The compact Suv market is so competitive I find it really difficult to decide on the perfect car. Purely because perfect is subjective. It’s different for everybody. I like my cars to have a fair amount of grunt, good economy and space. Then there is the versatility and off-pavement ability. Now the Sportage ticks all those boxes, even the latter, to an extent.
Under the hood is a gem of an oil burner, the 131kw (400nm) is punchy and has impressive highway overtaking ability. Even the consumption is impressive coming in at just under 7l/l100km. The 8-speed transmission is smooth and when armed with cruise control, it just eats up the long distances.
The interior has a lot of soft-touch materials, the seats are cloth and the infotainment is pretty dated (this is the entry-level model) but it does what its suppose to and that brings value to the table. The rear seat space is enormous and has no trouble swallowing my 1,9m frame. There are rear AC vents too. The boot space is a fairly large 466l which will expand to 1455l with the 60:40 split. Some might find the seat levers a little out of place, sitting at the base of each of the rear seats. They do offer some form of reclining too.
The subtle suspension soaks up the bumps and even corrugated gravel are no match for the damping. It’s comfortable and keeps the car planted with a very predictable chassis. The weighted steering feels good and feedback is positive.
The Sportage offers 6 airbags with the usual EBD, Brake Assist and ESC. Hill start and Isofix are also standard.
While this is the basic model, things like climate control are absent as well as any form of infotainment system from this decade. It feels really old and there could have been done a little more in this area. I can’t moan about sluggish navigation, because there simply aren’t any.
The Sportage offers good value for money in this model if
you can look past the not so lekker radio/multimedia thing they have got going
on. I love the engine, I love the space and then there is the ride quality.
For more info, check out Kia.co.za