Kia Sportage CRDi AWD review

Kia Sportage CRDi

Kia Sportage CRDi

Kia Sportage CRDi AWD

Kia’s lead designer Peter Schreyer and his team have changed the face of Kia. Not only has the face changed though, everything has been upgraded. The Kia Sportage is the small SUV or station wagon in the model range and it is not only versatile but seems to be just the right size. Big enough for four adults and their kit, small enough to manoeuvre in town.

The facelifted Sportage is more refined than the model it has been developed from and has been  tweaked where it counts.

The interior is very good and has been significantly upgraded. A lot of thought has gone into it. From the leather clad multi-function steering wheel to the multi-adjustable powered leather driver’s seat everything feels just right. The armrest between the seats hides a cubby hole, one of many storage bins.

Kia Sportage CDi

Kia Sportage CDi

Needless to say the car is very well equipped with amongst others a high end sound system, climate control, electric windows, cooling glove box, auto light control and multi-function trip computer. The cabin and boot are both spacious. The boot has a false floor which is useful for keeping small things out of site.

The built-in rear-view camera and RPAS (Rear Parking Assist System) works very well and the touch screen is a nice, er…  touch.

Kia Sportage CRDi

Kia Sportage CRDi

Safety equipment includes downhill brake control, EBD, ABS, electronic stability control, hill start assist, airbags front, side and curtain and iso-fix baby seats.

I really enjoyed driving the Sportage. Acceleration is good and I found the road holding above average for a tall car. This car will be easy to live with.

Expect fuel consumption of around 7 litres/100km for the diesel and a litre more for the petrol models.

The ride is a little stiff, a bit like the Audi Q3, but it is not unpleasant. The very comfortable seats mollycoddle you in any case.

Summary

Kia has got it right with the Sportage range. No longer cheap, but solid build quality and good prices. The five year warranty says something about the quality. The dimensions are just right, inside and outside.

The Sportage is practical, good value and smart.

The Sportage range has 9 models from the 2.0 Ignite (petrol) at R321 995 to the 2.0 CRDi (diesel) AWD auto at R425 995. We tested the latter. If you don’t need AWD we recommend the 2.0 auto at R360 995.

Also look at the Nissan Qashqai (new model any day now), Ford Kuga (new model), Honda CRV, Toyota RAV and Hyundai ix35.

Sportage 086

The Sportage comes with a very good five year, 150 000km warranty and 5 year or 100 000km service plan.

Sportage crdi  016

 

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2014 WOW Women’s Car of the Year Awards

The women of South Africa have voted and Women on Wheels (WOW) is proud to announce the winners of the 2014 WOW Women’s Car of the Year Awards (#WOWCOTY). Over 10 000 votes were cast by WOW readers and combined with the judges’ votes to decide the winning cars in 11 categories.

The winning cars in each category are:

  • Budget Buys: Honda Brio
  • Convertibles: Mercedes-Benz SLK
  • Crossover/Compact SUV: Porsche Macan
  • Hatchbacks: Mercedes-Benz A-Class
  • Sedans: Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  • Green cars: Nissan Leaf
  • Large SUVs: Range Rover Sport
  • MPV: Citroën C4 Picasso
  • Sports Cars: Jaguar F-Type
  • Super car: Honda NSx
  • Overall Car of the Year: Porsche Macan

“It is such an exciting survey for us at WOW,” says Charleen Clarke, editor of WOW and convener of the WOWCOTY judging panel. “Not only are more women actively searching for cars, but with the volume of votes we can confidently say that these results are a real-life indicator of South African women’s favourite cars. More women are making the car buying decisions in their households and we are tapping in to this market.”

Toyota Corolla Quest 1.6 M review

Toyota Quest

Toyota Quest

Toyota Corolla Quest 1.6

CitiGolf started something in 1984. VW built them for 25 years. Basically they were a facelifted and modernised Mk 1 Golf, which had originally been introduced in 1974. Since then VW and Ford have played the same trick a few times, lately with the VW Vivo, a facelifted previous generation Polo and Ford produces the Figo based on the earlier Fiesta.

Toyota has also done this before. Think of the Tazz.

Just after Toyota introduced the new 11th generation Corolla they revealed the Quest, basically a 10th generation Corolla (E150).

The Quest is a brilliant interpretation of what a good basic family or business car must be. It has all the goodies like power windows, aircon, sound system, adjustable steering wheel, multi-function display, comfortable seats and connections for your sound player or phone. It does not have leather trim, or much soft touch plastic or cruise control. That is the balance Toyota has achieved.

From a safety perspective the Quest delivers. ABS brakes, ISO points, immobiliser, front airbags, halogen headlamps, fuel cut-off and

Toyota Corolla Quest

Toyota Corolla Quest

so on.

You get a choice of four colours but one model only. A six speed manual 1.6 petrol with Emergency brake assist and brake force distribution. The combination of the 6-speed gearbox and latest generation 1.6 litre petrol engine delivers excellent economy and good power. Acceleration is good and top speed well in excess of the legal limit.

Why buy a Quest? It is economical, it has got space, it is safe and its very good value for money. It should last as long as any other Toyota. Uses the same parts and a proven platform. They get the price down by keeping things simple and using last year’s technology where practical. Not a bad thing of itself.

How does it drive? Like a dog? Quite simply, just like last year’s Corolla. It is pretty good to drive. Good road holding, good handling. It is a good car.

Spares are readily available and affordable. For example, the tyres are 195/65R15 which will be easy to replace at a good price.

Toyota Quest interior

Toyota Quest interior

I highly recommend the Corolla Quest as a superb value business car.

Price as tested is  R174 900. It comes basically fully equipped.

Warranty is three years or 100 000km and the service plan is 3 years or 45 000km.

Other cars to look at in this price category include Toyota Yaris , Kia Rio, Hyundai Accent, VW Polo Vivo, Honda Ballade, Ford Ikon, All smaller.

Similar size cars include the Hyundai  Elantra (R45 000 more),  Honda Civic (R40 000 more), Chevrolet Cruze R50 000 more) and new Corolla (R40 000 more).

Quest-176