Built in Zilina, Slovakia alongside the Kia Cee’d, the Sportage has been awarded the highest possible environmental certificate by the German agency after an assessment of the factory.
The certificate takes into account the eco-friendliness of the entire production process, from the amount of energy used to build the Sportage, to the amount of raw materials and how much of the vehicle can be recycled.
The new Kia Sportage was designed with this in mind including the use of lightweight materials to bring the weight down by up to 160kg compared to older models.
The reduced weight and a selection of more refined petrol and diesel engines have brought CO2 emissions from the Sportage down to 140g/km for the cleanest diesel – a 1.7-litre unit.
On receiving the certificate, Sun-Young Kim, President of Kia Motors Europe, promised to continue to improve the environmental credentials of future models.
"The eco-balance certificate for the new Kia Sportage is further proof of Kia Motor’s successful environmental strategy," he said, "Our Research & Development centres have comprehensive expertise in the field of environmentally friendly technologies, and our modern car manufacturing plants work to the highest eco standards."
TUV Nord inspects power stations, aircraft and vehicles to rate environmental impact, and the Kia Cee’d was the first South Korean car to be given a certificate under the life cycle assessment standards.
The Zilina factory was also awarded a certificate in 2007 and was named as an ‘environmentally friendly production facility’.
The new Kia Sportage arrived in UK showrooms this summer, with entry-level models priced at £11,000.