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Kia expands its Sportage range with several new variants. Here we test a mid-spec petrol derivative...

When the latest-generation Kia Sportage was launched about a year ago, the range comprised just five models. Entering a highly competitive and derivative-heavy segment, this line-up looked both small and a little lopsided with one lower-priced offering and the other four between R120 000 and R230 000 more expensive. Poor sales relative to its Hyundai Tucson sibling reflected this disparity and, looking to turn that around, Kia South Africa recently increased the size and broadened the pricing of its Sportage family. Buyers looking to get into Kia’s mid-size SUV now have seven additional models from which to choose.

Apart from the addition of automatic transmissions to existing engines, the range expansion also includes a new Ignite Plus spec level, as well as the 1,7 CRDi engine shared with the Tucson. EX model grades, meanwhile, can now be paired with a 2,0-litre, naturally aspirated engine and it’s a spec that adds items such as an electric parking brake with hill-hold functionality, front parking sensors, rain-sensing wipers, cruise control, a smart key, leather upholstery and electrically folding side mirrors with integrated indicators.

It is the model directly above this trim level, the EX Plus in automatic guise, that is the subject of this test. On top of the standard EX features, on the Plus you get 19-inch alloy wheels, electric front seats and a reversing camera. Externally, other than the larger alloys, there’s nothing to set this model apart from the entry-level version that has just entered our long-term test fleet.

Inside, the differences are more marked. The hide upholstery feels premium, especially on the steering wheel and gear-shifter. The front chairs offer plenty of adjustment, which, along with the rake- and reach-adjustable wheel, enabled all our test team members to find comfortable driving positions. Another bonus is the seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to quickly switch between modes, as well as scroll through menus, and handily features integrated satellite navigation.

The multipoint-injected petrol engine produces 114 kW and 192 N.m, which endow it with adequate, rather than scintillating, performance. Yes, on occasions such as overtaking, we missed the large slug of torque afforded by a turbocharged motor, but other than that, the 2,0-litre motor acquitted itself well by being smooth and refined. Kia opted to stay with a tried-and-trusted torque-convertor instead of a more complex dual-clutch engagement system and, while usually working well in unison, the transmission’s shift patterns did feel a touch on the zealous side. There were times when even small throttle inputs were met with multiple downshifts. Perhaps the Korean firm’s software engineers felt that they had to compensate for the engine’s lack of low-down punch (peak torque arrives at 4 000 r/min) by using the lowest gear possible. Perhaps a little oddly for a family car – and especially one with an automatic transmission – the powertrain offers a feistier sport option.

One area of the dynamic make-up that was particular impressive, however, was braking performance. This Sportage recorded sportscar-like stopping times in our gruelling 100-0 km/h test, with none of the stops registering longer than three seconds.

The ride quality, meanwhile, wasn’t quite on par with our long-termer test Sportage’s impressive characteristics. The primary ride is decent enough with good body control, but the bump absorption points to damping that’s a little too firm. On its 17-inch alloys, our long-termer certainly benefits from the higher-profile rubber and this EX Plus derivative does appear to pay a price for those attractive 19-inch alloys.

2019 Kia Sportage 2.0 EX Plus

R399,990
Ref No: 1787169

Manufacturer Specifications

Standard - standard Optional - optional
  • Leather upholstery: Standard
  • Seats quantity: 5
  • Split rear seat: Standard
  • Folding rear seat: Standard
  • Air conditioning: Standard
  • Climate control automatic air conditioning: Standard
  • Lumbar support adjustment: driver electric
  • Front armrests: Standard
  • Antilock braking system (ABS): Standard
  • Electronic brake distribution (EBD): Standard
  • Brake assist (BAS/EBA): Standard
  • Traction control: Standard
  • Stability control: Standard
  • Hill descent control downhill brake control: Standard
  • Driver airbag: Standard
  • Front passenger airbag: Standard
  • Front side airbags: Standard
  • Curtain airbags: Standard
  • Airbag quantity: 6
  • Automatic drive away locking: Standard
  • ISOFIX child seat mountings: outer rear
  • Approach home safe lighting time delay park headlights: Standard
  • Start stop button: Standard
  • Hillstart assist hillholder: Standard
  • Alloy wheelsrims: Standard
  • Power steering: Standard
  • Multifunction steering wheel controls: Standard
  • On board computer multi information display: Standard
  • Navigation: Standard
  • Cruise control: Standard
  • Bluetooth connectivity: Standard
  • Voice control: Standard
  • USB port: front + rear
  • Central locking: keyless
  • Remote central locking: Standard
  • Key less access start hands free key: Standard
  • Electric windows: front + rear
  • Rain sensor auto wipers: Standard
  • Auto dim interior mirror: Standard
  • Electric adjust mirrors: Standard
  • Sun roof: panoramic
  • Panoramic roof: Standard
  • Daytime driving running lights: LED
  • Light sensor auto on off lights: Standard
  • Frontfog lamps lights: Standard
  • Highlevel 3rd brakelight: Standard
  • Camera for park distance control: rear
  • Rear spoiler: Standard
  • Metallic pearl escent paint: Optional
  • Fuel Type: petrol
  • Fuel range average: 765 km
  • Driven wheels: front
  • Driven wheels quantity: 2
  • Gearratios quantity: 6
  • Gearshift: automatic
  • Transmission type: automatic
  • Electromechanical parking brake: Standard
  • Front tyres: 245/45 R19
  • Reartyres: 245/45 R19
  • Spare wheel size full: Standard
  • Length: 4485 mm
  • Width excl mirrors incl mirrors: 1855 mm
  • Height: 1655 mm
  • Wheel base: 2670 mm
  • Ground clearance minimum maximum: 182 mm
  • Turning circle wheels body: 11.0 m
  • Approach angle: 17.5
  • Break over ramp angle: 19.5
  • Departure angle: 24.6
  • Load volume / capacity: 466-1455 L
  • Load volume / capacity: 1455 L
  • Unladen/tare/kerb weight: 1605 kg
  • Gross weight (GVM): 2075 kg
  • Towing capacity - unbraked: 750
  • Towing capacity - braked: 1600
  • Fuel tank capacity (incl reserve): 62l
  • Fuel consumption average: 8.1 l/100km
  • CO2 emissions average: 184g/km
  • Power maximum: 115 kW
  • Power maximum total: 115 kW
  • Power peak revs: 6200 r/min
  • Power to weight ratio: 78.8 kW/ton
  • Torque maximum: 196 Nm
  • Torque peak revs: 4000 r/min
  • Torque maximum total: 196 Nm
  • Torque to weight ratio: 134 Nm/ton
  • Acceleration 0-100 kmh: 11.1s
  • Maximum top speed: 181 km/h
  • Engine position/ location: front
  • Engine capacity: 1999 cc
  • Engine size: 2.0l
  • enginedetailshort: 2.0
  • Engine + detail: 2.0
  • Cylinder layout: inline
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinder layout + quantity: i4
  • Cam: dohc
  • Valves per cylinder: 4
  • Valves quantity: 16
  • Variable camvalve timing: Standard
  • Warranty time (years): 5
  • Warranty distance (km): unlimited km
  • Service plan: Standard
  • Service plan time (years): 5
  • Service plan time (distance): 90000 km
  • Roadside assistance time: 5
  • Service interval (distance): 15000 km
  • Service interval (time): 1
  • Brand: Kia
  • Status: c
  • Segment: passenger car
  • MMcode: 32160298
  • MMVariant: SPORTAGE 2.0 EX+ A/T
  • MMintrodat: 2018-11-05
  • Introdate: 2018-11-20
  • DuoportarecordID: KiaSpor4Fe8

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