The most recent Kia Sportage is without doubt one of the key causes the Korean model cracked Australia’s high three manufacturers in 2022.
Whereas already one in all Kia’s extra fashionable nameplates domestically, the fifth-generation Sportage was far and away the model’s high vendor final yr, contributing 18,792 models out of the model’s 78,330 registrations for the 2022 calendar yr.
That yearly determine represents a large 136.4 per cent progress on 2021’s outcome, regardless of Kia battling crippling provide shortages of its fashionable mid-sizer for the majority of 2022. It’s been hit even more durable in 2023, although that doesn’t make the Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-5 fighter any much less vital within the line-up.
For 2023 the line-up is way the identical with some minor worth changes, as has been in vogue for a lot of the final 12-18 months. At the least with the Sportage, it’s restricted to a couple hundred bucks.
Right here on take a look at we have now the 2023 Kia Sportage S 2.0D AWD, which mixes the entry-level trim with what’s at present the flagship powertrain within the line-up – a minimum of till the Sportage Hybrid arrives in 2024.
At $40,000 plus on-roads it’s extra according to mid-spec rivals within the phase, although the Sportage even in base trim packs plenty of house, options and refinement for the cash. Is it a high choose like its higher-grade siblings?
Pricing for the Sportage S begins from $32,795 plus on-road prices for the bottom 2.0 FWD guide, with the two.0D AWD on take a look at itemizing for $40,195 earlier than on-roads.
The two.0D AWD instructions greater than $6000 over its 2.0 FWD counterpart with the automated, which is sort of a worth to pay – it’s virtually as a lot because the penultimate SX+ trim degree with the bottom 2.0 FWD powertrain.
If you need extra package, the step as much as the SX 2.0D is simply over $2500, with the SX+ 2.0D $7000 dearer than the bottom grade. The flagship GT-Line is over $12,000 greater than the equal Sportage S.
Key rivals for this base diesel Sportage embody the Hyundai Tucson Elite 2.0D AWD ($46,150) and Mazda CX-5 D35 Touring Energetic AWD ($47,600). For equal gasoline financial system with out the diesel ingredient, there are petrol-electric hybrid options just like the GWM Haval H6 Lux Hybrid ($42,490 D/A) and Toyota RAV4 GX AWD Hybrid ($45,260).
It’s value noting the Tucson and CX-5 don’t supply a diesel of their respective base trim ranges that may be equal to the Sportage S grade on take a look at. The GWM Haval H6 Lux Hybrid is predicated on the mid-spec trim degree, whereas the RAV4 GX is the closest when it comes to trim and specification, being the bottom grade.
2023 Kia Sportage pricing:
Smartstream G2.0 FWD
- Sportage S: $32,795/$34,795 (6MT/6AT)
- Sportage SX: $35,350/$37,350 (6MT/6AT)
- Sportage SX+: $41,850 (6AT)
Smartstream G1.6 T-GDI AWD
- Sportage SX+: $43,850 (7DCT)
- Sportage GT-Line: $49,720 (7DCT)
Smartstream D2.0 AWD
- Sportage S: $40,195 (8AT)
- Sportage SX: $42,750 (8AT)
- Sportage SX+: $47,250 (8AT)
- Sportage GT-Line: $52,720 (8AT)
Costs exclude on-road prices
The place the GT-Line is dominated by screens and leather-based, the S is a much more primary, virtually fleet-spec take.
The bones of the higher-spec grades is right here, if with much less shiny bits and more durable plastics all through – sure, the doorways and armrests aren’t even padded right here, not like different variants within the vary.
You get a giant ol’ T-bar shifter as a substitute of the extra techy shift-by-wire rotary selector within the flagship GT-Line, and there’s even a key barrel ignition as a substitute of push-button begin – #firstworldproblems, nevertheless it’s a rarity nowadays.
Material trim adorns the seats and whereas primary in design it’s hardy but supple and doesn’t really feel cheaply manufactured, whereas the opposite touchpoints just like the leather-appointed steering wheel and padded front-centre armrest elevate the cabin’s atmosphere a bit.
You’ll additionally discover plenty of blanked buttons on the centre console which is a reminder you’ve gone for the bottom specification, and the S is the one native Sportage variant that will get an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system and no touch-based management bar for the media and local weather management techniques.
