Kia Sportage Si Diesel Review: We've tested the entry level Sportage

Kia Sportage Si Diesel: hands-on review

Posted: 20 December 2018 12:28 pm
News

2019 Kia Sportage Si Diesel

In the hotly contested medium SUV segment, the 2019 Kia Sportage Si Diesel presents a compelling case.

In November 2018, 4 out of the top 10 vehicles sold in Australia were medium SUVs. While Kia's newest entrant in the category, the 2019 Kia Sportage Si Diesel, wasn't among these top sellers, it does have some impressive tech that the other top sellers don't. But we'll get into that later.

Scoring a 79.5% Finder Score which ranked it second on our Car Comparison tables, we got our hands on the entry-level Kia Sportage Si Diesel to see if it was worthy of the position.

Kia Sportage pricing

The Kia Sportage Si Diesel we tested is the entry-level diesel model and is priced at $35,910. The base price is $35,390 and the optional "Mercury Blue" premium paint will set you back an extra $520.

Here is the breakdown of the price ranges:

SiSi PremiumSLiGT-Line
Petrol$29,990$32,290$36,790$44,790
Diesel$35,390$37,690$42,190$47,690

Engine choices

2.0L Petrol2.4L Petrol2.0L Diesel
Engine typeIn-line 4 Cylinder DOHC MPI D-CVVT 16 ValveIn-line 4 Cylinder DOHC GDI D-CVVT 16 ValveIn-line 4 Cylinder E-VGT CRDi 16 Valve
Max. power114kW135kW136kW
Max. torque192Nm237Nm400Nm
Fuel consumption (combined)7.9L/100Km8.5L/100Km6.4L/100Km
Fuel tank capacity62 litres62 litres62 litres
Braked towing capacity1,600kg1,500kg1,900kg

On the road

This is a family vehicle and families tend to do a combination of long and short trips. Because of this, we decided to take the Kia Sportage from Sydney up to the Central Coast, roughly an hour and 40 minute drive in the traffic we had. It's a nice trip that's not so short that you feel like you haven't left the city, but not too far that the kids start screaming in the back.

Despite the name being Sportage, I didn't think the Sportage would feel so sporty, but I was wrong. When putting my foot down to overtake, it delivered a surprising amount of acceleration from its 136kW engine, shifting through 8 gears before cruising on the highway.

The Lane Keeping Assist function was also quite impressive. The car virtually drove itself and kept the vehicle centred in the lane. Quite handy for highway driving.

You would be forgiven for thinking the car's interior would be a bit cozy considering how it looks on the outside. However, when you get inside you realise it's actually quite spacious, with plenty of space and storage for passengers. Kia has done a great job of squeezing as much interior space out of the car as possible.

The infotainment system is responsive and easy to navigate, but satellite navigation is not available on the Si Diesel. So if you are the type of person who gets lost easily or doesn't own an Android or Apple phone that you can connect via Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, you might want to look at a different model.

Kia Sportage Si Diesel Interior

Dual-zone climate control worked well and was easy to use while the auto headlights will switch off for you if you forget to do it yourself when leaving the car. Another automatic feature was the windscreen wipers that got a workout during some recent storms in Sydney and worked quite well.

One tiny gripe

One issue I had was with the phone bay. Most people, including me, require a case on their phone to protect it. If you do have a case on your smartphone it won't be able to sit comfortably in its bay while plugged in for Android Auto. While this isn't a massive issue, you may potentially need to replace a few phone cables through the lifetime of the vehicle.

Is the Kia Sportage safe?

Yes. The Kia Sportage offers the latest safety tech on vehicles designed to keep both driver, passengers and pedestrians safe. While it hasn't officially been ANCAP tested, it is anticipated that the Sportage will earn a 5-star rating.

