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Adelaide-To-Sydney On One Tank Of Diesel - Kia SUV Twins Meet The Challenge



7th December, 2007

Kia Diesel Economy Challenge

Far away from the hype of the Greenfleet technology class of the World Solar Challenge in October, Kia's new diesel SUVs - the Sorento CRDI and Sportage CRDi - have achieved an amazing feat of fuel economy, being driven from Adelaide to Sydney using just one tank of diesel each!

Travelling in convoy, the drivers of the two vehicles in the Kia Diesel Economy Challenge used careful fuel management and efficient driving practices to achieve outstanding economy on the 1,330 kilometre run from suburban Adelaide to Sydney in a single day.

The Sportage consumed fuel at the rate of 4.36 litres/100 kms from its nominal tank capacity of 58 litres, while the Sorento achieved consumption of 5.18 litres/100 kms from its 80-litre tank capacity.

Had the two vehicles run in the WSC Greenfleet technology class, they would have beaten some highly fancied competitors, an amazing result given both vehicles are solidly-built SUVs designed to handle much tougher conditions than typically found on Australia's major highways.

The fuel tanks of each vehicle were filled carefully with diesel to maximise their nominal capacity prior to the start in Adelaide. The filler caps were sealed by the Royal Automobile Association of South Australia and digital photographs of the sealed caps were sent to the NRMA in Sydney. At the end of the journey, the NRMA was able to confirm that the filler caps were still sealed.

Sportage - the fuel-miser
The 4.36 litres/100 kms recorded by the 2.0-litre turbodiesel Sportage CRDi is a great result for a five-seat compact diesel SUV with electronic 4WD, a 1.6-tonne towing capacity (braked), a kerb weight of 1,727 kgs and the ability to get further off-road than most owners will ever attempt.

Sorento - fuel to spare
The 2.5-litre turbodiesel Sorento LX manual's average consumption of 5.18 litres/100 kms meant it arrived in Sydney with enough fuel left to have continued on to Newcastle. That's another great result, this time from a mid-size 4WD with a full ladder-frame chassis, selectable 4WD with high and low range for real 4WD capability, a 2.8-tonne towing capacity (braked), comfortable space for five people and their luggage, and a kerb weight of 2,106 kgs. Those interested in towing can read our 'tow test' on the Kia Sorento diesel here.

"As the least expensive diesel-powered SUVs in their respective segments, the Sportage and Sorento turbo-diesels showed that it is possible to travel vast distances more economically, in comfort and safety, than in big, fuel-guzzling 4WDs or big passenger wagons," said Bill Gillespie, Director of Sales and Marketing for Kia Motors Australia.

"Both the Sportage and Sorento still have the ability to get off-road and, in the case of the Sorento, it's also possible to tow up to 2.8 tonnes which you definitely can't do in the latest breed of hybrid vehicles!

Diesel technology expertise
"Kia has more than 30 years' experience in designing and mass-producing diesel engines for many applications," said Mr Gillespie. "We are committed to building best-in-class powertrains and taking on the technical challenges of designing passenger vehicle engines the reduce emissions while at the same time delivering improved driving performance."

"Both the 2.5-litre Sorento CRDi and the 2.0-litre Sportage CRDi engines feature common rail direct injection (CRDi) by automotive technology leader Bosch and high performance Variable Geometry Turbocharger (VGT) technology from Garrett for class-leading power and torque. The Sportage engine also has an exhaust particulate filter from Engelhard, a world-leader in filter technology."

The Sorento CRDi range starts at a recommended retail price of $34,990 plus on-road costs for the 5-speed manual transmission model. The Sportage CRDi range starts at a recommended retail price of $32,490 plus on-road costs and is only available with a 6-speed manual transmission.

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