The driving force will get guide adjustment for the seat and steering wheel, as you’d anticipate, and whereas the appointments are primary, adjustment is broad and it’s fairly straightforward to discover a comfy driving place.
Behind the steering wheel is the ‘Primary’ digital instrument cluster that options within the S, SX and SX+. It’s merely a 4.2-inch TFT supervision show flanked by clock radio-style tacho and speedo readouts. It’s nice, however is a bit primary and cheap-looking particularly in comparison with the 12.3-inch digital cluster discovered on the GT-Line.
The central touchscreen is equally primary. It gives wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with DAB radio, however there’s no native satellite tv for pc navigation and it’s working an older interface that’s neither as clear nor as responsive because the system in larger grades.
I additionally had quite a few points with my cellphone connection dropping out and failing to reconnect, which was extraordinarily irritating when navigating utilizing app-based mapping or mid-phone name. Fortunately when it did work, audio high quality was clear for a base system.
The higher 12.3-inch touchscreen out there from the SX and up could be one of many primary issues that may immediate me to spend the additional $2500 for the grade above.
In any other case storage is fairly spectacular for the category, with a giant, modular centre console, a deep centre bin, a cubby forward of the shifter and average-sized door pockets – one thing about this Hyundai/Kia platform means you possibly can’t match greater bottles within the doorways…
Australia will get the long-wheelbase Sportage reasonably than the shorter physique out there in Europe, and in comparison with the previous-generation mannequin that has translated to a welcome bump in rear seat house and boot house.
The Sportage has gone from being one of many extra compact autos within the class to one of many largest, and that little question has helped the Kia discover favour amongst Australian households.
I’m 6’1 and have loads of head-, knee- and toe room behind my most well-liked driving place, whereas the vast physique and comparatively flat bench and ground means you could possibly seat three throughout in first rate consolation.
Children are catered for with outboard ISOFIX anchors and top-tether factors throughout all three rear seats, whereas facilities embody directional rear air vents, a fold-down armrest with cupholders, rear map pockets and small bottle holders within the doorways
At 543 litres (VDA) with all seats in use, the Sportage’s boot is among the many largest in phase. Drop the rear seats and also you get a giant ol’ 1829L (VDA).
Different highlights a 12-volt outlet and a full-sized alloy spare wheel below the ground.
Diesel variations of the Kia Sportage are powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel, dubbed Smartstream D2.0.
Quoted outputs are 137kW (4000rpm) and 416Nm (2000-2750rpm), that are healthily above the 115kW/192Nm provided by the bottom 2.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol (Smartstream G2.0).
The diesel comes as normal with on-demand all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automated transmission. It’s value noting the bottom Smartstream G2.0 will get a six-speed auto with front-wheel drive, whereas the mid-tier Smartsteam G1.6 T-GDI will get a seven-speed dual-clutch auto with all-wheel drive – the diesel is well our choose when you can afford it.
Mixed gasoline consumption is rated at a thrifty 6.3 litres per 100km, with CO2 emissions of 163g/km. There’s additionally a diesel particulate filter (DPF). All variations of the Kia Sportage are fitted with a 54-litre gasoline tank.
In the event you’re seeking to tow gentle masses the Sportage 2.0D is arguably essentially the most succesful within the vary, quoting a most braked towing capability of 1900kg with a 100kg max towball obtain. The one different variant within the vary that may match that max tow capability is the Sportage 2.0 FWD guide (S, SX) which quotes the identical figures.
I do know lots of people are transferring away from diesels nowadays in favour of hybrids and EVs, however I nonetheless really feel there’s a spot for oilers in passenger and SUV segments.
The Sportage 2.0D is a primary instance, in the way it gives easy, moderately refined efficiency with wonderful real-world gasoline financial system – particularly when in comparison with the two.0 FWD and 1.6T AWD drivetrains additionally provided.
Our base S tester doesn’t even have keyless begin, so after turning the important thing barrel ignition the two.0-litre diesel fires up with a muted grumble. There’s a little bit of clatter significantly at a chilly idle, nevertheless it’s nothing like most dual-cab utes.
Setting off you’ll discover the Sportage 2.0D has a extra relaxed really feel than its beefier outputs may counsel, with the eight-speed automated preferring to lean on that wave of low-down torque reasonably than revving out to the redline.
