The new Kia Sportage gets an exciting facelift

11 June 2019

Overall the facelifted Kia Sportage looks great and offers some fantastic features which could offer serious competition for others in the mid-size SUV segment.

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The Kia Sportage is one of the bestselling vehicles for the automotive company, having sold over 5 million units worldwide the Sportage is definitely one of Kia’s top vehicles. The Sportage is designed as a mid-size SUV and has managed to stick around for over 25 years. However, the last generation has struggled to maintain sales, and Kia hopes the facelift could help bring back the success of the Sportage against some tough rivals like the Hyundai Tucson, BMW X3 and Volkswagen Tiguan. Kia also ditches two older engines to keep the range simple, with only one petrol and one diesel option available.

What engines are now available?    

The new Kia Sportage’s strongest engine is a 2.0 litre turbo diesel which is surprisingly quick when overtaking and doing short sprints. The diesel engine pushes out 131kW/400Nm which is plenty for a small sized SUV, with enough power for towing a small trailer. The 2.0 litre model is married to an 8-speed automatic which is fairly quick to respond when you put your foot down, and is relatively smooth in town-like driving. Being a diesel, the fuel consumption is slightly better than the petrol model and averages an overall fuel consumption of 6.3L/100km.   

The second engine available in the Kia Sportage is a 1.6 litre naturally aspirated 4-cylinder along with a 6-speed automatic, which is not nearly as powerful as the diesel model but manages to do fine with town driving. The 1.6 litre puts out 97kW/161Nm which manages to get a reasonable 8L/100km average fuel consumption. However, despite the lack of power this version of the Sportage is aimed at being more of a city driven car, where power is not as relevant as on the open road or far distance traveling. 

The Kia Sportage is pretty well priced, and manages to fall just under the price bracket of its rivals. There is also 2WD or AWD option available for only the diesel model, but this option will set you back an additional R27 000. The petrol Sportage starts @R379 995 and the diesel model starts @R453 995. (Prices correct at time of publication.)


Has the interior and exterior changed for the updated Kia Sportage? 

As for the interior, the answer is not much. However, this is not to say that Kia hasn’t done anything. The new Sportage has a redesigned steering wheel and air vents and there is still a fair amount of space, 466 litre boot capacity and there is a decent amount of shoulder, head and leg room for rear passengers. This makes it a great option for long trips. 

Luckily, the Exterior has changed significantly, with updated headlights and taillights, new bumbers and side skirts with an option of two different alloy wheel designs. Overall the exterior has been updated reasonably and manages to look quite attractive.

Verdict for the face-lifted Kia Sportage

The verdict for the Kia Sportage is good, and with great pricing, the Sportage an attractive vehicle to the public again. The 2.0 litre diesel is the better option as there is plenty of power. We recommend leaving out the AWD system unless gravel roads are often driven, otherwise the 2WD is perfect for road use. The 1.6 litre petrol is great for short daily trips and town driving, however, we do not recommend the petrol version as a family vehicle as the extra weight of people in the car could really affect the performance capabilities. Overall the facelifted Kia Sportage looks great and offers some fantastic features which could help the Sportage climb back up the sales ladder.

If you’re shopping around for a new car, be sure to check out the Reviews section of our blog. Every month we review two of the latest vehicle models to hit SA’s roads. 


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