2016 Kia Sportage Si (FWD) owner review

Y Foo
  • Reliable and that 7 yr warranty
  • Comfortable suspension, nicely disciplined
  • Great fuel economy in mixed driving
  • Air con performance on really hot days
  • Transmission hunting going up steep hills
  • Servicing costs seem steep for a basic model

About the Kia Sportage

Y Foo purchased this Kia Sportage new for $29,000 (including all on-road costs). Y Foo would buy this car again because: “It has been an extremely reliable family car. Not perfect but no car is. It’s definitely suited to the family needs. It’s an honest no frills car – manual handbrake along with an actual key to start the car. Everything has just worked from day one till it was traded in last week. “

How reliable has your car been? Tell us about any issues.

My Sportage has been exceedingly reliable in the past five years since owning it new. No mechanical issues. At a tad over 85,000km it’s still on the original set of brake pads and original head/tail lights.

I would say that the air-con unit does struggle once it hits over 32 degrees around Melbourne. Having previously mentioned it to the Kia dealership at the 30 and 45,000km servicing, it was always operating within specification.

I don’t know what that means. My dad’s older Camry was always so much better running on hot days with its ice cold air conditioning. That definitely is a Toyota trait.

What do you think of the ownership experience with your car?

I have enjoyed my time with the car. I have recently just traded it in for a new Forester. So shall see how the Fozzy goes over the next several years. But it definitely has a lot to live up to.

I really wanted to like the new Sportage – but I just can’t reconcile the split headlight design. It would be nice if Kia offered the 2.5L engine in the base model as they do in the states.

The Sportage feels a tad more hushed on the roads around Melbourne… looking at the Forester which I just got, under the A pillar where the front door is, I recall the Sportage had a bunch of sound deadening foam/rubber inserts leading into the engine bay where the Forester doesn’t.

I guess that might explain why the Forester is a bit lighter than the Sportage.

How has the purchase and aftercare experience been with your car?

Overall, it has been good. Servicing was always done and no issues with the car. I think something which has been mentioned previously in your reviews has been the servicing cost. The 60,000km service was a smidge over $750 from memory. For a standard 2L FWD model, that just seems a bit expensive for me.

I understand of course that I can take it to an independent mechanic.

Although having previously having had a diesel engine rebuilt by Hyundai after having it for two years, full credit to Hyundai there, no costs to myself and they were gracious enough to give me a courtesy car for the 5 weeks they had it.
Unlike some of my friend’s experience with Volkswagen… good luck and catch the bus home, and two months later here is your car.

I am always in favour of getting the car serviced with your local dealership whilst still under warranty.

Are you happy with the price and features of your car?

Definitely happy with the price paid for my car back in 2016. Admittedly it was the entry level model but at under $30k it has everything that I needed in a car. Air conditioning, Android/Apple compatibility.

Always enjoyed having a traditional handbrake in my cars – not for any silly reasons, just one less thing to go wrong and feels satisfying after parking the car to pull up the handbrake. For me, just feels unsatisfying with an electronic park brake.

What do you think of the performance and economy of your car?

Never really had an issue with the Sportage, even though it was the base model with the stock 2.0L. I didn’t mind the engine shifting down gears going up hills and stuff, there are six speeds, might as well use them.

Only time was a bit of hunting by the gearbox, and this was prior to the lockdown pre-COVID driving up to Castlemaine on the Calder Hwy. On some of the bigger hills with the cruise set on 110 it was uncomfortable as it kept downshifting to keep the speed up and changing up again once it hit 110 and then downshifting again when the speed dropped.

But its not a drive I do regularly. Easily fixed by taking it off cruise control.

Otherwise, the economy has been good. I’ve been averaging around 7.8L / 100 kms on trusty 95 RON.

What do you think of the technology in your car?

Given my Sportage was the base model, and before it became widely available, doesn’t really have any of the modern active safety features. ABS and always paying attention whilst driving is the key here. Otherwise internally, it was nice of Kia to offer the Android/Apple feature at a later date without charging for it.

So that was a very nice gesture by them.

What do you think of the ride comfort and handling of your car?

Kia definitely hit the sweet spot with regards to the ride and comfort. It’s nicely controlled and damped even with a full car. Rides nicely on the freeways. Over speed bumps at some of the suburbs around Melb, it’s a very comfortable, firm but not uncomfortable but nicely controlled in its rebound without bobbing along down the road several metres after the speed bump. Well done Kia.

Do you have any additional comments about your car?

Good follow up with the brand new Sportage Kia. . just wish they had offered a 2.5L NA with the base model as they do in the states.

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Show Breakdown
Technology 9
Reliability 10
Ride & Handling 9
Price & Features 10
Purchase & Aftercare 9
Performance & Economy 9
Ownership Experience 9.1
Top Line Specs
5 ★
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