Kia Sportage Estate 1.6T GDi GT-Line S 5dr DCT Auto [AWD]
Image for illustration purpose only
Ten Second Review
Kia's Sportage asks more searching questions of its family SUV rivals in this more dynamic-looking fifth generation form. There's a more up-market look and feel, more electrified engine technology - more of everything really. Well, except full electric power and real off-road ability anyway.
The Kia's Sportage is one of the most prolifically-selling cars South Korea has ever brought us. Europe likes this model line very much, which is why Europe has been given its own bespoke version of this car in this fifth generation guise. In place of the long wheelbase version sold in other world markets, our continent gets a shorter, sportier-looking version of the MK5 design which apparently has been tuned for our roads as well as for our preference in the size of our Qashqai-class family SUVs. It's certainly the most daringly-styled Sportage yet, both inside and out, with much borrowed from Kia's all-electric EV6, a similarly sized model which relieves the brand of the need to provide a full-battery version of this crossover. Mind you, it's possible to have just about anything else electrified beneath the bonnet, thanks to engineering shared across the board with this car's competitor and close cousin, the Hyundai Tucson. Let's take a look.
So: choose your flavour of hybrid; mild, full or plug-in. All three forms are available here, based around the same 1.6 litre T-GDI petrol engine. Diesel power is still available via the usual 1.6-litre CRDi unit. There's no full-Electric version because this car's showroom stablemate, the EV6, fills that role says Kia. Because the brand's European division had to create a shorter Sportage design for their continent, they took the opportunity to more closely tailor ride and handling for the needs of European drivers. The previous model was distinctly unmemorable to drive, but this one should be better. Weight distribution has been better optimised around the stiffer new N3 platform and there's a new electronic control suspension continuous damping set-up available. The mainstream engine options start with a mild hybrid petrol unit, offered in 148 and 178bhp forms. Plus there's a 1.6-litre CRDi diesel available in non-hybrid form (with 113 or 134bhp) or in mild hybrid guise (with 134bhp). The diesel can be had with an 'intelligent' version of Kia's manual gearbox; and a 7-speed DCT auto is optional on most mainstream engines. The two top 'proper' Hybrid petrol models only come with an auto. The full-Hybrid HEV Sportage variant delivers the 1.6 T-GDI engine with a 44.2kW electric motor and a 1.49kWh battery delivering a total output of 227bhp. The top PHEV Plug-in variant uses the same engine paired to a 66.9kW electric motor powered by 13.8kWh battery to give a total output of 261bhp and an electric driving range of around 35 miles.
Design and Build
Like the all-electric EV6, this MK5 Sportage has been designed under Kia's 'Opposite United' ethos. Which you could guess from a glance at the visual elements the two models share - the boomerang-style headlights, swollen rear arches, the concave tailgate shaping and the prominent spoiler. Europe gets a short wheelbase version of this model - and won't be offered the longer version of this design available to other world markets, both variants sitting on the same N3 platform that undergirds this car's close cousin, the identically engineered Hyundai Tucson. Shared parentage with the EV6 is also evident inside, where the dashboard gets a gently curved display incorporating two 12.3-inch digital screens. Other key controls are operated via a row of multimedia haptic buttons, which can change function depending on drive mode selection. Though the European Sportage is 85mm shorter than the long wheelbase global model, it's 30mm longer than the previous generation design and that frees up 10mm more wheelbase length for a couple of adults to sit comfortably in the rear - three at a pinch. The boot's around 10% bigger than before too, Kia claiming 591-litres of stowage space.
Market and Model
Expect pricing to sit in much the same £25,000 to £35,000 bracket as the previous version of this model. We can also expect the usual Kia '2', '3', 'GT-Line' and 'GT-Line S' trim levels. Connectivity's taken a step forward here - not only with the larger 12.3-inch cabin screens (both for the instrument cluster and the centre stack monitor) but also with telematics. The brand now offers its 'Kia Connect' smartphone app which allows customers to connect remotely with their cars. A new 'User Profile Transfer' feature enables users to back up their in-vehicle Kia Connect preferences via the cloud and transfer settings from one vehicle to the next. A popular option is likely to be the Harmon Kardon sound system. And this Kia will be fitted with a wide array of Advanced Driver Assistance System technology - what Kia calls 'Drivewise' features. There's a 'Forward-Collision Avoidance assist system with Junction Turning' that should help you avoid collisions at junctions; and 'Highway Driving Assist' helps you maintain a set distance to the car in front and keeps this Kia in the middle of its lane. This Sportage can also offer Blind Spot Assistance and a navigation-based cruise control system that automatically reduces speed for the corners. There's even a Remote Smart Parking Assist system that can park the car for you into tight spaces while you stand outside it controlling things from the key fob: neat.
