Kia Sportage 2.0L CRDi GT Line Review

Kia Sportage GT Line Road Test

Kia Sportage GT Line Overview

In a market that is becoming increasingly popular with consumers, competitive from manufacturers and homogenised by designers, Kia launched the all new Sportage early in 2016.

A previous OzRoamer award winner on a number of occasions the third generation Sportage that was launched in 2010 was a revelation at the time.

The all new fourth generation model is more a continuation of evolution but a large step taken.

 Kia Sportage

Kia Sportage GT Line Exterior

Like a lot of us as we get a bit older the fourth generation Kia Sportage has grown. The wheel base is longer by 30mm, and overall length by 40mm.

This may not seem like much but internally, the extra room is very noticeable, especially for rear occupants.  Overall height is the same.

With wider wheel arches it takes on a more muscular appearance but tapers towards the rear. It definitely has enough differentiation in its design, mainly from the bold muscle bound front and grill which amongst onlookers tends to polarise opinion.

From the side the appearance is longer and sleeker than the previous model with longer front overhang and tapering rear spoiler.

The good thing is that consumers will be buying a vehicle that will differentiate itself from the crowded segment. One very noticeable feature on the GT Line is the quad fog light cluster.

Kia Sportage GT Line Interior

Inside the story gets better. The first impression is one of a spacious and integrated interior with soft feel dash and quality ambiance. There is plenty of headroom, even in the GT Line with the sunroof.

As this is a family wagon the rear seats are extremely important and as mentioned the extra wheelbase is noticeable here. Even with the front seat fully slid back the rear occupants have reasonable head, shoulder, hip, knee and leg room, more so than many of its competitors.

Rear seats can also recline through 37 degrees, which adds to the versatility. The seats are better and sculptured more for two rather than three.

All seating is comfortable with the GT Line having leather and electric adjustment for the driver with lumbar support. Front seats are both heated and air cooled which is a luxury fast becoming an essential in Australian conditions.

 Kia Sportage

The height and reach adjustable steering wheel is thick rimmed, small diameter and on the GT Line flat bottomed. It feels great in the hands and contributes to the feeling of sporting (for an AWD SUV) handling. The indicator and wiper stalks sit slightly above the steering wheel spokes for ease of sight.

In front of the driver is a typical Kia dash with two large round dials and a MFD display between. All instruments are clear and easy to read at a glance.

On the centre stack there is a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment screen featuring reversing camera display with dynamic parking lines, while satellite navigation is standard.

There is plenty of storage areas for cups, bottles, sunglasses and other incidentals. Visibility is improved especially through the ‘Á’ and ‘Ç’ pillars. The electrochromatic mirror and large external rear view mirrors also help to keep everything in plain sight.

The rear seats fold almost flat to allow quite a large rear boot area. The capacity is between 466 and 1455L. Access is through the hands free smart tailgate opening, that I still find a little awkward to use but others seem to manage it quite well.

Kia Sportage GT Line Features/Technology

All infotainment systems feature Bluetooth hands-free connectivity and aux-in and USB ports for smartphones and MP3 music players. The Kia also has Apple Car Play and Android Auto features for those that need to stay connected to their phones.

Below the infotainment screen are rows of buttons for everything from audio, air conditioning and on the Platinum seat warmers etc. The overall look is integrated, even if I feel that aesthetics took precedence over function in a couple of instances and the buttons could be more streamlined. There are a lot of buttons!

 Kia Sportage

The centre console in the GT Line has an electric brake button which allows a more functional layout. Around the park brake button you have the controls for automatic parking, parking sensors, centre diff lock, drive mode etc.

Below the numerous rows of buttons is a neat little section for the 2 x 12V plug and AUX and USB port. Unlike a lot of other vehicles, these are easy to access and more importantly for these old tired eyes, easy to see. Just in front of that is a handy spot for wireless recharging of your smart phone.

Additionally the GT Line features the smart parking assist system (SPAS) which will assist drivers into parallel or 90-degree parking spaces by measuring the available space, controlling steering and offering input instructions on the LCD display.

First seen on the VW Tiguan some 10 years ago, it has become more prevalent in recent years. Don’t underestimate the weird feeling of a car parking itself. It really is an exercise in restraint and faith.

Kia Sportage GT Line Engine and drivetrain

The Sportage is powered by the familiar 2.0L CRDi engine that produces power of 136 kW @ 4,000   rpm and torque of 400Nm @ 1,750 – 2,750 rpm. This is delivered to the wheels through a six speed automatic transmission.

 Kia Sportage

This diesel engine and transmission combination is amongst the best in class and even above. They match beautifully to maximise driving efficiency. The engine delivers an almost seamless linear power for the driver and like a lot of things Kia is doing at the moment, it simply works without fuss or complaint.