With the MY19 Sportage Si Diesel you will get the following:

  • Six airbags
  • Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with Forward Collision Warning System (FCWS)
  • Lane Keeping Assist (LCA)
  • Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • Hill-start Assist Control (HAC)
  • Downhill Brake Control (DBC)
  • Reverse parking sensors
  • Rear-view camera with dynamic guides

While we did not test the airbags or AEB, the FCWS did get a workout when a motorist turned sharply in front of us. The system alerted us to the danger ahead and flashed a warning.

Practicality

The Kia Sportage is a pretty practical vehicle. It has 5 seats that leave 466 litres of boot space in the back (when the seats are upright). With the seats down you are looking at a 2-seater capable of carrying 1,455 litres. Isofix mounting points in the rear also allow you to attach a baby seat.

Kia Sportage legroom

Backseat legroom - front seat adjusted for 6-foot driver

Another thing we liked about the Sportage was its tight turning circle. This makes it incredibly easy to drive around the city and compact areas such as car parks and also makes it much easier to park. Couple that with the dynamic reverse camera and you could probably park this car in a room of your house.

How much will it cost?

When assessing ongoing costs, we saw fuel economy as low as 7.6L/km, which is up from the quoted 6.8L/100km. It is worth noting though that we probably enjoyed the sporty 2.0L turbo engine a bit too much.

Speaking of costs, Kia currently has a market-leading 7-year unlimited kilometre warranty and capped-price servicing too. This means that over 7 years you are looking at an outlay of only $3,580 on servicing.

Service interval (whichever occurs first)Price
1 Year/15,000km$350
2 Years/30,000km$552
3 Years/45,000km$407
4 Years/60,000km$798
5 Years/75,000km$394
6 Years/90,000km$661
7 Years/105,000km$418
Total$3,580

The verdict

So, does the Sportage deserve to be second in our tables? Yes, it does.

The Kia Sportage is a practical, safe and well-equipped medium SUV. It's easy to drive and comfortable to ride in, making it a compelling option in the hotly contested segment.

Compare some options to finance a Kia Sportage Si Diesel

Data updated regularly
$
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comparison Rate (p.a.) Monthly Repayment View Details CTA
Plenti Car Loan
From
4.89%
(fixed)
5.44%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.89% p.a.
Borrow up to $100,000 with a Plenti Car Loan and benefit from no early repayment or exit fees.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.89% p.a.
Borrow up to $100,000 with a Plenti Car Loan and benefit from no early repayment or exit fees.
Loans.com.au - New and Dealer Used Car Loan
From
4.67%
(fixed)
5.22%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.67% p.a. based on your risk profile
Finance a new car and benefit from features such as fast approval, no ongoing fees and an optional balloon payment. Settle the loan before 30 November 2021 and enter the draw to win a $1,000 fuel gift voucher. T&Cs apply.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.67% p.a. based on your risk profile
Finance a new car and benefit from features such as fast approval, no ongoing fees and an optional balloon payment. Settle the loan before 30 November 2021 and enter the draw to win a $1,000 fuel gift voucher. T&Cs apply.
IMB New Car Loan
4.99%
(fixed)
5.34%
You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.99% p.a.
A low minimum borrowing amount of $2,000 that you can use to purchase a new car or one that's up to two years old.
You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.99% p.a.
A low minimum borrowing amount of $2,000 that you can use to purchase a new car or one that's up to two years old.
NRMA New Car Loan
From
4.99%
(fixed)
5.69%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.99% p.a.
Purchase a new or used car up to 2 years old and benefit from a fixed rate and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.99% p.a.
Purchase a new or used car up to 2 years old and benefit from a fixed rate and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
NOW Finance Secured Personal Loan
From
4.45%
(fixed)
4.45%
You'll receive an interest rate from 4.45% p.a. to 15.45% p.a.
Borrow up to $100,000 for terms between 18 months and 7 years. You can use this loan to buy a car, motorbike, boat, motorhome or caravan.
You'll receive an interest rate from 4.45% p.a. to 15.45% p.a.
Borrow up to $100,000 for terms between 18 months and 7 years. You can use this loan to buy a car, motorbike, boat, motorhome or caravan.
Wisr Secured Car Loan
From
5.19%
(fixed)
5.46%
You'll receive a personalised interest rate from 5.19% p.a. to 17.69% p.a. based on your risk profile
A flexible car loan from $5,000 - $50,000 with personalised rates and rewards for strong credit customers.

