Since 1993, the Kia Sportage has been a constant in the ever-changing chain of the automaker, and now in its fifth generation, the Sportage is not only better than before, but also one of the best mid-size SUVs. then.
When we usually review, we have cars for a week and try to test them in as many cases and on different road surfaces as possible. When we finished reviewing the 2022 Kia Sportage GT-Line 2.0 Diesel AWD, we decided to take a much longer and more comprehensive test to see what it really is capable of.
Our journey takes us on a two-week trip along the West Coast of Australia, which took us more than 5,300 km / 3,293 miles (despite what is said on the map below). As a means of determining how far Koreans have come with their SUVs, this has been a surefire way to do so.
Very different Sportage
While last-generation US Sportage buyers will not be able to buy diesel, buyers in Australia will be able to order a 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol, a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder petrol or a 2.0-liter turbocharged car. four-cylinder diesel, the latter we tested.
This engine has a torque of 137 kW (186 hp) at 4000 rpm and 416 Nm (306 lb-ft) between 2000 and 2750 rpm, which is the most powerful engine that surpasses the 2.0-liter base engine with 115 kW. does. (156 hp) and 192 Nm (141 pound-feet), as well as a 1.6-liter turbo with 132 kW (179 hp) and 265 Nm (195 pound-feet). In addition, the 2.0-liter turbodiesel is the most economical and the only available transmission, with an eight-speed automatic and a combined combined fuel consumption of 7.7 l / 100 km (30.5 US miles per second). – wheel drive.
The new Sportage is based on the Hyundai-Kia N3 platform, like the latest Hyundai Tucson. In Australia, engine and transmission options are the same for both the Sportage and the Tucson, but the Sportage is slightly larger, 4,660 mm (183 inches) longer than the Tucson’s 4,630 mm (182 inches). Both have the same 2755 mm (108.4 inch) wheelbase.
Our trip by Sportage GT-Line 2.0 Diesel took us to Carijini National Park and from Perth to Exmouth before returning to Perth. Sportage has proven to be a great partner for such a trip.
A unique SUV
When I first approached the new Sportage, I liked the design, but it didn’t surprise me. Kia has abandoned its philosophy of safe and conservative design, which is no more obvious than the new Sportage. It doesn’t look like any other Kia model, and unlike anything on the road, it looks very impressive with its boomerang-like LED daytime running lights and large black grille.
This is a similar story when viewed from the side, thanks to the dramatic lines and curves that run along the doors, as well as the bold and eye-catching shape of the rear side windows. Kia designers also visited the city in the back of an SUV with new LED taillights.
Everyone’s favorite cabin
No matter how you look at the Sportage’s exterior design, it’s hard to deny that Kia knocked it out of the park with its interior.
While the design of the Tucson cabin looks a bit uninspiring and simple, the Sportage interior is nothing more. Our flagship version of the GT-Line is equipped with a standard 12.3-inch cluster of digital instruments and a 12.3-inch informational entertainment screen, both of which are neatly integrated into a curved panel that runs smoothly through the control panel and gives a German-like premium feel.
On the sides of the screens there are sharp air vents, and directly below there is a wooden veneer that extends from the control panel to the front door panels. The Sportage GT-Line has a special touch screen with climate controls and important media functions, such as the EV6. This way, a quick tap of the screen can adjust it from HVAC settings to media settings. This is a careful way to avoid splitting the controls into two panels and is very easy to use thanks to the thin screen’s responsiveness.
In the transmission tunnel you will find a rotary switch for transmissions, as well as buttons for heated and ventilated seats, as well as various driving modes. It is beautifully decorated, but the abundance of black piano annoys some buyers. Leather seats with artificial suede, like the eight-way electrically adjustable driver’s and front passenger seats, enhance the premium feel.
Other key features found in the 2022 Sportage GT-Line 2.0 Diesel include alloy sports pedals, paddle switches, adjustable outdoor lighting, wireless phone charging and a panoramic sunroof.
All in all, the interior of the flagship Sportage is one of the best in the mid-size SUV market. And on the road? It’s wonderful there too.
Very little calms Sportage
We were immediately amazed by the sight of the SUV on the road and when it was raining on the windshield of the Kia. Despite the hard-nosed windshield and compact side windows, the Sportage certainly feels like a premium offer rather than a price tag.
Thanks to a local tuning program designed to make the Sportage more comfortable on Australian surfaces, rugged roads and suburban roads are absolutely windy. The SUV feels good on the toughest asphalt and absorbs shocks well. This is despite the fact that the GT-Line is equipped with standard 19-inch wheels.
The engine and transmission are also well-suited to the Sportage. Like the larger 2.2-liter turbo-diesel in the Sorento, the 2.0-liter unit found here is ready to respond and operate silently, so it’s hard to tell if it’s a diesel. you are too happy with the throttle. The offline response is good and the eight-speed automatic works well. However, we would like to see Kia’s dual clutch find its way to the Sportage.
There are several driving modes, such as Eco, Normal, Smart and Sport. They all tell us what to do in the gut, and on our trip we mostly used Eco and Smart modes. The latter of these options is especially good for use in the city, as it serves as a good middle ground between Normal, where the transmission may respond a little slower, and Sport is often a little too sudden in feedback, making it difficult to get it. smooth exit from the network. During our stay at the Sportage, we averaged 6.7 l / 100 km (35.1 US miles per second), but it was very steep on the track.
Read more: Funky Looking 2022 Kia Sportage arrives in Australia in a long body shape
Of course, it should come as no surprise that Sportage performs well on the street. We want to know how it handles more difficult surfaces, such as walking on sand and corrugated gravel roads moving at 100 km / h (62 mph).
Is the Sportage even durable from a distance?
The first opportunity to test the SUV’s off-road capabilities was in the small town of Coral Bay, famous for underwater swimming. Reaching one of the most popular underwater swimming areas, we had to navigate a dense, winding road with soft sand, deep ditches and more intricate approach and exit angles. Kia performed perfectly and when we reached the beach, it certainly turned a bit. Of the more than 30 cars on the beach, it was the only one that was not a Toyota Land Cruiser, Toyota HiLux or Nissan Navara.
It should also be noted that the Sportage GT-Line 2.0 Diesel is not equipped with SUVs. In fact, it comes standard with the Nexen Roadian GTX 235/55 touring tires, but it worked very well when the pressures dropped to about 15 psi. Admittedly, we had to walk faster than the others around us, fearing that driving too slowly would get us into the swamp. The only area that was too much for the Sportage was the steep ascent of the sand hill, but this obstacle was too difficult for the Land Cruiser Prado in front of us. If so, there is nothing to be ashamed of.
We also bought a Sportage with some famous Australian bulldozers. This soft, powdery dust is found in all corners and deserts of Australia and consists of very fine pieces of sand. When passing through it, especially at high speeds, it lifts large clouds that can hang in the air for minutes. It wasn’t too hard for the Sportage, but although it completely covered the outside of the SUV, the cabin was dust-free and the Kia was always easy to operate. It even worked very well on corrugated gravel roads, but not like a large SUV with improved cushioning and spring.
It’s hard not to be surprised by the new Sportage. It feels premium like the larger Sorento, but also feels at home when unloaded from the asphalt. In our opinion, buyers of medium-sized SUVs should carefully consider it.
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