We liked the perky exterior when it was first launched, and it was subtly enhanced just a few years ago.
There is a strong tiger-nose grille flanked by LED lighting. The side profile is enhanced by muscular wheel arches with a hint of coupe-like styling. Sportage is small enough to pass as a family hatch, but big enough to pass muster as an SUV. That makes it versatile.
Kia Sportage is big enough to be useful without being so big that you can’t park it, made easier by a reversing camera with sensors. Reverse cross traffic alert lets you know when an object is approaching. If you are in a tight spot, you have semi-automated parking built in.
The latter is handy coming out from between a couple of tradie’s vans at Bunnings.
Although the waistline is higher towards the rear, visibility is excellent.
If the outside is tastefully executed, the cabin is equally well done. It is calm and quiet.
Front seats have heating and cooling, with leather upholstery. Rear seats make do with run of the mill airconditioning vents. All passengers have cupholders, and either power points or USB outlets. Only the front USB connects a phone to Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
Rear seats fold 60/40 to an almost flat floor.
Controls are well laid out, and although Kia Sportage is 5 years old, it feels right up to date.
JBL sound is astonishing for a car in this price range.
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Sportage is capable, agile, and predictable.
Graham Gambold tunes every Australian Kia. Kia’s tuning expert likes a sportier feel, competently mixing touring, performance, and comfort. Cruising is particularly quiet, with the diesel engine only making is presence known under frisky acceleration.
The diesel is eager, and comes with an 8-speed automatic. GT Line has a petrol engine option with a 6-speed automatic.
Steering feels good. There is enough weight without feeling too heavy, an it’s complimented by sharp brake.
Safety gadgets include AEB, active cruise control, and active blind spot monitoring. Sportage will keep you from hitting cars in front, but it will also stop you from changing lanes if a car is in your blind spot. It really is very clever. Of course, plenty of cars will do that, even in this price range. But few, if any, will carry a 7-year warranty.
As if all that wasn’t enough, the diesel will get you almost 1,000km on a trip, and will park itself if you can’t manage it.
2020 Kia Sportage GT Line
Drive away offer: $49,690 (Petrol- $46,690)
Trans: 8-speed automatic