You'll receive a personalised interest rate from 5.19% p.a. to 17.69% p.a. based on your risk profile
A flexible car loan from $5,000 - $50,000 with personalised rates and rewards for strong credit customers.

OurMoneyMarket Car Loan
From
5.5%
(fixed)
5.85%
You'll receive a fixed interest rate from 5.5% p.a. to 14.99% p.a. based on your risk profile.
Borrow between $2,001 and $75,000 to finance a new or used car up to 10 years.
You'll receive a fixed interest rate from 5.5% p.a. to 14.99% p.a. based on your risk profile.
Borrow between $2,001 and $75,000 to finance a new or used car up to 10 years.
CUA Secured Fixed Car Loan
6.79%
(fixed)
7.16%
You'll receive a fixed rate of 6.79% p.a.
A secured loan with a high maximum borrowing amount up to $100,000. Redraw facility and no monthly fees.
You'll receive a fixed rate of 6.79% p.a.
A secured loan with a high maximum borrowing amount up to $100,000. Redraw facility and no monthly fees.
RACV New Car Loans
From
4.99%
(fixed)
5.69%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.99% p.a.
A larger loan of $5,000 or more to help you buy a new or used car. 5-hour pre approval available and no ongoing fees.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.99% p.a.
A larger loan of $5,000 or more to help you buy a new or used car. 5-hour pre approval available and no ongoing fees.
Latitude Personal Loan (Secured)
From
5.99%
(fixed)
7.26%
You'll receive a fixed rate between 5.99% p.a. and 21.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Lock in a competitive fixed rate when you offer security. Loan can be used for any purpose and repayments are flexible. You can check your interest rate before applying with no impact to your credit score.
You'll receive a fixed rate between 5.99% p.a. and 21.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Lock in a competitive fixed rate when you offer security. Loan can be used for any purpose and repayments are flexible. You can check your interest rate before applying with no impact to your credit score.
NAB Personal Loan Unsecured Fixed
From
9.99%
(fixed)
10.88%
You'll receive a fixed rate between 9.99% p.a. and 18.99% p.a. ( 10.88% p.a. to 19.83% p.a. comparison rate) based on your risk profile
An unsecured loan up to $55,000 you can use for a range of purposes and pay off over up to 7 years. Note: Majority of customers will get the headline rate of 12.69% (13.56% comparison rate) or less. See Comparison rate warning in (i) above.
You'll receive a fixed rate between 9.99% p.a. and 18.99% p.a. ( 10.88% p.a. to 19.83% p.a. comparison rate) based on your risk profile
An unsecured loan up to $55,000 you can use for a range of purposes and pay off over up to 7 years. Note: Majority of customers will get the headline rate of 12.69% (13.56% comparison rate) or less. See Comparison rate warning in (i) above.
SocietyOne Car Loan
From
6.99%
(fixed)
6.99%
You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.99% p.a. and 20.49% p.a. based on your risk profile
A loan from $5,000 to use for a range of purposes. Benefit from no ongoing fees and no early repayment fee.
You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.99% p.a. and 20.49% p.a. based on your risk profile
A loan from $5,000 to use for a range of purposes. Benefit from no ongoing fees and no early repayment fee.
Driva Car Loan
From
3.95%
(fixed)
5.1%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 3.95% p.a.
Borrow up to $250,000 with loan terms from 1 to 7 years. Get access to a range of lenders.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 3.95% p.a.
Borrow up to $250,000 with loan terms from 1 to 7 years. Get access to a range of lenders.
NRMA Used Car Loan
From
6.49%
(fixed)
7.19%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 6.49% p.a.
Finance a used car with NRMA and benefit from a fixed rate term and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 6.49% p.a.
Finance a used car with NRMA and benefit from a fixed rate term and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
Credit Concierge Car Loan
From
3.85%
(fixed)
4.91%
You'll receive a fixed rate of 3.85% p.a. with a comparison rate of 4.91% p.a.
Get access to over 20 providers to fund a new or used car.

