New Kia Sportage leads by example

The fifth generation of Kia’s ever-popular Sportage, which has just been launched here, builds on the proud legacy of its predecessors. At the same time, however, it enters an exciting new age by offering significant improvements in tactile quality, overall refinement, and driver enjoyment.

The Kia Sportage has come a long way since it first debuted in the late 1990’s. It was, in essence, one of the first SUVs to hit the market, and went on to become a staple model for the brand. Now the fifth generation of this market favourite has been introduced locally and it is setting the cat amongst the pigeons once again.

Attractive by design

Seen from the front, dominant features include Kia’s signature Tiger Nose grille, distinctive boomerang-shaped LED daytime running lights and striking matrix LED headlamps. The side profile is equally striking, thanks to taut lines that cut across clean but refined body surfaces. A chrome beltline stretches towards the rear of the vehicle and emphasises the sporting pedigree of the new model. At the rear, the

rear lamps are connected by a slim horizontal design element, giving the Sportage a solid and wide stance.

Depending on the model, the all-new Sportage rides on 17-inch, 18-inch or 19-inch wheels, with a choice of 12 different exterior colours that include new shades such as Experience Green, Orange Fusion and Splash Lemon.

A contemporary cabin

The interior of the all-new Sportage plays with boldness in character, softness in qualities and innovation in technology, creating a driver-oriented space that is truly state-of-the-art.

Throughout the cabin, the highest-quality materials have been used, with driver and front passenger seats crafted to combine innovation and comfort in a sporting slim design. An ergonomic centre console has been optimally positioned for the driver and front passenger, providing storage, operating system configuration, cup-holders, and soft-touch switches. Depending on the model, a smartphone charging bay offers high-speed wireless charging.

Frugality, power, and performance

The all-new Sportage is offered only with a 1,6-litre T-GDi petrol engine, and exclusively with an advanced version of Kia’s 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT). The turbocharged powerplant endows the new model with a good balance of power and performance, while the DCT aids in delivering great fuel consumption.

The 1 598cc turbocharged engine features continuously various valve timing (CVVT), which – with its advanced intake valve and longer delayed exhaust – allows for more air to enter the engine at higher revs. The engine delivers 132kW of power at 5 500rpm, with 265Nm of torque available between 1 500rpm and 4 500rpm. This allows the Sportage to reach the 100 km/h mark in 8,8 seconds, with a top speed of 201 km/h.

Extensive list of standard kit

Safety features abound in the new Sportage and include a total of six airbags: a driver’s airbag, front passenger airbag, side airbags, and side curtain airbags. ISOFIX child seat anchors are also standard across the range. In addition, all models are equipped with an Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC), as well as Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC), Downhill Brake Control (DBC) and Trailer Stability Assist (TSA). Smart entry with push-button start and an electric parking brake with auto-hold functionality are also part of the standard package.

With the new model, Kia has dropped the Ignite and Ignite Plus grades from the range, consolidating the best of both into a new LX grade, while enhancing the mid-tier EX grade models. The new Sportage is also available – for the first time – with three different GT-Line models: the Sportage GT-Line, GT-Line Plus, and GT-Line S.

All models are extremely well specced, with even LX derivatives boasting niceties such as LED headlamps, alloy wheels, touchscreen infotainment, a reverse camera, electric seat adjustment and windows, and climate control. Obviously additional features are added as you go up the model ladder.

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Model line-up & pricing

• Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi LX: R539 995

• Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi EX: R593 995

• Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi GT-Line: R649 995

• Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi GT-Line Plus: R677 995

• Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi GT-Line S: R734 995

*All Sportage models come standard with Kia‘s industry-leading unlimited-kilometre/5-year warranty, inclusive of roadside assistance. In addition, a prepaid 6-year/90 000km service plan is included.

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