New Kia Sportage knocks it out of the park
It's a known fact that the car industry is teaming with SUVs, and nearly every manufacturer, including supercar brands, has a finger in the succulent SUV pie. This makes for a great selection for consumers, on the flip side, OEMs need to offer something truly exceptional to stand apart in the crowd. This is where the new Kia Sportage comes into its own
As a seasoned motoring journalist, not all that glitters pulls my attention, however, discovering that the new Sportage was on the roster for evaluation piqued my interest. After spending time with it, three things made the Kia Sportage a notable SUV.
Kia deployed its finest craftsmen for this one. The new Sportage is ravishingly gorgeous. It has the brand's Tiger nose signature design at the front, however, on this model it looks like nothing else in Kia's catalogue. With a unique take on the signature nose, the Sportage enchants onlookers with its boomerang-shaped daytime running LED lights and headlamps that have seemingly been integrated into the bumper. Its designers were overflowing with creative energy and applied the same effort to the rest of the car's design. The beauty of its hindquarters can not be put into words, you need to personally witness it to appreciate its every angle. Pure artistry. Many other little design details add to the Sportage's overall aesthetic flare, including what would generally be black cladding around its wheels and body. Here, it's all been finished in a high gloss black.
Innovative cabin layout
Yes, this review may be seeming overly biased at this point, however, we have to report the truth. Whatever that looks like. The creative energy didn't wane after the boys in thick spectacles and white coats were done with the exterior. With an equally impressive cabin featuring a single display screen nearly spanning the entire width of the dashboard, the Kia Sportage's interior layout complements its exterior. On the centre stack beneath the vast screen is a touch-responsive panel for adjusting temperature and audio settings. This panel and its two dials become a full audio or temperature panel through a single button. look out for our YouTube review of the Sportage to see this wizardry at work. Starting from the mid-spec GT-Line, the Sportage brims with features and nifty design elements. You're treated to heated seats and a heated steering wheel, a keyless system and much more. Did we mention the comfortable legroom for adults in the rear seat?
A torquey 1.6T-GDi engine
All five variants across the Sportage model range are powered by the 1.6-litre turbo engine, and we're not complaining about the lack of engine options. This 1600cc does an exceptional job and is all you'll need in this SUV. Of course, a diesel mule would lower its current average fuel economy from the tested 7.9l/100km to a lesser figure, but for what it is, the 132kW motor with its 265Nm of torque does a great job. The result is a punchy, point-and-squirt car when you need it to be, with a ready-to-go attitude. Depending on who you speak to, the Kia's only flaw could be the torque steer from the lively engine. We view this as a positive trait - as it makes the drive more engaging. There's a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox onboard to facilitate the power transfer, and it does a good job of reducing some of DCT gearboxes' less desirable traits.
How much is the new Kia Sportage?
Now that we've given you the three things that make the new Sportage shine, let's talk about the price. After evaluating this SUV for a week, we can confidently say that it's worth every cent of its asking price. Have a look at the model price list below.
Kia Sportage LX R554 995
Kia Sportage EX R608 995
Kia Sportage GT Line R664 995
Kia Sportage GT Line Plus R682 995
Kia Sportage GT Line S R749 995