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Kia expands Sportage SUV range in SA: 7 new variants

2017-08-28 08:53

Charlen Raymond

Image: Wheels24 / Charlen Raymond

Hartebeespoortdam - The current generation Kia Sportage was launched in South Africa in October 2016 with five variants on offer at the time.

For the next phase of its popular SUV’s lifecycle, Kia has expanded its line-up a whopping seven variants.

Bridging the price gap

One of the biggest shortcomings of the “outgoing” line-up was that the price gap between the two lesser models was nearly R120 000. The 2.0 Ignite manual retailed for R369 995, while the 2.0 diesel EX automatic was R487 995.

The gap in price left Kia vulnerable to potential customers opting for rival offerings; Toyota’s Rav, Ford Kuga, Mazda CX-5, Volkswagen Tiguan even the Sportage’s cousin, the Hyundai Tucson, had the upper hand with a wider range of vehicles to choose from.

With the new additions, Kia managed to squeeze the seven new models within that R120 000 bracket. The new models comprise higher specifications, automatic derivatives, as well as the addition of a 1.7-litre diesel engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.

The new specification-variants, dubbed the Plus derivatives, all feature a list of new tech that were previously available to the more expensive models. Each of the seven new models offer something different, yet it all gradually flows into the Sportage range, building on the existing range. The Plus versions, depending on the level of trim, features front fog lights, rain sensing wipers, rear view camera, and electrically adjustable front seats, to name a few.

On the road

Kia revealed two models for media representatives to drive on the launch - the 2.0-litre petrol engine with the automatic gearbox, as well as the new 1.7-litre diesel model.

The new diesel could just be the sweet spot in the range. This engine develops a very healthy 85kW/280Nm, the latter available between 1250-2750rpm. The six-speed manual too does well to channel the power to the road though sixth gear is better suited to flat roads - for fuel saving purposes. On uphills the ‘box requires you to drop a down a cog or two but overall it is a fitting application in the Sportage line-up.

The 2.0-litre engine is a naturally aspirated unit that produces 114kW/192Nm. Like the diesel, the suspension absorbs road imperfections reasonably well. Wind noise isn’t too intrusive inside the cabin.

The automatic gearbox is not a dual-clutch ‘box, so expecting it to perform fast gear changes is quite a task. Yet, when driven to its strengths the six-speed automatic will duly change cogs without effort.

The range at a glance

Priced from R369 995 for the 2.0 Ignite manual to R599 995 for the 1.6 Turbo GT Line, the 12-model range is now better positioned to compete against the rest of the aforementioned segment contenders.

The pick of the litter will most likely be the new 1.7 diesel - provided that the budget permits, of course - seeing that it has enough grunt and oomph to propel the 2-ton Sportage forward. And at R406 995 it is competitively priced against its direct diesel rivals: CX-5 (R459 400), Rav4 (R463 600), Tucson (449 900), Kuga (R499 900), and the Tiguan (R477 000).

Kia Sportage:
Sportage 2.0 Ignite Manual - R369 995
*Sportage 2.0 Ignite Pus Manual -R376 995
*Sportage 2.0 Ignite Automatic - R382 995
*Sportage 2.0 Ignite Plus Automatic -R389 995
*Sportage 1.7 Ignite Plus Manual - R406 995 (Available from 30 June 2017)
*Sportage 2.0 EX Automatic - R429 995 (Available from 30 June 2017)
*Sportage 2.0 EX Plus Automatic - R459 995 (Available from 30 June 2017)
Sportage 2.0 CRDI EX Automatic - R487 995
*Sportage 2.0 CRDI EX Plus Automatic - R517 995
Sportage 2.4 GDI SX AWD Automatic - R557 995
Sportage 2.0 CRDI SX AWD Automatic - R567 995
Sportage 1.6 T-GDI GT Line AWD DCT - R599 995

All models are sold with Kia’s five-year or unlimited kilometre warranty, inclusive of five-years or unlimited kilometres roadside assistance, as well as a five-year or 90 000km service plan.
*new additions to the Kia Sportage range.

Read more on:    kia  |  charlen raymond  |  south africa  |  suv  |  new models  |  sportage

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