You'll receive a fixed rate of 3.85% p.a. with a comparison rate of 4.91% p.a.
Get access to over 20 providers to fund a new or used car.

Symple Loans Personal Loan
From
5.75%
(variable)
6.47%
You'll receive a personalised interest rate from 5.75% p.a. to 25.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Borrow up to $50,000 to pay for what you need.
You'll receive a personalised interest rate from 5.75% p.a. to 25.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Borrow up to $50,000 to pay for what you need.
Stratton Finance New Car Loan
From
4.05%
(fixed)
5.63%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.05% p.a. depending on the lender you are approved with
Apply for up to $250,000 and use cash or trade in a vehicle to use as a deposit. Optional balloon payment available.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.05% p.a. depending on the lender you are approved with
Apply for up to $250,000 and use cash or trade in a vehicle to use as a deposit. Optional balloon payment available.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Compare car insurance side-by-side and get quotes

Data updated regularly
Name Product Roadside Assistance Accidental Damage Storm Choice of Repairer Agreed or Market Value
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Awarded the 2019 Finder Award for the Best Value Car Insurance, this policy offers solid coverage at a low cost plus you will get 15% discount on first year's premium when you take out a policy online. Budget Direct’s claims service has received a 4.2/5 based on nearly 5,000 customer reviews.

Who it might be good for: People who want a comprehensive policy without breaking the bank.
Bingle Comprehensive
Market
Finder's summary:Bingle consistently comes up as one of the cheaper insurers out there. It only covers the basics, so you don't get to choose your own repairer, you're not covered for personal items in the car and unless you add it as an option, you won't get a hire car if your car is stolen. But this keeps its premiums low.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a low-cost option that covers them for the basics.
Coles Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Coles have two-tiers of comprehensive car insurance to choose from. You'll earn double flybuys points at Coles supermarkets and you can get $10 off your Coles grocery bill every time you redeem 2,000 Flybuys points. If you're over 30, you can get roadside assistance free for a year.

Who it might be good for: Coles customers and Flybuys collectors.
Qantas Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: You'll be able to choose how comprehensive you want your cover to be with optional extras like choice of repairer and the option of agreed or market value. Plus earn Qantas Points for joining and paying your premium. Sign up by 2 May 2021, you can earn up to 30,000 Qantas Points (points awarded will be based on your premium). T&Cs and eligibility apply.
QBE Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: QBE is a sustainable insurance company and also Finder's Green Insurer of the Year 2020 Award winner. This policy offers the highest level of protection available from QBE including three-year new car replacement. You can also save $75 when you purchase a new comprehensive policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Those that are looking for a more environmentally friendly insurance choice.
Virgin Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Finalists for the 2019 Finder Awards for Best Value Car Insurance, Virgin Comprehensive provides a good level of cover for a decent price. Get 15% off on your first year’s premium when you purchase a new eligible comprehensive car insurance online. T&Cs Apply.
Stella Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Stella’s a female-focused insurer. It'll cover you if your car is damaged as a result of domestic violence. It offers higher cover for baby gear than most, with up to $2,000 cover for prams, strollers and child seats. You get a free Bauer magazine subscription when you sign up and a portion of your premiums go to supporting female-led businesses.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a female-centred car insurance policy (it will cover men too).
Youi Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Youi Comprehensive Car Insurance is one of the few providers to include roadside assistance in its policy. You'll also get access to YouiRewards which gives you discounts on furniture, parking and more. Youi also has a live chat feature on its site to talk through any questions.

Who it might be good for: People over 25 who want comprehensive cover with a focus on customer service
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