The KIA Sportage at the car that convinced people that a cure could be stylish. Way back in 2010, the third-generation sport has shown that Kia could make an SUV that was practical and well made. But the biggest shock was that it was stylish. The 4th generation car reviewed by a much younger batch improved things again. But with newer more daring rivals like the Peugeot 3008 coming along. The Sportage was looking a little bit old so KIA has given it a refresh inside and under the bonnet.
There are a new diesel engine and a mild hybrid diesel. New front and rear bumpers, new rear lights sporty-er trim levels like this. With LED headlights and IceCube LED daytime running lights that have more than a hint of a Porsche Cayenne. In fact, the whole car particularly if you go for this top-spec trim has a kind of mini Porsche Cayenne look.
The changes are subtle in here, to say the least. There are a new steering wheel and new dials on the display. But really apart from those that’s it and it is a bit of a shame. Bewhilst the quality is still excellent. It’s beginning to feel slightly dated in here particularly. If you compare it to a car like the Peugeot 3008. However, having said that we do really like the buttons just down here. They’re just very functional easy to operate particularly. When you’re on the move, oh and another thing we like is the infotainment system. Which actually is also new and it’s got a good clear 8-inch screen. And it’s very intuitive and easy to use.
The sportscar range is probably one of the largest around the entry-level. One comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, LED, daytime running lights, cruise control a reversing camera and a 7-inch touchscreen. If a viewer wants these simply named to model weirdly. There’s no free model but there is a four model. With larger wheels and a touchscreen LED front and rear lights, electric leather seats, a JBL sound system, and a panoramic sunroof. The GT line adds sporty styling and red piping for the seats. While this GT line ass gets a power tailgate, wireless phone charger, and 360-degree parking camera. As you can see there’s an awful lot to choose from.
So here in the back straightaway, you’re struck by the fact that it feels very spacious and light. You got an excellent knee room here. The seat is set for a driver who’s about six foot so I’ve got plenty of space and also plenty of headroom. And again the whole feeling is that it’s really well put together and well built. You just feel that this is going to withstand the rigors of family life. Storage compartments on here you’ve got that good-size door, bins that will fit a water bottle in and power outlets. Down there along with ISOFIX points on the two outside seats. And you will fit three child seats across here. In fact, the only complaint that I’ve got really is the doors. I just don’t think they’re open quite wide enough for a family car but other than that it’s all good back here.
In the boot, the amount of space you get is just average for the class. So it’s larger than a Ford Cougars but smaller than the Peugeot 3008. The boot gets even smaller if you go for the mild-hybrid diesel version. As the battery pinches the underfloor storage.
Speaking of engines the Sportage carries over the previous cars to 1.6-liter petrol ‘s a turbo a non-turbocharged. One point seven-liter diesel has been replaced by a new one point six. And the 2-liter diesel now comes as a multi-hybrid sport RG is a two-wheel drive. With all-wheel drive only available on the 1.6-liter turbo petrol more powerful 1.6 diesel and the 2-liter diesel now. This is the 2-liter mild hybrid diesel and mild really is the way to describe it. It’s essentially just a big old diesel engine hooked up to a battery. Perhaps that’s being a little bit too simplistic.
The 48-volt electrical system that sends power to a small lithium battery. Which is topped up when you’re braking or coasting and when under acceleration. The battery sends power to the engine to give it a bit of a boost. It feels pretty punchy and you can definitely feel it doing. It’s a thing when you lift off the accelerator when you’re approaching traffic lights. For example, there’s quite a bit of brake regeneration going on. It’s actually pretty good but it is hampered by the automatic gearbox. It’s a 7-speed dual-clutch and the changes are just way too sluggish. I think you’re better off sticking to the higher output. 1.6-litre diesel. It just gives a better fuel economy and it’s much cheaper to buy.
The range-topping GT line is 35,000 pounds but if diesel isn’t for you then go for the 1.6-liter turbo petrol. And not the naturally aspirated one as it just feels too breathless and lacks the kind of punch that you need with a car of this size.
The mild hybrids’ benefits are slightly dubious. The Sportage is still a good small SUV to drive. The steering is actually a real highlight. It’s not too light and it’s quick it gives you plenty of feedback. The chassis and the body control will they’re excellent – it’s actually quite a nice fun car to drive. You know maybe a Mazda Cx-5 is slightly more fun behind the wheel. But this offers a good blend of handling and refinement. It’s quite on the move and it feels like a form of solid an expensive car to drive. Then it’s 20 to 35 pounds how an asking price would suggest here.
Since the mild hybrids, a big benefit is fuel economy. It’s claimed to return 48 miles per gallon. Which when you think about it isn’t really that good overall then. This new model has lost some of the shock value of the groundbreaking third-generation car that is to be expected. The Sportage feels like a grown-up pragmatic family SUV. That’s also good to drive if you’re considering the KIA Sportage.