GT Line models receive their own unique suspension characteristics, tuned to endow the Sportage with sharper, more athletic handling and a slightly firmer ride, crucially without compromising comfort too much. The 19 inch wheels and lower profile tyres certainly transmits more road vibration through the steering than the 18 inch tyres on the SLi.

The column-mounted electric motor-driven power steering system Sportage has been upgraded with quicker steering responses and greater steering feel, particularly around the center.

The Kia AWD system has been around for a while now and is pretty effective. However off road driving is really off limits with a ground clearance of 172mm and low front spoiler etc.

Keep the Sportage to some dirt roads and trips to the snow and utilise the AWD as a safety feature and you are driving within the vehicles limits.

Towing with the Sportage is marginal with a 1900kg maximum weight limit but restricted by the 100kg tow ball rating. Small trailers, sea doo trailers etc are the most you can do.

 Kia Sportage

Kia Sportage GT Line Safety

Safety is a feature and the Sportage sets some benchmarks. The all-new Sportage has a five-star safety ANCAP rating. Improvements in integral body strength increases not only safety but helps with reducing NVH levels as well.

A total of six airbags are standard, with airbags for driver and front passenger, first row side airbags, and first and second row curtain airbags

Two ISOFIX child-seat tethers and three anchor points are fitted as standard to the second row of seats, to safely secure younger passengers.

Pedestrian safety is further improved with a lower leading edge on the bonnet and a larger impact absorption area. The Sportage is also available with a range of active safety systems to minimise the chances of a pedestrian collision.

Kia’s vehicle stability management (VSM) system helps ensure stability under braking and cornering through careful management of the vehicle’s optional electronic stability control (ESC) and electric motor-driven power steering.

Both systems come into play as soon as the Sportage’s many sensors detect a loss of traction, helping the driver to remain safely in control of the vehicle.

For Australian buyers the GT Line models will come standard with

  • autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and
  • forward collision warning system (FCWS),
  • lane departure warning system (LDWS),
  • blind spot detection (BSD) and
  • lane change assist (LCA) and
  • high beam assist (HBA).

There is also downhill brake control (DBC) and hill start assist (HAC).

Kia Sportage GT Line Conclusion

So to the overall first drive impressions. The fourth generation Sportage is better in all aspects than the previous model and that is saying something. As a mid-sized AWD SUV it is quiet, smooth to drive, has a quality spacious interior ambience and enough design to differentiate itself from the mass offerings in the market. Definitely worth a look.

 Kia Sportage

What’s Good:

  • Engine/transmission
  • Standard features
  • Warranty package

What’s Not:

  • Rear seat belt roof attached
  • Limited AWD capability
  • Interior a little overdone

Model   Kia Sportage 2.0L CRDi GT Line

  • Model Price $50.496 RDAP
  • Engine 0L 4 Cyl CRDi
  • Drivetrain 6 Sp AT AWD
  • Power        136kW @ 4,000rpm
  • Torque 400Nm @ 1,750rpm
  • Safety 5 Star ANCAP
  • CO2 178g/km
  • Economy actual 8L/100 km
  • Servicing     7 Year Capped Price
  • Tow Rating 1900 kg
  • Tow Ball Rating 100 kg
  • Warranty 7 Yrs / Unlimited km 7 Yrs Roadside Assist

Overall AnyAuto Rating:   81/100

  • Behind the Wheel   9
  • Comfort              9
  • Equipment         9
  • Performance            9
  • Ride & Handling              9
  • Practicality         9
  • Fit for Purpose         9
  • Towing Ability          5
  • Off Road             5
  • Value for Money     8
Kia Sportage 2.0L CRDi GT Line
  • Rating


So to the overall first drive impressions. The fourth generation Sportage is better in all aspects than the previous model and that is saying something. As a mid-sized AWD SUV it is quiet, smooth to drive, has a quality spacious interior ambience

About Rob Fraser 1989 Articles
Rob Fraser – General dogsbody & Director Rob is the founder of the business. He constantly mutters something about way too many red wines one evening being to blame. Often known for taking the 4WD in the driveway over the sports car, he has travelled pretty much everywhere in Australia and when he is bored goes for a drive. He first learned to drive on the farm in a left hand drive WW11 Jeep when he was 11, and was hooked on 4WDriving way back then. In addition to 4WD he is an avid motoring enthusiast and has maintained a strong interest in the industry ever since his teens. He has owned way too many cars in his time as well. Having previously lived at the top of corporate life he retired in 2000 and hasn’t put a suit and tie on since. Cars are his passion so why not have a business doing what you love he figures. He has towed either a caravan or camper trailer to most parts of Australia, has run guided tours for camper trailers’ and instructed drivers in off road towing.