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2016 Kia Sportage Platinum
Kia’s Sportage is one of a steadily growing group of mid-sized SUVs that Australian buyers are flocking to.
They seem to like the high driving position, ease of access and general practicality vehicles of this ilk offer. And their popularity is beyond doubt – you only need to look at sales figures to see that.
Now, after a week and more than 1200km in one, I fully understand the attraction.
The focus of my motoring attention was the newly-released Sportage Platinum, which is the top of the line model for the range and comes with All-Wheel-Drive and an extensive list of standard equipment.
Sportage might be considered a soft roader – a light duty 4WD if you like – but it has much of the gear normally associated with more serious contenders.Down Hill Brake Control and centre diff lock are examples.
But it also has the comfort and convenience features you’d expect to find in any of the more upmarket passenger cars currently on the market.
In addition, there’s a healthy compliment of safety equipment.Autonomous Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Warning System, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Detection and Lane Change Assist are all standard.
The interior is well thought out with simple but quite elegant lines and is nicely put together, very stylish and incorporates lots of soft touch materials. The test vehicle had predominantly black trim in cloth and leather with piano black trim accents for that added touch of class, though a two-tone grey interior is available with certain paint colours.
There’re plenty of storage spaces, the boot is huge with a flat floor and with the rear seats folded the load area becomes absolutely cavernous.
The test vehicle was fitted with a 2.4 litre petrol engine, though a 6kW, 400Nm 2.0-litre turbo diesel can also be specified.
At 5kW, the 2.4 litre engine isn’t overly powerful in the largish Sportage package, though that isn’t too noticeable under most conditions. Where it does become apparent is climbing hills, most noticeably if you get baulked part the way up and lose momentum.
Kia quotes a combined cycle fuel figure of 8.5 litres/100km and after a combination of some city, highway and quite a bit of very easy country driving, actual consumption was calculated as 9.4.
On the road, Sportage is very car-like to drive and passenger car owners will likely find the transition to an SUV completely uneventful.
Since Sportage will be attractive to families, I thought it appropriate to canvass the lady of the house who, not surprisingly has some very definite views on such matters.
She found it to be really practical with lots of storage.
“It’s easy to get in and out because it’s not too high, and the doors open wide so it’s easy to load and unload the shopping,” she said.
The power tailgate with remote control was, she thought, a good idea as she didn’t have to reach up and pull down on the tailgate to close it, and the boot was huge and easily fitted her golf clubs.
She liked the easy connection for an I Pod, which was conveniently located in the centre console, and the clean, simple lines of the interior design.
There were only a few criticisms. Rear visibility was a bit limited but the reversing sensors, blind spot detection and rear view camera to some degree made up for this. The front pillars are wide near the base and, with the mirrors, produce a blind spot, and she found that she bumped her knees on the underside of the steering column when the driver’s seat was set to its maximum height.
The final verdict on the new Sportage is that at $43,490, it’s attractively priced, has lots of gear for the money, is stylish and superbly practical.
The 7-year warranty, 7-year capped price servicing and 7-year roadside assist is the benchmark for the industry and will give some long-term certainty to the purchase decision.
Attractively priced, extensive equipment and features, stylish, practical, long warranty and capped price servicing.
Rear vision can be limited, wide front pillars, could use a bit more power.
||7 years/unlimited km.
||2.4-litre petrol 4-cyl.
||91 RON ULP.
|Spare wheel type
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This review is based on road testing conducted by The Road Ahead. Further vehicle reviews, in-depth comparisons and coverage of consumer motoring issues can be found in the Club's magazine. Prices listed were current at the time of review and are manufacturers list prices and do not include statutory and delivery charges. Prices can vary from time to time and dealer to dealer.