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Mud, Snow and Sand: Kia equips Sportage ‘Terrain Mode’ trio for all-road use

Kia UK has created a trio of distinctive Sportage models, each inspired by the ‘Terrain Mode’ system included as standard on all-wheel drive (AWD) hybrid models.

The one-off Sportage ‘Mud Mode’, ‘Snow Mode’ and ‘Sand Mode’ each show the potential of the Sportage to fit into a range of different active lifestyles, at all times of the year.

Terrain Mode aids traction, stability and control on mud, snow and sand, with dedicated driving modes for each. The system makes AWD versions of Kia’s best-selling SUV highly capable across a range of low-grip surfaces.

Controlled using the Terrain Mode dial on the centre console, drivers can choose between ‘Mud’, ‘Snow’ and ‘Sand’ modes. The system automatically optimises the drivetrain to best suit each scenario, adjusting engine torque output and distribution, as well as stability control characteristics. ‘Terrain Mode’ also adjusts shift timings for the hybrid’s six-speed automatic transmission to suit different surfaces.

Each model has been equipped with official Kia accessories, suggesting how owners could choose to customise their own cars. Each combination of parts is tailored to reflect the three modes available through the ‘Terrain Mode’ system.

To the mountains: ‘Snow Mode’ for the winter
Equipped for colder climes, the ‘Snow Mode’ Sportage is ideal for drivers who enjoy getting outdoors in the mountains in the winter.

Activating ‘Snow Mode’ optimises the hybrid powertrain to maintain forward momentum in low-grip, icy conditions. It limits torque output from the engine, while apportioning it as equally as possible between all four wheels. The traction control system (TCS) carefully applies low levels of braking force to the wheels to optimise traction. Meanwhile, the transmission uses shorter shifts, keeping engine speeds down to prevent wheel slip.

This version is equipped with a ski and snowboard carrier and steel crossbars on the roof, with side steps enabling easier access. Inside, all-weather mats and a trunk liner mean owners can more easily keep the cabin clean, despite passengers getting in and out while wearing boots covered in snow and slush. A boot tidy bag provides a secure space to keep damp items of clothing or skiing and snowboarding equipment.

This particular car is also equipped with winter tyres, as well as an in-car winter kit, which features a range of accessories in case of sudden snowfall. These include a wind-up torch, snowshoe grippers, ice scraper, traction mats, and de-icer and screenwash top-ups.

‘Mud Mode’
Not for those who want to be labelled an unadventurous stick-in-the-mud, the ‘Mud Mode’ Sportage provides greater traction and control for drivers tackling muddy tracks and fields. It’s the ideal solution for active pursuits in the British countryside, for rural drivers, or for visitors to rain-soaked festival fields and county shows.

Activating ‘Mud Mode’ helps maintain momentum in the muck. To achieve this, the wheels are driven based on a slightly delayed shift pattern, with smoother application of engine torque throughout the AWD system, and stronger braking force applied via the TCS.

The ‘Mud Mode’ Sportage is matched with Kia’s pro bike carrier and steel crossbars, with side steps to load and unload a mountain bike more easily. Like the ‘Snow Mode’ car, it also includes elements to protect the car from mud, including all-round mudflaps and all-weather mats for inside the cabin. It also features a bumper flap which sits over the flat boot lip, giving owners an informal, easily cleaned seat at the back of the car – or a shield against muddy pawprints. An extended boot liner means more of the interior remains weather-proofed when carrying mud-spattered outdoor gear or clothing.

‘Sand Mode’
The problem with sand is that it gets everywhere, especially in cars. But at least the ‘Sand Mode’ Sportage can get everywhere in the sand. This version helps drivers more confidently traverse sandy tracks and beaches – or even the desert, if so inclined.

Activating ‘Sand Mode’ helps avoid the risk of the Sportage getting bogged down, matching higher levels of engine torque output with delayed up-shifts. It also distributes torque as evenly as possible throughout the AWD system, while the TCS also provides higher levels of braking force when needed.

While British owners are unlikely to tackle the dunes of the desert in their car, the ‘Sand Mode’ Sportage is set-up for more common beach adventures and watersports. Side steps give access to the steel crossbars and roof rack for a surfboard or bodyboard. A trunk liner and all-weather mats help keep sand from becoming ingrained in the carpets, and a trunk organiser is ideal for separating wet, sandy beach gear from other items in the boot. For added visual impact, the ‘Sand Mode’ Sportage features red bonnet and ‘razor’ side decals – although owners can also choose from white or black decals.

The all-new Kia Sportage
The all-new Sportage is Kia’s best-selling car in the UK, with a wide range covering most drivers’ needs. The fifth-generation Sportage, launched earlier this year, is available with electrified powertrains for the first time in its history, and is offered as standard with Kia’s seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty.

UK customers can choose to spec their all-new Sportage however best fits their lifestyle, using the ‘Build your Kia’* page on the Kia UK website. Customers can comb through the list of various accessories for their vehicle and kit-out their Sportage to their hearts’ content.

The all-new Sportage line-up is priced from £27,800 on-the-road and is available to order from all Kia dealers.

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