The Kia Sportage, currently in its fifth generation, was introduced in June 2021 and already shocked at first glance with its design, which brought an intergenerational revolution. This is emphasized, for example, by the boldly shaped daytime running lights in the shape of a boomerang, which are followed by the main headlights.
However, the mask retained the traditional style of the so-called tiger nose. And even though I’ve spent more than a week with the Sportage, I’m still not sure what to think of the front end design.
From the profile, however, the shapes of the Sportage look much more sympathetic, as well as the rear with modernly shaped lights and a decent spoiler extending the roof. Despite the second-lowest Exclusive equipment, the car already offers LED headlights, LED fog lights and decorative chrome strips as standard. The wheels are 17 inches and the blue flame paint costs CZK 16,000.
Space and modern ergonomics
However, while from the outside the Kia Sportage may seem slightly controversial, the cabin can quickly win over the crew with a combination of modern equipment, well-thought-out ergonomics and spaciousness. After all, with a length of 4515 mm, the fifth generation is 35 mm longer than its predecessor. However, we are talking about the European model, the global one is even 145 mm longer.
The cabin offers interesting technology even in lower equipment. For example, behind the steering wheel we see a 12-inch LCD panel, which is not a classic digital instrument panel. Instead, it is fitted with a 4.2″ Supervision panel and flanked on the sides by digital speed and rev indicators. The classic digital instrument panel is available from the Edition 30 trim.
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A 12.3″ infotainment screen with integrated navigation and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity seamlessly follows the instrument panel. The system has well-known graphics, a clear menu and works smoothly.
Its pure touch control is complemented by a smart bar, located a little lower, which allows you to switch between media playback control and ventilation settings with the press of a single button. The heating of the front seats and the steering wheel, which is part of the equipment, is located separately a little lower. Even lower, we can find the USB-A and USB-C connectors.
In terms of spaciousness, there is not much to fault the South Korean SUV. Although the seats are manually adjustable, they offer a wide range of adjustments and feel comfortable. The various storage pockets and boxes are also sufficiently spacious. However, the rear seats also offer a lot of space, after all, at a height of 183 centimeters, there was enough room in front of my knees and above my head.
In addition, the comfort on the road increases the possibility of adjusting the rear backrests in several levels, there is standard heating of the side seats, a folding central armrest or a pair of charging USB-C connectors on the plasticized backs of the front seats.
The luggage compartment can have several sizes in the current generation of Kia Sportage, but only the tested basic petrol 16-litre will offer a maximum volume of 591 litres.
After folding down the rear backrests, divided in a ratio of 40:20:40, an almost flat area is created and the volume increases to 1780 liters. At the same time, you can fold the backrests directly from the luggage compartment, while you can comfortably store the roller blind under the double floor with a nice organizer. Personally, I would prefer to see a reserve here, but it is not mentioned in the price list.
Easy to use foundation
As I already mentioned in the introduction, the fifth generation of the Kia Sportage model offers a truly varied range of power units, including petrol and diesel pure combustion engines, mild hybrids, full hybrids and plug-in hybrids. In addition, individual engines can be combined with manual and automatic transmissions, or with front or all-wheel drive.
The currently tested engine with the official designation 1.6 T-GDI GDI DPF 4×2 6MT represents the absolute basis of the offer, but you certainly do not have to worry that it would not cope with a car weighing approximately 1.5 tons.
The turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine with direct injection offers a maximum power of 110 kW at 5,500 rpm and a maximum torque of 150 Nm between 1,500 and 4,000 rpm. This is enough to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 10.3 seconds and reach a maximum speed of 189 km/h, which, by the way, is the maximum for the entire model range.
The engine is refined and excellently quiet from the start, and thanks to the maximum torque available from relatively low revs, you don’t need to rev it unnecessarily. After all, it doesn’t even have any character at higher revs. However, you definitely don’t need to worry that he lacks vigor. In addition, after switching to sports mode, the engine pleasantly comes to life and responds even better to gas pedal commands, thanks to which you can quite enjoy rushing with this SUV.
The manual six-speed transmission has a pleasantly light operation, similar to the steering, and clearly defined tracks. Working with the clutch pedal is also pleasant, and thanks to the hill start assistant there is actually nothing to worry about.
Personally, I was perhaps only somewhat disappointed with the whimsical stop-start system, which does not start after the classic clutch is depressed, but often only after releasing the brake pedal. However, sometimes it takes quite a long time to start the engine, while in other situations it was necessary to repeat the cycle of depressing the clutch.
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In the end, I got used to doing a double tap after starting and turning off the stop-start system as well as the lane keeping system, which is often unnecessarily active in narrow Czech districts. Fortunately, both systems have their own buttons, so there is no need to search for anything in the infotainment menu.
And consumption? The long-term average of 6.7 l/100 km is very solid, but when trying to drive economically it is not a problem to even get below 6 liters, while the effort for a more dynamic ride turns the consumption slightly above 9 l/100 km. But with a 54-liter tank, you don’t have to worry about being a slave to gas stations.
The chassis on 17″ cast wheels, shod with tall tires with a size of 215/65 R17, manages to dampen most unevenness very pleasantly. The ride feels smooth and the Sportage sways slightly.
You can feel slight body tilts in the corners, but overall the car seems stable and driving it is a pleasant relaxation. It is only on larger bumps that you start to feel a slight rumble from the wheels, but overall the noise reduction is at an excellent level. You don’t have to worry about loud noise even on the highway, where the engine revs at around 2,600 rpm at a speedometer of 130 km/h.
Nice car for decent money
It doesn’t happen very often that a car arrives in a press test in one of the basic equipment, with a basic engine and without an unnecessary amount of extras. But the tested Kia Sportage shows that even such a car can excite.
You can buy the cheapest Sportage from 669,980 CZK, but in the tested Exclusive equipment, the price tag already moves to the border from 719,980 CZK. At the same time, the equipment is quite comprehensive and I probably didn’t miss anything in everyday life, although, for example, wireless unlocking and starting would definitely make living together more pleasant.
With an additional charge of 16,000 CZK for paint and 4,442 CZK for a protective package with carpets and a protective carpet in the trunk, the final amount for the car rose to 740,422 CZK, which for a similarly practical and pleasant car with a very tolerable fuel consumption does not seem like a waste at all these days .
|Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDI 6MT Exclusive|
|Engine:||1598 cc, in-line gasoline four-cylinder, turbo|
|Max. performance:||110 kW at 5500 rpm|
|Max. torque:||250 Nm at 1500 – 4000 rpm|
|Transmission:||6 st. manual|
|0-100 km/h:||10.4 s|
|Top speed:||189 km/h|
|Average consumption according to WLTP:||6.6 l/100 km|
|Average display consumption at the end of our test:||6.7 l/100 km|
|Operating/Maximum Weight:||1451/2085 kg|
|Max. braked/unbraked trailer weight:||1650/750 kg|
|Length x width x height:||4515 x 1865 x 1650 mm|
|Luggage volume min/max:||591/1780 l|
|Base price:||CZK 669,980 (Comfort, 1.6 T-GDI GPF 4×2 6MT)|
|Base price of the tested version:||719,980 CZK (Exclusive, 1.6 T-GDI GPF 4×2 6MT)|
|Price of the tested car:||740,422 CZK (Comfort, 1.6 T-GDI GPF 4×2 6MT)|