KIA’s global best-seller got tweaked

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The KIA Sportage, now in its fourth generation, is undeniably a great-looking vehicle. As was the previous third generation, which helped elevate the status of the brand, making it a global best-seller.

With the world continually evolving, KIA have refreshed their winning packing with their face-lifted Sportage. The improvements to the Sportage’s sporty exterior design include new front and rear bumpers, as well as redesigned front and rear lamps and new 16-, 17- and 19-inch alloy wheel designs. Options include chrome sill trim and metallic skid plates, as well as five new paint colours.

The updated cabin features a new steering wheel and revised instrument cluster, as well as new black-and-grey two-tone upholstery.

The new model is improving on the car’s already good-looking aesthetic that mimics more than a slight resemblance to a Porsche Macan. That certainly isn’t a bad thing as the German design is rather eye-catching. Nice one KIA!

Not just a pretty face: the Sportage is loaded with a host of luxuries, like electrically operated front seats, autonomous headlights and windscreen wipers, a wireless cell phone charging pod and an easy-to-use touchscreen infotainment screen to name but a few.

The cabin space is vast, with more than enough room for five large adults. Head, leg, knee and shoulder room are all excellent; easily up to the task of carrying five of our Springboks that would be ensconced in the Sportage’s soft touch man-made leather. The sporty design hasn't detracted from its front, side or rear visibility either.

 

A highlight of the Sportage is its 2.0-liter turbo diesel motor. A gem really. It's a lovely free-revving engine that has a gloriously smooth surge of power making acceleration a walk in the park. It’s paired with KIA's 8-speed automatic gearbox. This gearbox replaces the 6-speed that wasn’t as well suited as the 8-speed. This new pairing, though not flawless, is a match made in happy matrimony. Sprints to 100km/h will be achieved in just over 9 seconds while achieving decent fuel consumption figures. I achieved a figure just below 10-liters over a 100kms in an urban cycle.

Locally, the range’s engines offering begins with an entry-level 1.6-liter turbo diesel, followed by a naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter petrol motor and the 2.0-liter turbo diesel I’ve mentioned above.

 

The compact SUV market has become one of the most sought-after. The competition is now more outstanding than before and customers looking to buy in this segment are more discerning. So, of the almost dozen options available on the market how does the Sportage fair?  Entry-level pricing is not bad at R386 995. As you climb the Sportage ladder, the prices obviously increase. The model I reviewed, the EX Plus, is priced at R559 995, which puts the Sportage on the high-end of the spectrum. I’d settle for the EX at R518 995. Although the package is very good with very few flaws; pricing is the Sportage’s Achilles’ heel. KIA has made positive efforts to reduce pricing downward in the face-lifted model through smart model compositions.

If you are in the market for an SUV, I’d strongly consider the Sportage. It’s in my top five best options.

 

Likes

The quality of the interior.

Easy of operation.

Lovely diesel engine and gearbox combination.

Striking looks.

Solid build quality.

 

Dislikes

The KIA interior scent.

 

The competition 

Ford Kuga, Honda CR-V, Jeep Compass, Opel Grandland, Peugeot 3008, Hyundai Tucson, VW Tiguan, Toyota RAV4, Nissan Qashqai and Renault Koleos and Subaru Forester.

 

Pricing

2WD 1.6 GDI IGNITE EX - R386,995

2WD 2.0 IGNITE PLUS EX – R369 995

2WD 2.0 IGNITE PLUS EX Auto – R410 995

2WD 2.0 CRDi IGNITE PLUS EX Auto – R461 995

2WD 2.0 EX – R467 995

2WD 2.0 CRDi EX – R518 995

4WD 2.0 CRDi EX – R546 995

2WD 2.0 EX Plus – R508 995

2WD 2.0 CRDi EX Plus – R559 995

 

Service and warranty

All Sportage models ship as standard with KIA’s innovative 5-year / Unlimited km warranty, 5-year / Unlimited km Roadside Assistance as well as a 5-year / 90 000km Service Plan.

 

My choice

2WD 2.0 CRDi EX – R518 995

 

www.kia.co.za/vehicles/sportage

 

 

 

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