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