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Sat-nav for Kia

Sense of direction: Kia Australia's first ever integrated sat nav system will be available in Sportage, Sorento and Optima models for as little as $990.

Kia Australia introduces its first nav system, for Sportage, Sorento and Optima

Kia logo15 Mar 2012

By MARTON PETTENDY

KIA has released its first satellite-navigation system in Australia, where it is now available in the compact Sportage and mid-size Sorento crossovers, and will arrive in the fast-growing Korean brand’s flagship Optima medium sedan by mid-year.

Like the Continental-branded sat-nav unit that is standard in parent company Hyundai’s closely related i45 Premium sedan, Kia’s LG system adds $990 to the price of the top-shelf Optima Platinum, which will now cost $37,980 plus on-road costs.

It also brings the price of the Sportage Platinum AWD petrol auto to $37,710 ($40,710 for the diesel auto), and the Sorento Platinum AWD diesel auto to $50,180.

However, while it can also be had in mid-range SLi versions of the Sportage and Sorento for an extra $1500, the system will not be available in entry-level Si versions of the Sportage, Sorento or Optima.

Kia Motors Australia’s fully integrated GPS navigation system, which features an LG head unit and mapping by Navteq, was developed specifically for the Australian market over the past 12 months.

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“We could have gone with an off the shelf unit sooner, but because of our determination to provide the best operating systems for our customers we took the time to ensure the system is properly localised and developed just for us,” said KMA spokesman Kevin Hepworth.

The LG head unit features a 6.5-inch full-colour touch screen in the Sorento and a 7.0-inch version in both the Sportage and Optima. It features MP3 music streaming, Bluetooth phone connectivity (including phonebooks for up to eight separate users) and a large-format rear-view camera display with reversing guidance system.

It also comes with SUNA live traffic notification software - which advises drivers of real-time traffic delays and can direct them around traffic jams, accidents or roadworks – and, in what KMA says is a first in Australia, free ‘Mapcare’ mapping updates after the first and second years of purchase.

“The SUNA live traffic system gives a new relevance to satellite navigation for daily commuters who will obviously know their way to and from their regular destinations but now have the added peace of mind that there will be no unexpected surprises on the way,” said KMA chief operating officer Tony Barlow.

“With the support of head office in Korea we can now deliver better supply of the cars Australian buyers are demanding, and with some exceptional new technology.

“We have promised Australian buyers the best in design, engineering and technology and this exciting new step is again proof that we make good on our promises.”

As we reported in January, when three- and four-door versions of the new Rio hatch were released, Kia has now secured freer supplies of both the Optima - customers of which had been forced to wait up to five months for delivery - and the Sportage, the waiting list for diesel versions of which last year stretched out to almost three months.

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