• Practical
    • Efficient at fuel sipping
    • Excellent safety features
    • design may be polarising
    • Lack of keyless function
    • Hard plastics everywhere
    5 Star

    About the Kia Sportage

    James S purchased this Kia Sportage new for $43,000 (including all on-road costs). James S wouldn’t buy this car again because: “Why I wouldn’t purchase this car? Well full disclosure here, I was given this as a rental for two weeks during a recent holiday. And during my time with it, sure I found some pretty amazing features and reliability points though there was just one thing I couldn’t quite swallow: value for money.

    For a medium size SUV, the Australian market is spoilt for choice, and a lot of stiff competition. For $39k+ on roads you would have expected something a bit more substantial with the interior. Yes, this is an entry level car, but it really does show far more than I would expect. Whether it be the hard plastics on the doors or the dash, the plain blackish plastics on the centre console, or even the 1" dull plastic trim around each of its 10" displays. Lets be Frank here, the trim looks like it is from the era of a 2008 Holden astra. It really does show that you are money conscious. Competitors like Mazda, Toyota or even the sister brand Hyundai, whilst also play in this same market space and price point, they hide their cost saving measures better than what Kia does unfortunately.”

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

    Being given this for a short period of time, it would be rude to make anything up or comment in depth here without having a longer stint in the Sportage. What I can say that mechanically, it is what you demand from a brand offering seven year warranty. the only minor remarks would be the Andriod Auto, which is wireless, would occasionally lose its connection, albeit this was mostly due to the phone being connected to the car via a USB-C port for charging purposes. So it is likely the system did not like dual connections.

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

    I imagine that owning this vehicle would be a dream, very economical on fuel (diesel), and at the price point, in a market flooded by SUVs, insurance does come in quite cheap after doing a few quotes (for NSW).

    In today’s market where cost of living is increasing, many would find this car reasonable to maintain over the life of the vehicle. But, this is my opinion in my own circumstances and as stated previously, I do not own this vehicle.

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

    As touched on previously, this vehicle is not owned by me, but let’s look at the facts here.

    The Sportage is in the top three for its segment repeatedly (Medium SUV) and is comfortably placed in the top 10 sales this year (and last year).

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

    All its glory and success is most likely not because of entry grade ‘S’ variant. Having purchased a CX-5 Touring a little under two years ago for similar coin, I would say value for money is lacking on this Diesel variant, which does command a $5k premium over the petrol FWD variant.

    However, nudging $43k drive away is a bit tough to swallow. With hard plastics everywhere (with soft plastic steering wheel), a digital display that looks like it came from a Gameboy Color from the ’90s, and the lack sat-nav is a bit much.

    As mentioned, this is a diesel version with a different drivetrain. It’s not all bad though and Kia has prioritised safety which is great in today’s world.

    Options like adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist was very welcomed to see and for highway driving, the car could almost drive itself and is very welcomed in todays market, especially for an entry level car.

    Personally, for the money-conscious buyer, I would look at the petrol variant if AWD is not required. If diesel is preferred, I do recommend putting a few extra coins on the table for the more popular SX variant which includes a nicer interior with soft touch points, bigger display and sat-nav.

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

    One word: excellent.

    Diesel driving around country side and suburbia for two weeks yielded a combined cycle of 5.1L/100. With the cost of fuel only increasing north of the $2 mark, every drop counts and the diesel engine in the Sportage, whilst lethargic at times, is quite frugal and can throw you back if you ask it too, helps to have 416Nm of torque on tap.

    What do you think of the technology in your car?

    Technology in the Sportage is a bit of a flip of the coin.

    On the positive side you have a (basic) digital drivers display, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping technology, speed sign recognition, and wireless Android Auto & Apple CarPlay.

    On the negative side of the coin, no sat-nav, no climate control.

    Not even keyless entry and start! Turning a key is so 2010. When you factor in the hit and miss of trying to charge your dead phone whilst trying to navigate home it can be a challenge.

    LED headlights up front for visibility, yet Kia opted for the old school bulbs for the light cluster at the rear.

    Technology for the Kia Sportage S is really subjective from my vantage point, on one hand it is great, but on the other hand, it is lacking.

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

    Driving the car every day is great. It is not a hi-po SUV, it has no sporting credentials (despite its name), but it is supple without being boat like, and direct without being a twitchy like a go-kart.

    For an every day point-A to point-B car, it cannot be faulted. Though, and this may be me being a bit biased, the diesel rattle and truck sounds are present in an obvious way. You know you are in a diesel car, but for those who are unphased by diesel, it should not be an issue.

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