the 2.0 CRDi XE manual at £15,695 on the road. In automatic form the XE costs £16,695. The higher-specified XS manual has an on-the-road price of £17,195 and the automatic version is priced at £18,195.

The diesel-engined Sportage is powered by a Euro III compliant, four-cylinder, 16 valve 1,991cc common rail diesel engine that produces 111bhp at 4,000rpm and 245Nm of torque at 1,800rpm.

The power unit is coupled to either a five speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic and delivers its power to the road through an electronically controlled four-wheel drive system that in most conditions utilises only front-wheel drive but on sensing loss of grip automatically diverts up to half the drive to the rear wheels as well.

The Sportage has a solid and controlled stance on road and off-road thanks to its monocoque construction and the fully independent suspension. The front is controlled by a MacPherson strut and coil spring arrangement with an anti-roll bar and at the rear the Sportage rides on an independent dual link and coil spring arrangement, also with an anti-roll bar.

Secure braking is provided by front ventilated discs and solid rear discs and a four-wheel, four-sensor, four-channel anti-lock braking system with electronic brake force distribution.