After a few short years selling its Pride supermini and Mentor family car, Kia expanded its range in 1995 with the introduction of the Sportage, a compact 4x4. It undercut not only the Vauxhall Frontera and Toyota RAV4, but Suzuki's big-selling Vitara. Though the Sportage has sold steadily since, the lack of a three-door version prevented it eating into the sales of these important rivals.
The other important ingredient missing from Kia's recipe has been the lack of a big promotional push and the small, if growing, number of dealers. The company's range offers superb value for money and the Sportage, in particular, is possibly one of the new and used car market's best-kept secrets.