Launches & Reviews News South Africa

Kia Sportage: now with turbodiesel

The newly launched fifth generation Sportage is really something to look at. Gone are the softer curves of its predecessor, replaced by sharp angles for a bolder aesthetic. Inside there is ample space with class-leading legroom both back and front.
Kia Sportage CRDi is a welcome addition to the model line-up. Source: Supplied
Kia Sportage CRDi is a welcome addition to the model line-up. Source: Supplied

Flip the back seats down and there is plenty of space to load up your weekend outdoor gear. Strap in and enjoy the ride. I spent a week with the Sportage recently and managed an economic 6.6l/100km in the urban jungle.

A full tank in this diesel beauty is worth around 720km on asphalt. Not bad at all, especially when you cruise around 120km/h on the national roads.

The ride quality is superb and comfortable. And I have to say that the diesel engine is quiet and refined. The introduction of the turbodiesel models is set to bolster popularity while simultaneously addressing the needs of diesel fans in the competitive compact and medium SUV segment.


The interior of the all-new Sportage plays with boldness from the exterior, but with softness in the quality materials, and innovation in technology. This creates a driver-oriented space that is truly state-of-the-art.

Kia Sportage: now with turbodiesel

A carefully crafted cabin is dominated by a beautifully sculpted, integrated curved display, slim touchscreen pad and finely detailed air vents. Throughout the cabin are soft-touch materials that are a pleasing change to what you’ll find in its segment rivals.

An ergonomic centre console has been optimally positioned for the driver and front passenger, providing storage, operating system configuration, cup-holders, and soft-touch switches.

Depending on the model, a smartphone charging bay offers high-speed wireless charging.

Smart diesel

The main attraction of this Sportage model is the addition of a 1,6l turbodiesel engine, also available exclusively with an advanced version of Kia’s seven-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT).

This pairing endows Sportage with an optimal balance between power, performance and frugality. It completes the 0-100km/h sprint in 11.4 seconds, with a top speed of 180km/h.

An all-aluminium 1,582cc Common Rail Direct Injection (CRDi) diesel engine delivers 100kW of power at 4,000r/min, with 320Nm of torque available between 2,000 and 2,250r/min.

Kia Sportage: now with turbodiesel

CO2 emissions for the Hyundai-developed Smartstream D1.6 power unit are rated at 129g/km in the combined cycle.

Added extras

Sportage is beloved in SA for its combination of luxury and value for money, underpinned by award-winning design and engineering that sets it apart in its segment.

This safety-forward design is complemented by a raft of active and passive safety features. All models are equipped with an Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC), as well as Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC), Downhill Brake Control (DBC) and Trailer Stability Assist (TSA).

All models feature smart entry with a push button start, as well as an electric parking brake with auto-hold functionality.

GT Line

Sportage GT-Line Plus package steps up the features list from the mid-tier EX models, with deluxe scuff plates adding a sportier touch, as well as a panoramic glass sunroof, and strikingly sporty 19-inch alloy wheels. Its black exterior trims are also upgraded to a gloss black for a sportier, more luxurious look.

Additional cosmetic and convenience features include the addition of LED interior lights, alloy pedals and an electric tailgate, as well as paddle gear-shifters for those who want more control over the Sportage’s performance. Interior upholstery is upgraded to a combination of artificial leather and suede.

Kia Sportage: now with turbodiesel

Final word

“As a flagbearer of the Kia brand’s pioneering DNA, the new Sportage has garnered favour amongst press and customers alike,” comments Gary Scott, CEO of Kia South Africa.

“Demand has been strong across the range launched in September last year, and we’re delighted that, as a finalist in the 2023 South African Car of the Year competition, it has already been recognised as a distinctive and progressive package. Such accolades reinforce our belief that Sportage truly is the ultimate urban SUV.”


Retails from R585,995

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.

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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