Starting at $28,990, the Kia Sportage is available in seven engine/transmission/trim combinations.
If you’re looking for a medium SUV with a long list of features and competitive pricing, make sure to include the Kia Sportage on your test-drive list. Now in its fourth generation, the Sportage is a perfect example of why the South Korean manufacturer has experienced a surge in popularity Down Under in recent years.
As far as value for money goes, the Sportage is a strong performer with 17-inch or larger alloys, 7-inch colour touchscreen with sat nav, front parking sensors, a rear-view camera and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. Of course, the Sportage is also backed by Kia’s unmatched seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty, providing increased bang for your buck.
On-road performance is also impressive. With a handling package tuned to suit Australian conditions, the Sportage feels planted and assured on the road. There’s a choice of petrol and diesel engines available, but as the petrol variants are a little short on power in some driving situations, the diesel is widely considered to be the best choice.
Practicality and comfort are hallmarks of the Sportage’s cabin, with comfortable seating and an excellent driving position that provides good visibility. The dash is intelligently laid out and easy to use, while two adults can travel in the back row comfortably.
However, there are also plenty of other attractive options in this category, including the Hyundai Tucson, Mazda CX-5, Mitsubishi Outlander and Nissan X-Trail, so you’ll want to test drive all the
There are three engine choices for the Sportage: 2.0L and 2.4L petrols, and a 2.0L turbo diesel. Most reviewers singled out the diesel as the pick of the litter, with its 136kW of power available right across the range. It’s also the most frugal of the engine options, with combined official fuel consumption figure of 6.8L/100km. However, it’s worth mentioning that the diesel variants come with a price premium over their petrol counterparts, and you can expect to pay $5,000 more if you opt for the diesel in Si or SLi form.
The 2.0L MPI petrol engine in the Si and SLi is a little past its prime, and some testers found it struggled a bit for power in a range of scenarios. However, a direct-injection replacement is expected in the not-too-distant future.
The 2.4L petrol in the top-grade GT-Line Sportage pumps out more impressive figures, with around 20% more power than its little brother. However, it’s also the thirstiest of the lot, with an official combined fuel consumption figure of 8.5L/100km.
Finally, all engine variants are matched with a six-speed automatic, which handles all shifts smoothly and without hesitation. Manual transmissions were phased out in 2016, so if you prefer manual you’ll need to look elsewhere.
|Engine type||In-line 4-cylinder DOHC MPI D-CVVT 16 valve||In-line 4-cylinder E-VGT CRDi 16 valve||In-line 4-cylinder DOHC MPI D-CVVT 16 valve||In-line 4-cylinder DOHC MPI D-CVVT 16 valve||In-line 4-cylinder E-VGT CRDi 16 valve||In-line 4-cylinder DOHC GDI D-CVVT 16 valve||In-line 4-cylinder E-VGT CRDi 16 valve|
|Max power||114kW @ 6,200rpm||136kW @ 4,000rpm||114kW @ 6,200rpm||114kW @ 6,200rpm||136kW @ 4,000rpm||135kW @ 6,000rpm||136kW @ 4,000rpm|
|Max torque||192Nm @ 4,000rpm||400Nm @ 1,700 ~ 2,750 rpm||192Nm @ 4,000rpm||192Nm @ 4,000rpm||400Nm @ 1,700 ~ 2,750 rpm||237Nm @ 4,000rpm||400Nm @ 1,700 ~ 2,750 rpm|
|Transmission||6-speed automatic (Sports-matic)||6-speed automatic (Sports-matic)||6-speed automatic (Sports-matic)||6-speed automatic (Sports-matic)||6-speed automatic (Sports-matic)||6-speed automatic (Sports-matic)||6-speed automatic (Sports-matic)|
|Drive system||2WD||Active AWD (part-time with lock mode)||2WD||2WD||Active AWD (part-time with lock mode)||Active AWD (part-time with lock mode)||Active AWD (part-time with lock mode)|
|Fuel consumption (L/100km) combined||7.9||6.8||7.9||7.9||6.8||8.5||6.8|
|Fuel tank capacity||62L||62L||62L||62L||62L||62L||62L|
Kia’s engineering department tunes the Sportage’s steering and suspension for Australian conditions, which the reviewers unanimously agreed produced impressive results. The electrically assisted power steering helps this medium SUV feel right at home in the city or out on the open road, with firm suspension ensuring a quick response to your every turn of the steering wheel.
