At first glance, you might be forgiven for thinking that the new Kia Sportage is not a great deal different to the 2005 model. However, there is more going on than meets the eye.
There are certainly, some cosmetic changes and the most immediately noticeable points are the new front bumper (both are now body coloured), the new front grille and black-bezel headlamps, larger door mirrors and new 16-inch alloys. All of which bring the Sportage up to date and without doubt, ready to compete in the heavily populated, Compact SUV market.
One of the major changes to the Sportage range is the inclusion of 2WD models, increasing the number of variants to ten. And, for the first time, the 2WD diesel versions are offered with a 4-speed automatic transmission.
The idea behind the 2WD drive models is to give customers the best of both worlds; the bulk and ride height of an SUV but without the fuel and emissions penalties that usually come with heavier 4WD systems. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out. The 2WD petrol vehicles are a bit quicker off the mark and have a higher top speed than their 4WD counterparts but the reverse is true of the diesels. I did query this because you would expect the 4WD version to be tardier than a front-wheel-drive, but then of course; the 2WD diesel is automatic, making it slower.
There are three trim levels; XE, XS and TITAN. Only the TITAN is available with the larger, 2.7-litre, V6, petrol engine, while the 2.0-litre petrol and 2.0-litre CRDI, diesel units are on offer, across the board.
Prices range from £13,995 for the 2WD, petrol XE to £19,995 for the top-of-the-range, 2.7 TITAN. The test car was the diesel in XS trim, with a very nice, 6-speed manual gearbox. It is priced at £17,695, which is just above, mid-range and the one that is expected to be the best-seller.
Diesel engines will always be the popular choice for good fuel consumption returns and according to the official figures, the combined usage for the test car is quoted as 39.8mpg and the 2WD version, 35.3mpg, which is the same as that for the 2WD petrol. Again the 4WD version benefits from the manual transmission.
It takes the test car 12.0 seconds to reach 62mph from standstill and the top speed is 110mph. In reality, the car feels much more sprightly and eager than the figures would suggest and is a pleasure to drive.
This is a 12-year+ news article, from our Kia archive, which dates back to the year 2000.
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