Lifestyle

Road test proves Kia Sportage is a value for money package

Kia's functional and value-packed Sportage.
Kia's functional and value-packed Sportage. Newsdesk Media

THE medium SUV market is a tough nut to crack especially with perennial favourites often scoring sales on reputation and loyalty instead of what is actually on offer.

Kia has done relatively well with the Sportage since a revitalised launch in 2010 with decidedly more buyers falling for the Korean manufacturer's charms.

A six-month wait on cars in the early part of the year didn't help sales figures with consumers going elsewhere but supply issues seem to be a thing of the past and the Sportage's definite style coupled with performance, comfort and price should have it high on the shopping list once again.

Comfort

The Sportage's heavy duty cloth seats have funky stich detailing and are especially generous particularly in terms of width and cushioning to the driver and front passenger.

Those in the rear have to make do with a shorter squab and slightly harder surface. You can fit three adults in relative comfort in the back although the sloping roofline may make matters uncomfortable for very tall occupants.

The inside of the Sportage seems quite dark probably because of the prevalence of black on the dash and fittings but the cabin has been designed with ease of use in mind.

Plastics are decidedly hard, although concession is made for those surfaces which gain the most contact. The boot, at 740 litres, is better than average for this class although that does climb to 1547 litres when the 60:40 seats are lowered.

On the road

The Sportage places more emphasis on ease of use than driving excitement and to that end it is efficient in delivery.

The electrically assisted steering is pretty light during linear driving but push her around a corner and there is enough feedback to keep the driver engaged. The Sportage is agreeable to most surfaces thanks in part to the tinkering by

Australian engineers to make it suitable for our conditions. We found the 2.0-litre 2WD lacked a bit of courage and appeared at times a different car than its AWD brother with a 2.4-litre petrol engine.

Much to our delight the latter seemed to find most tasks rather effortless and is probably a fairer reflection on how far the Korean manufacturer has come.

What do you get?

Inclusions have to be on the mark for SUVs to be competitive in such a tight market. Standard equipment in our SLi included 17-inch alloys, reverse camera, auto headlights, three 12V outlets, dual zone climate control and Bluetooth connectivity.

The entry-level Si misses out on reverse camera and auto headlights while the range-topping Platinum adds sat-nav, a cooling glovebox, smart key and rear parking sensors. A five-star crash rating comes courtesy of six airbags, stability and traction control, brake assist and hill hold. The AWD also has hill descent.

Other contenders

Competition is fierce here with Kia having to see off the Toyota RAV4 (from $33,990), Nissan X-Trail (from $36,000), Mazda CX-5 (from $29,880), Hyundai ix35 (from $28,990) and Ford Kuga (from $38,990).

Practicality
The concession to design has left the Kia with large A-pillars and side mirrors and a small rear window that impedes vision.

While a reverse camera and sensors can help with problems in the aft, you still have to crane your neck when turning right.

Ground clearance of just 180mm means the Sportage is best suited for the school run than the Dakar but with ease of use and space and comfort that's where its strengths lie anyway.

Running costs

Fuel costs are on the steep side with the AWD consuming close to 10 litres/100km and the 2WD averaging only slightly better.

The diesel improves with official figures of 7.5 litres/100km.

Kia offers a five year unlimited kilometre warranty and capped service and insurance costs are mid-table.

Funky factor

The Sportage is a reflection of Kia's commitment to design with its sharp lines, tiger grille, fashionable lighting and chrome accents sparking interest. In a class with so many options it pays to stand out and the Korean manufacturer has done just that.

The lowdown

The Sportage impressed when it was relaunched in 2010 and the latest editions seem to be an improvement on that model. Kia has found a way to marry European engineering and looks with cost-effective Asian manufacturing. It is a pleasant drive that offers space and value for money and the all-wheel drive variants, both petrol and diesel, are worth a look


What matters most
What we liked:
The Sportage offers nice comfort and space and generous inclusions.
What we'd like to see: An improvement to the vroom of the 2.0-litre two-wheel drive, reverse camera and parking sensors as standard across the range.
Warranty: Kia offers a five-year unlimited kilometre warranty, while there is also capped price servicing.

Vital Statistics
Model:
Kia Sportage.
Details: Two-wheel drive and all-wheel drive compact SUV.
Transmission: Six-speed automatic.
Engine: 2.0-litre in-line DOHC 16-valve petrol generating maximum power of 122kW @ 6200rpm and peak torque of 197Nm @ 4600rpm and a 2.4-litre in-line DOHC 16-valve petrol generating maximum power of 130kW @ 6000rpm and peak torque of 227Nm @ 4000rpm.
Consumption: 8.8 litres/100km and 9.2 litres/100km (combined average).
CO2: 210g/km and 221g/km.
Bottom line: From $26,720 (plus on roads).

Topics:  cars kia motoring road test



VIDEO: Snapshot of the Pacific Highway upgrade at Woodburn

Page MP Kevin Hogan at the Pacific Highway construction site at Woodburn.

Highway upgrade is "great news for our community"

Next crop of reluctant journos: OPINION

Why don't young people want to become journalists?

Journalism may not be glamorous, but there are stories to be told

Local Partners

Historian to explore social histories of Aboriginal communities

A NORTHERN Rivers historian has been awarded the prestigious $30,000 2016 NSW History Fellowship.


This week's Northern Rivers markets list

Craft, art and fresh produce merge at the local markets.

Where to get your fresh produce and coffee from

GALLERY: Summer meltdown with wrestling show

Apollo, the heavyweight champion of the International Wrestling Australia (IWA Pro Wrestling) which will bring its Summer Melt Down Tour to Evans Head in January 2017.

ORGANISERS have promised body-slamming, bone-crunching entertainment

Ten fantastic things to do on the Northern Rivers

CIRCUS ARTS: Superheroes and Supervillains will battle at out at the end of year show.

Superheroes, carols, dance parties and golf this week

BOOK REVIEW: The Mask of Command

This narrative from Anicent Rome has it all

The tech-version of the old pop-up book is here

IS THE old cardboard pop-up book a thing of the past?

Obama's private struggle laid bare in film

Australian actor Devon Terrell portrays a young Barack Obama in the Netflix original movie Barry. Supplied by Netflix.

Filmakers focus in on Obama's legacy

Brad Pitt's sons won't see him

Brad Pitt's eldest sons are reportedly "refusing" to see him.

Chris Pratt fell asleep while babysitting

Chris Pratt revealed he fell asleep during babysitting duties

Kylie Minogue: I want to get married soon

Pop star Kylie Minogue has revealed she hopes to get married soon

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

WATCH QTV: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!