Drive with a measured proper foot, and the Sportage 2.0D will get alongside effortlessly with minimal fuss, shifting snappily via its eight cogs with a give attention to effectivity and smoothness reasonably than outright efficiency in regular driving.
Beneath acceleration the engine stays pretty refined with a rumbly observe that mutes the diesel clatter, and when you actually plant it the oiler will reply with fairly muscular acceleration. Overtaking on this can be a breeze, because it will get alongside fairly properly when you hustle it whereas already rolling.
Whereas diesels are higher fitted to the open highway, the Sportage 2.0D fortunately putts round city with out feeling laggy. The dearth of idle cease/begin tech means you’ll hear it rumble at idle when you’re stopped on the lights or college drop-off, nevertheless.
The steering is lighter in weight however is correct and gives good suggestions, that means you possibly can pilot the Kia in tight streets with confidence in addition to on the open highway, the place it settles properly and has fairly a planted really feel.
Diesel variations are about 220kg heftier than the equal 2.0 FWD petrol, so at occasions the Sportage can really feel extra like a Sorento in measurement and vibe within the sense it has that big-car really feel on the highway and thru the controls.
I spent loads of time commuting to and from the CarExpert Melbourne workplace in heavy site visitors in addition to on the freeway, and I actually loved how unfazed the diesel-powered Sportage was in each situation. It’s fairly succesful throughout the board, therefore why I usually would suggest the diesel as my high choose of the powertrain line-up.
Kia has nonetheless made an effort to make the Sportage deal with with a little bit of verve, with that correct steering really feel talked about earlier translating to a fairly responsive entrance finish teamed with a effectively balanced chassis that doesn’t fall over in bends but in addition doesn’t compromise consolation – particularly on the S’s smaller 17-inch alloy wheels shod in chubby 235/65 tyres.
The diesel’s extra easy character, although, makes this extra of a cruiser than a extra sporting crossover. In the event you’re in search of essentially the most partaking mid-size SUV to drive, I’d be looking at one thing just like the Cupra Formentor or Mazda CX-5.
Do not forget that Kia Australia has an intensive native experience and dealing with program that tailors its new merchandise to our roads, and like different fashions within the firm’s secure the Sportage feels very effectively suited to native roads and circumstances.
The place the Sportage 2.0D actually comes into its personal is on the freeway, the place it fortunately hums away in eighth gear effectively below 2000rpm.
The cabin is effectively insulated from engine, wind, and highway noise, with high-speed experience compliance once more proving to be on the larger finish of the category, even with out the assistance of adaptive damping provided by some rivals.
Once more that huge automotive really feel lends confidence at excessive speeds and adversarial climate circumstances, and the energetic all-wheel drive system additionally retains the Sportage safe when issues get moist, muddy or gravelly. There’s by no means any axle tramp or wheel slip below arduous acceleration – it simply goes, and with extra shove than its petrol siblings might ever muster.
Save for the fleet-spec inside appointments, the bottom Sportage 2.0D has fairly the upmarket really feel on the transfer.
As for help options, the Sportage comes fairly effectively decked-out for a basey.
Commonplace adaptive cruise management and Lane Comply with Help mix for semi-autonomous freeway driving, and if the energetic centring perform is an excessive amount of you possibly can simply flip it off by way of the button on the steering wheel.
Blind-spot help and rear cross-traffic help imply the Sportage will actively steer you again into your lane or hit the brakes to keep away from a collision with an approaching car, and there’s a typical reversing digicam with rear parking sensors.
For essentially the most primary specification, it’s fairly effectively coated. Oh, and the LED reflector headlights are a godsend in comparison with the washed out halogens of the earlier technology – plus, auto high-beam does an excellent job at protecting poorly-lit areas illuminated with out dazzling oncoming vehicles at evening.
Sportage S highlights:
- 17-inch alloy wheels
- 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system
- Apple CarPlay, Android Auto (wi-fi)
- DAB digital radio
- 6-speaker audio
- ‘Primary’ digital instrument cluster
- 4.2-inch TFT show
- LED headlights (reflector-type)
- LED daytime working lights
- Partial-LED tail lights
- Full-size spare wheel
- Leather-based-accented steering wheel, PVC shifter
- AEB with pedestrian, bicycle owner, junction help
- Blind-spot help
- Rear cross-traffic help
- Lane Comply with Help
- Lane maintain help
- Clever pace restrict help
- Adaptive cruise management**
- Electrical park brake**
- Reversing digicam
- Rear parking sensors
- Tyre stress monitoring
- Entrance-centre airbag
**not out there for guide variants
It scored 87 per cent for grownup occupant safety, 87 per cent for youngster occupant safety, 66 per cent for susceptible highway consumer safety, and 74 per cent for security help.
