Kia Sportage road test
by Stephen Walker
27th June, 2010
Road Tests >
The Sportage was one of the vehicles that gained immense
publicity for Kia Motors in their early days of mass export. The first generation of Sportage was, to a
degree, somewhat crude in its presentation, as were a number of vehicles of the time. But it was very
good value and it offered a package that was just right for many people. That very first Kia Sportage
came along in 1993. Eventually, it was replaced by the current, second generation, model in 2005.
We have taken the opportunity to give this second generation Kia Sportage an extended road test, just
as it approaches the end of its model lifespan. The current model is offered in fewer varieties than
what was available in years gone by. We drove a V6 version of the Sportage back in 2008. You can read
that road test
The third generation Kia Sportage is due for local release in August.
Our test unit was the Kia Sportage (automatic) featuring two-wheel drive, rather than the four-wheel
drive that made the original Sportage famous. We covered 1,978 kilometres in suburban Melbourne for this
particular test over a three month period. Therefore, we drove it just as many owners would drive their
small SUV - out in the urban jungle!
Technically speaking, the in-line 4 cylinder, DOHC, CVVT, 16-Valve engine is conventional and has a
displacement of 1,975 cc. It produces 104 kW of power @ 6,000 rpm and 184 Nm of torque @ 4,500 rpm. The
transmission is also conventional, being a 4-speed automatic (the auto is optional on LX, standard on
EX). Regular unleaded petrol is the required fuel for this Sportage. Factory figures indicate the
Sportage 2WD automatic uses 9.2 litres per 100 kms on the combined cycle.
At 4,350 mm long, the Kia Sportage is compact. This makes manoeuvring around tight parking spaces
relatively easy. But occupant space is pleasing and being an SUV there is a versatility that is
appreciated by many folks. The driving position is good, somewhat elevated, whilst entry and egress is
good. Comfort for urban travel is quite pleasant.
Standard equipment includes 16" alloy wheels, dual chrome tail pipe endings, power steering, cruise
control (with steering wheel mounted control), luggage cover, air conditioning, ESP (Electronic Stability
Programme) and remote entry fob with "folding" key.
The Sportage is available in two trim levels. Both offer good value, particularly at this time of the
model run-out. Of course, Kia's 5 year warranty is a bonus.
For the urban jungle, the 2WD Kia Sportage proved itself to be quite a versatile unit. Pleasant in all
it does, mostly economical when driven cautiously, the Sportage has proven Kia to be 'with it' when it
comes to offering value. It is difficult to find fault with the Kia Sportage, it's just one of those
vehicles that gets on with getting on.
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