However, the GT-Line models were criticised by some reviewers for their firmer suspension set-up paired with larger 19-inch wheels, which can make for an uncomfortable ride on rough surfaces.
You can choose from multiple drive modes – Normal, Sport, Eco – according to your desired performance and handling characteristics, and front- and all-wheel drive are available on every Sportage variant.
A tight 10.9m turning circle also increases the Sportage’s manoeuvrability, but remember that just like most other medium SUVs, this is a vehicle largely designed for urban use, not tackling the rough stuff off-road. If you do decide to venture off the beaten track, the 172mm ground clearance could cause problems pretty quickly.
All reviewers agreed that the Sportage includes an impressive list of standard kit. The centrepiece is a practical 7-inch touchscreen infotainment unit, with Kia’s excellent sat nav system available on all except the base Si models.
And there are plenty of other useful features for drivers, including three 12V outlets, two USB chargers, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity and steering wheel controls. The base Si models get manual air-con only, while all other variants come with dual zone climate control. Unfortunately, if you still rely on CDs to provide your driving music, there’s no CD player available.
The Sportage also impressed the reviewers with the design and finish of the interior. Everything looks and feels high-quality, and the dash layout is both attractive and easy to use. It’s uncluttered, intelligently designed and you’ll work out where everything is in no time. The easily adjustable driver’s seat offers a comfortable driving position and excellent visibility, and the A-pillars are reasonably slim so as not to block too much of your view.
In the back, the reviewers agreed that there’s a surprising amount of space for a car in this segment. Two adults or three kids can fit comfortably, with supportive seats and ample headroom on offer. Kids will also be pleased with the good visibility the rear seating provides, and very little road noise makes its way into the cabin.
The Sportage’s boot promises 466 litres of storage space, which is a little on the small side for this class, but it’s a very usable space and easy to access whenever you need. SLi models and above get a cargo net and tie-down hooks, and wherever you look throughout the interior you’ll find a range of clever and innovative storage solutions.
With a reversing camera as standard, a seatbelt warning for every seat, six airbags and stability control, the Kia Sportage gets a maximum five-star safety rating from ANCAP. There’s also plenty of advanced safety technology to help you stay out of trouble in the higher-end GT-Line models, which boast Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist, Forward Collision Warning System, Auto Emergency Braking and Lane Departure Warning System.
Of course, it’d be pleasing to see all these active technologies rolled out across the entire Sportage range to provide increased safety and peace of mind for all buyers.
|Electronic Stability Control (ESC)|
|Downhill Brake Control (DBC)|
|Hill-start Assist Control (HAC)|
|Blind Spot Detection and Lane Change Assist|
|Forward Collision Warning System|
|Lane Departure Warning System|
|Wheels||17-inch alloys||17-inch alloys||18-inch alloys||18-inch alloys||18-inch alloys||19-inch alloys||19-inch alloys|
|Remote central locking with keyless entry and tailgate release|
|Hands-free smart power tailgate|
|Multi-function trip computer|
|3 x 12V power outlets|
|2 x USB charger|
|7-inch colour LCD touchscreen|
|AUX/USB input with iPhone compatibility |
|Dual zone climate control air-conditioning|
|Heated and ventilated front seats|
As its finder score of 79.50% shows, the latest iteration of the Kia Sportage garnered largely positive reviews from motoring journalists. From its stylish exterior and impressive handling on Australian roads to the comfortable and practical interior, the Sportage certainly has a lot to recommend it. The list of standard inclusions also ensures that you get plenty of bang for your buck.
There were some drawbacks, such as the sometimes sluggish performance of the 2.0-litre petrol engine, the absence of a manual transmission and the firm ride of GT-Line models in some conditions. However, the reviewers all agreed that the Sportage’s positive features significantly outweighed the negatives.
And that’s before you even get to Kia’s seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty, which is the best you’ll find from any manufacturer. Combined with capped-price servicing for the same period, with services due every year or 15,000km, the Sportage offers a value-for-money proposition that’s hard to beat.
Rates last updated May 22nd, 2018
Rates last updated May 22nd, 2018