Kia Sportage lacks sparkle but excels in equipment
An update for Kia medium-sized Sportage SUV this week – the Korean company’s second best seller here and in one of the fastest growing market segments – only small changes visually but under the skin big improvements in ride and handling – local suspension guru Graeme Gambold has really worked his magic and a long country drive on rough sealed and unsealed roads showed up many improvements.
The Kia Sportage comes in four trim levels, a choice of three engines depending on model – 2.0-litre and 2.4-litre petrol and 2.4-litre diesel and also depending on model a choice of front or all-wheel-drive. Diesel variants now get an eight speed automatic, petrol models retaining a six speed unit – I drove an all-wheel-drive Sportage diesel over some very poor country roads – it excelled aided by a sharper steering rack. The eight-speed gearbox has also aided performance and response. City/Country Diesel economy 6.4L/100. Prices have risen marginally and start from $29,990. This gives you the entry 2.0-litre Si six-speed automatic and in fact for a time the pricing is drive-away – this 114kW petrol engine lacks a little sparkle, best described as adequate but where this entry model excels is in equipment – very comprehensive now including autonomy emergency braking with forward collision warning. You also get lane keep assist cruise control, a 7-inch colour touch screen, dual-zone climate control with rear air vents, 17-inch alloy wheels, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and automatic headlights and windscreen wipers. I’m David Berthon