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Lead by example: The all-new Kia Sportage

I could not wait for the all-new Kia Sportage to roll into my driveway for a week of testing. And when I handed the keys back, I did so most grudgingly. Everything about the fifth-generation Sportage was something to write home about. But it does not stop there. The SUV really turned heads wherever I went. And at times, I had to jump out of the vehicle to let admirers take a closer look. With an updated look and sleeker lines, I was not surprised. Aesthetically, it's a stunner.
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Image supplied

Three decades of Sportage culminate in the most complete version of Kia’s global best-selling SUV. Below is a quick heads-up:

  • High specification and exceptional value for money across the range gives customers maximum choice
  • Turbocharged powertrain and standard dual-clutch transmission ensures dynamic performance and everyday frugality
  • Advanced technology and advanced driver assistance systems abound

The ultimate?

Designed from the ground up to be the ultimate urban SUV, the all-new, fifth-generation Sportage is Kia’s most loved and best-selling model globally. The newcomer is a flagbearer of the Kia brand’s pioneering DNA and leads by example in every respect.

With its bold, sporty design, the Sportage brings innovation and excitement to the popular compact SUV segment with its hearty blend of driver-centric design, advanced driver-assistance systems and state-of-the-art interior finishes.

“The Sportage has always been a car of ‘firsts’ for the Kia brand,” says Gary Scott, CEO of Kia South Africa. “When it first debuted in the late 1990s, it set the tone for multiple automakers to pursue the design and development of what we know as an SUV today.”

Precise design

From the front, the all-new Sportage showcases a precise and intricate design form with its detailed-orientated black grille graphic stretching across the width of the face. The tiger-nose grille adds to the distinctive futuristic-styled boomerang-shaped LED DRLs (daytime running lamps), which in turn create solid boundary lines for the striking Matrix LED headlamps.

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Image supplied

The road presence is incredible with taut lines cutting across clean but refined body surfaces that seamlessly blend the contrasting volumes together.

Fastback

Then there’s a muscular, swooping fastback design that flows into the rear lamps, which have been crafted to give the impression that they cut into the body with fine precision. Depending on the model, the all-new Sportage rides on 17-inch, 18-inch or range-topping 19-inch wheels, with a choice of 12 different exterior colours.

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Considering the importance of Kia’s 'bold for nature' design pillar in the Sportage design, these colours new additions such as Experience Green, Orange Fusion and Splash Lemon complement well-loved colours such as Casa White, Black Pearl, Blue Frame and Infra Red Metallic.

Plenty interior space

The interior of the all-new Sportage personifies boldness with character and softness in qualities and innovation in technology. This creates a driver-oriented space that is truly state-of-the-art. The cabin has been carefully crafted to fuse breakthrough technology with luxury features, premium materials and modern style.

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Image supplied

The high-tech 12.3-inch touchscreen acts as the nerve centre for driver and passenger connectivity, functionality and usability needs, designed for highly intuitive and soft-to-touch ease-of-use and equipped with the latest-generation full thin-film-transistor liquid-crystal display for incredibly precise and clear graphics.

Powertrain

The all-new Sportage is offered, for the first time, only with a 1,6l T-GDi petrol engine, and exclusively with an advanced version of Kia’s seven-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT). The turbocharged engine endows the all-new Sportage with a hearty balance of power and performance, while the DCT aids in delivering exceptional fuel consumption.

The turbocharged engine delivers 132kW of power at 5,500r/min. All of this came together in a long drive on the national road to the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal. Comfortable and pleasing as ever at speeds around 120kmph or more when required. Average petrol consumption in all drive conditions was approx. 7.9l per 100km.

Verdict

With consideration of its striking exterior design and plush yet high-tech interior, the all-new Sportage offers a daring combination of luxury and value for money that sets it apart in its segment.

Pricing

  • Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi LX: R539,995
  • Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi EX: R593,995
  • Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi GT-Line: R649,995
  • Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi GT-Line Plus: R677,995
  • Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi GT-Line S: R734,995

All Sportage models ship as standard with Kia’s industry-leading unlimited kilometre/five-year warranty, inclusive of roadside assistance. In addition, a pre-paid six-year/90,000km service plan is included to give customers peace of mind and predictability when it comes to vehicle maintenance.

About Naresh Maharaj

Naresh Maharaj is a petrol head who loves cars and writing about them. He is also a Member of the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists. Naresh is also an international sports correspondent and an acclaimed corporate MC and voice-over artist. Naresh is a sports/news producer for community radio stations and also an award-winning sports journalist. Contact Naresh on moc.liamg@123jarahamn.

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