2016 Kia Sportage Platinum

By Jaedene Hudson on 01 April 2016
2016 Kia Sportage Platinum

Engine
Transmission
Fuel Economy
16.4 L/ 100km
Output
ANCAP rating

Not Tested

If you don't know SUVs are the 'something shiny' in the automotive world, chances are you live under a rock. These versatile, practical and flexible 'wagons' have a lot to offer families, couples and those who love to get outdoors. 

With popularity, however, comes competition, which also raises consumer expectations on equipment levels and pricing. SUV consumers are spoilt for choice and can demand a lot.

So Kia's latest generation mid-sized SUV, the Sportage, has a big job to do. It enters the already overcrowded mid-sized SUV segment – there are 25 models – and will go head to head with its Hyundai stablemate the Tucson as well as the Mazda CX-5, Honda CR-V, Toyota Rav4, and Nissan X-Trail.

The previous generation Sportage was a worldwide success for the Korean maker, and the new one is much better. But then it had to be to continue pull buyers away from the top-selling Japanese rivals.

With the fourth-generation Sportage, Kia has focused on handling, safety, interior space and technology. The all-new car comes in three trim levels, with three engine options and two transmission choices.

We tested the flagship Platinum model powered by a 2.0-litre turbo diesel. The Platinum comes with all the bells and whistles, including advanced safety technology, but is accompanied by a 'platinum' price tag – starting from $45,990 plus on road costs.

Materials in the cabin have a good quality feel and there are some nice 'surprise and delight' features such as a wireless phone charging pad under the dash (your phone must be wireless charging compatible).

The all-new Sportage is 40mm longer than its predecessor and sits on a 30mm longer wheelbase. The overall length is 4480 mm, which is actually almost 400mm shorter than Kia's mid-sized Optima sedan. In fact, the Sportage is slightly narrower than the Optima as well.

Rear passengers have good head, shoulder, and knee room and you can certainly feel the extra space that comes from the Sportage's extra length. A nice touch is the reclining rear seat backs – perfect for a snooze on a long road trip. Boot space is good at 466 litres. This is 22 litres less than the Tucson but 63 litres more than the Mazda CX-5. There is a full-sized spare wheel under the floor.

The seats are well-bolstered and offer good under thigh support, making them comfortable while on our 400+km testing routes.

Kia has refined the overall driving experience of the new model. Ride and handling and isolation from noise are impressive. The diesel engine is a little raucous under load but is a quiet and smooth operator around town and out on the highway. There is 400Nm of torque, should you require it, but you're really only going to call on that if towing or under swift overtaking manoeuvres. There are paddle shifters on the steering wheel, but six-speed auto is quite intuitive and we didn't see much need for them.

Fuel economy is good. Kia claims a combined figure of 6.8L/100km and we achieved 7.7L/100km in our real world testing – not bad for a medium SUV.

As with the recently launched Optima, Kia has done a good job on the ride and handling package. Developed in Australia for Australian conditions, the suspension is well damped, not easily upset by larger bumps and has a good low speed ride unlike the previous generation which we criticised for being overly firm, crashy over large bumps and jiggly at low speed. The ride is particularly impressive given the Platinum sits on 19-inch wheels. At highways speeds, rebound is good with the Sportage settling quickly and not 'floating'.

Kia says it paid attention to the handling of the all-new Sportage and, as with the suspension, it appears the engineers have done a good job. The electrically assisted steering is well weighted and you feel a lot more connected to the black stuff compared with the previous model. In fact, the new Sportage, dare we say it, is actually a little sporty. Body control is good and there are larger brakes for better stopping power. In this segment, it is certainly up at the top of the class.

The new Sportage is stronger and stiffer, with 51 per cent of the body now made of advanced high strength steel (compared to 18% in the previous model).

The Sportage's good chassis, handling and steering will go a long way to keeping you on the black stuff, but the Platinum also boasts an array of active and passive safety systems. The Sportage scored a maximum five stars for Euro NCAP crash testing. Platinum models gain autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane change warning, blind spot monitoring and lane change assist systems. There are also six airbags, a reversing camera with dynamic guide lines, Smart Park assistance, and front and rear parking sensors. The systems work well, although the blind spot monitoring can be overly cautious.

The all-new Kia Sportage is a big step up from its predecessor and will certainly put rivals on notice. Add to that the industry leading seven-year warranty, capped price servicing, great ride and handling package, and strong safety armoury, and it is certainly a strong proposition. That said, the Platinum will cost you $50,411($50,947 for premium paint) on the road (2000 postcode) while the mid-spec (but still well-equipped) SLi diesel is considerably cheaper at $43,181 ($43,716 premium paint). Depending on your needs the SLi may well fit the budget better. We'd suggest it's worth comparing both.

Quick Facts

Make

Kia

Model

Sportage Platinum

Category

Medium SUV

Year

2016

Body type

SUV

Pros

Great ride/handling
Strong safety armory

Cons

Premium price tag
No Apple car play

Country of manufacture

Korea

Warranty

7 year unlimited kilometre

Available from

18-Apr-16

Models Available

Si 2.0-litre petrol
Si 2.0-litre diesel
SLi 2.0-litre petrol
SLi 2.0-litre diesel
Platinum 2.4-litre petrol
Platinum 2.0-litre diesel

Priced from

$45,990

Si 2.0-litre petrol $28,990
Si 2.0-litre diesel $33,990
SLi 2.0-litre petrol $33,990
SLi 2.0-litre diesel $38,990
Platinum 2.4-litre petrol $43,490
Platinum 2.0-litre diesel $45,990

Engine

Number of cylinders

4

Engine size

2.0 L

Engine aspiration

Turbo charged

Fuel

Diesel

Claimed max power (kW)

136 kW @ 4000 rpm

Claimed max torque (Nm)

400 Nm @ 1750-2750 rpm

Transmission

Type                      

6-speed automatic

Wheels

Driving wheels

4WD

Size

19 "

Tyres

Spare tyre type

Full size

Size

235/45 R18

Dimensions

Kerb weight

1716 kg

Length

4480 mm

Width (including mirrors)

1855 mm

Ground clearance

172 mm

Seating capacity

5

Fuel capacity

62 litres

Towing

Max towing capacity

1900kg braked kg

Fuel Consumption

Claimed fuel consumption

6.8 L/100km


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