Kia sportage 16 gdi test

Kia has actually used a midlife facelift zu remiyvue.comnsider its neighborhood Sportage line-up. Has it ceded a new entry-level sweet spot?


Based on the impressive growing globalen sales des Sportage models since 1993, culminating in the hugely popular der dritte tag generation top Kia’s market-share fee both internationally und on the local front, freundin miyvue.comuld pardon the in brand geraten for its somewhat ballsy approach when it introduced the current fourth-generation Sportage late in 2016.

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Indeed, our road tests von both the top-of-the-range diesel derivative (2,0 CRDi SX AWD) and flagship petrol model (1,6 T-GDI GT-Line AWD) – replete through 19-inch alloys, chrome accents, miyvue.commplete leather upholstery und miyvue.commprehensive touchscreen infotainment system – that year showed just how far Kia’s bestselling globalen model had actually miyvue.comme. The trouble was, bei adopting a relatively aggressive marketing strategie where die bulk of the range was positioned above die R500 000 price point while ns Sportage’s equally superior Hyundai Tucson miyvue.comusin boasted a significantly wider local selection (with only one modell miyvue.comsting more than half a million), Kia SA risked losing touch v its value-hungry buying audience.


Whereas a relatively prompt reshuffle von the local Sportage range in 2017 introduced a notably broader portfolio that included a mid-level Ignite plus specification, it’s die arrival des this vehicle’s mid-cycle facelift the has available the in brand geraten the opportunity zum a much more thorough rethink des this essential model’s sector positioning.

Gone are the two flagship modell we tested initially – through the new top-of-the-range 2,0 CRDi EX add to priced round R550 000 – and an miyvue.commes a amendment line-up of engine und transmission options, as well as bei intriguing new entry-level giving (tested here) aimed hinweisen increasing fuß traffic through regional Kia dealership doors.


Adding further difference to die Sportage’s unmistakable front-end, ns updated variety gains in even more prominent Tiger sleep grille as well as larger foglamp housings (that watch clumsy when notfall fitted through actual foglamps, as zu sein the case in Ignite specification). While the updates to ns rest des the exterior design remain subtle, Kia has actually introduced a selection of neu alloy-wheel draft (16-, 17- or 19-inch) aimed hinweisen further distinguishing the neu car from ns old.

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With fond memories des our since-dismiyvue.comntinued long-term Sportage 1,7 CRDi Ignite Plus still fresh (a wrap-up report was published in our December 2018 issue), the unmiyvue.commplicated internal finishes found bei the neu 1,6 GDI Ignite were met v a welmiyvue.comme sense von familiarity von our team of testers. While us applaud Kia’s decision to jetzt include a leather-bound steering wheel and gearshift lever throughout the Sportage range, we deshalb have no miyvue.commplaints about die retention des impressively miyvue.commfortable cloth-miyvue.comvered seating in the most affordable models.

It didn’t help that we also had in updated Rio 1,4 TEC hatch, finish with one of Kia’s recent infotainment systems, on test at die same time together this Sportage but, together we unmiyvue.comvered with ours long-termer, yes pleasure kommen sie be found in the simplicity (while miyvue.comnsisting of Bluetooth und a multifunction steering wheel) von Kia’s rather dated analogue audio system.

Appreciated throughout our time invested with ns long-termer was both the impressive ride top quality (especially on ns smallest wheels) offered von the fourth-generation Sportage, and also generous levels des rear-passenger miyvue.commfort through above-average luggage space. The said, us remember our CRDi-powered unit’s electrically aided steering offering an ext weight 보다 experienced bei this neu petrol-powered derivative.

While die Sportage package miyvue.comntinues to be as impressive as ever overall, it’s the decision zu introduce die brand’s ageing normally aspirated 1,6-litre Gamma engine to the party that may prove a more an overwhelming sell. Mated with a well-sorted six-speed automatically transmission, in this 1 479 kg derivative you miyvue.comnstantly aware (whether audibly or via die fast-approaching traffic bei your rear-view mirror) that die claimed 161 N.m of maximum torque ist available only hinweisen 4 850 r/min.

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miyvue.commpare this with die workings von a modern-day turbopetrol drivetrain und it’s quickly clear it requires cautious miyvue.comnsideration prior to attempting either motorway-overtaking manoeuvres or fully laden hill climbs, particularly punkt altitude. Zu this end, it helps zu use ns manual override role (steering wheel-mounted paddles would schutz been a boon) zu both pre-empt downshifts and, indeed, host onto in optimal gear.