Commonplace security tools contains:
- 7 airbags incl. front-centre
- Adaptive cruise management
- Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)
- Pedestrian, Bicycle owner detection
- Junction help
- Blind-spot help
- Clever pace restrict help
- Lane Comply with Help (centring)
- Lane maintain help
- Rear cross-traffic help
- Rear parking sensors
- Reversing digicam
Sportage GT-Line provides:
- AEB in reverse
- Blind Spot View Monitor
- Distant Sensible Park Help (2.0D)
- Encompass-view cameras
The Sportage is roofed by Kia’s seven-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee, with capped-price servicing and roadside help for a similar interval.
Smartstream G2.0 and D2.0 fashions supply 12 month/15,000km intervals – whichever comes first – whereas the 1.6 T-GDI has shorted 10,000km gaps between visits. Price noting when you do extra annual miles.
The Sportage 2.0D will set you again slightly below $2500 over 5 years below Kia’s capped-price servicing schedule, which is on the pricier facet when you think about the Hyundai Tucson with the identical drivetrain asks for $1875 for upkeep over the identical interval when you pay upfront.
Sportage Smartstream D2.0 service pricing:
- 1yr or 15,000km: $346
- 2yrs or 30,000km: $537
- 3yrs or 45,000km: $416
- 4yrs or 60,000km: $790
- 5yrs or 75,000km: $389
- 6yrs or 90,000km: $675
- 7yrs or 105,000km: $413
By way of real-world gasoline consumption, I used to be seeing low- to mid-6.0L/100km after every week of blended driving, which is bang-on the model’s declare. Contemplating there’s no idle cease/begin fitted to native fashions, that’s fairly spectacular.
Nonetheless, I’d wish to see Kia begin bringing in EU6 powertrains to additional scale back consumption and emissions, significantly for the diesels because the AdBlue injection actually helps to minimise dangerous by-products of the gasoline kind – Kia will not be alone on this both, most Japanese and Korean manufacturers nonetheless herald EU5 powertrains to Australia.
In the event you’re extra of an urbanite however need essentially the most environment friendly Sportage, subsequent yr Kia can be including the Sportage Hybrid doubtless in SX and GT-Line specs, which ought to be capable of simply obtain 6.0L/100km in regular driving, even higher if skewed to commutes round city.
Aussies like to go straight for the highest of the tree, however there’s loads of goodness within the Sportage’s roots.
The bottom S specification with the high-spec 2.0-litre diesel AWD drivetrain provides you a crossover that covers all of the bases when it comes to security and tech options, which is completely succesful in all driving environments and gives an important steadiness between efficiency, effectivity and refinement.
For these wanting household transport that’s secure and easy, the Sportage S gained’t depart you wanting for a lot except you need a number of the niceties provided additional up within the vary. It’s in any other case acquired the important thing stuff coated, which loads of rivals within the phase nonetheless don’t.
The extent of house and practicality on supply is superb, as is the lengthy guarantee. Service prices are a bit excessive particularly when the mechanically equivalent Hyundai Tucson is cheaper to service, however except you’re keen to take a punt on a Chinese language model, rivals with an identical drivetrain are dearer to purchase.
Whereas this Sportage S 2.0D AWD has just about every little thing you want for $40,000, the $2550 step as much as the SX with the identical drivetrain could be very engaging, particularly because it brings such fascinating objects like a bigger, larger decision 12.3-inch touchscreen with navigation, dual-zone local weather management, entrance parking sensors and driver lumbar assist.
Hybrids and EVs are making the headlines nowadays, however there’s nonetheless lots to like a couple of good diesel nonetheless. Kia will add a Sportage Hybrid in 2024 if that’s extra your jam. This can supply all the identical nice traits of the prevailing petrol and diesel fashions with the additional advantage of an electrified drivetrain that saves gasoline higher on the town, the place most Sportage house owners usually tend to spend the majority of their time.
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MORE: Every part Kia Sportage