Cost of Ownership
Let's get to the WLTP figures. The 48V mild hybrid version of the company's 1.6 T-GDI Smartstream petrol engine puts out around 150g/km of CO2 and should return just over 40 mpg on the combined cycle. Expect the mild hybrid 1.6 CRDi diesel variants to manage around 50mpg on the combined cycle and around 140g/km of CO2. The full-Hybrid HEV petrol model improves that showing to just under 130g/km - and manages around 50mpg. The PHEV plug-in version manages a three-figure fuel reading of around 200mpg (yes, really), along with an enviro-conscious CO2 figure of around 30g/km and an all-electric driving range of around 35 miles. Charging a PHEV Sportage from a 3-pin ICCB supply takes 6 hours and 30 minutes (empty to 95%). Use the kind of 7kW wallbox you'd obviously install at home if you were to choose a Plug-in Hybrid and that time drops to 1 hour and 42 minutes. As usual with Kia, there's a 7 year or 100,000 mile warranty which, since it can be passed from owner to owner, should help the impressively strong residual values. You might want to note that roadside assistance cover is limited to one year, but you do get a long 12 year bodywork warranty. Maintenance costs can be kept down by opting for Kia's 'Care-3' or 'Care-3 Plus' servicing packages, which offer a fixed-cost and inflation-proof servicing plan for the first three or five years, something which can also be passed on to subsequent owners.
In theory, a lot of boxes have been ticked here. This fifth generation Sportage has been aligned in size and drive dynamics more closely to the needs of our market. It offers new full-Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid engine options in a class where rivals typically only provide either one or the other. And the smart cabin finally puts paid to any memory of Kia's budget brand roots. But the South Korean maker's now not afraid to charge decent money for this car. And it must face a set of very determined rivals, not least Nissan's Qashqai, the segment sales leader. This Sportage though, having long been edging closer to its Japanese arch-rival, now feels ready to bother it more acutely in this fifth generation form. If you're shopping in this segment, it's a car you have to try.
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Vehicle maintenance packages are provided to you by the finance company and generally include and exclude the following elements. This cover is an addition to the standard full UK manufacturer’s warranty and roadside assistance that comes with all new vehicles.
Please note: Terms and conditions of vehicle maintenance packages can vary slightly depending on the finance company. Full details of the maintenance contract provided on your chosen vehicle will be forwarded to you with your quotation once you have enquired.
Maintenance Contract includes:
- Mechanical and electrical repairs or replacements, including associated parts and labour
- Bulbs, Batteries, Exhausts, Wiper Blades, Alternators & Starter Motors (dependent upon finance provider)
- Tyre repair and replacement
- Breakdown assistance
- No recharges for punctures or damaged tyres (dependent upon finance provider)
- MOT tests (if applicable)
What are the key benefits of a Maintained Contract?
- Planned fixed monthly cost
- No unexpected maintenance costs
- Protection from rising inflation costs
- Dedicated qualified technical team to deal with any problematic vehicles
- VAT is 100% recoverable on the Maintenance element of your contract for VAT registered businesses
What are the exclusions?
- Repairs or replacements due to driver error or driver induced faults
- Repairs due to accident damage
- Missing or Broken items e.g. Bent Aerials, Missing Hub Cabs
- Vandalised and Stolen Wheels and/or Tyres
- Damaged windscreen and/or glass replacement
- Lubricant and Fluid Top Ups between service intervals (e.g. Oil Top Ups, Screenwash Top Ups)
- A relief vehicle is not guaranteed as part of your maintenance package. However, this may be available at an additional cost, dependant on your finance provider
What is WLTP?
The Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) replaced the NEDC test procedure for establishing official fuel consumption and CO2 emissions for all new cars and became mandatory from September 2018. WLTP is a more accurate way of reading the statistics of an engine’s economy outputs based on realistic driving on an every day basis. The cycle of WLPT is divided in to 4 sections which fall under different average speeds of the vehicle being at low, medium, high and more high. It also includes various driving scenarios such as breaking accelerating and stops.
How will this effect me?
From 1st April 2020 the first registration tax for new cars will be higher. If you currently have a car on order which has not yet been registered then the price will increase and this will vary depending on the cars. If the new car you have on order is being taken on finance or lease then your monthly payments will increase by the amount the first registration has gone up. The new payments will be displayed on the finance documents you receive to sign before delivery of the vehicle.
In addition, from the 6th April 2020 company car tax known as benefit in kind, increased as a response to the WLTP new testing procedure.