2016 Kia Sportage

Monday the 29th of September and in my hand are the keys to one of the newest compact SUV’s to arrive on New Zealand’s shores: Kia’s 2016 Sportage.

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In jet black, the Sportage stands staunch in front of an Auckland industrial background. Alike to the Porsche Cayenne at the front, you’ll know exactly whats following you in traffic.

One prominent change from it’s predecessor is a 30mm longer wheelbase. This makes for a more accommodating interior and in addition to sitting high in the Sportage, you as a driver feel a lot more road presence.

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The latest Sportage comes in four specifications, each tailoring the vehicle to you. All models are equipped with alloy wheels, air conditioning, electric windows and a bluetooth hands-free phone connection. So Kia has your basics covered whichever model you hop into.

But if you do decide you want a bit more, upgrading to the second specification will give you larger wheels, in-built satnav, a reversing camera, rear parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers, and lane keeping assist. A big jump up from the standard model and a jump worth considering if you ask me.

Bump up that price tag a little bit more and your alloy wheels grow again and the seats become heated and leather.

Go all out for the top specification and Kia adds the final details including front parking sensors, more powerful headlights, electric seats and their full range of active safety systems.

My advice would be to turn your attention to Specs 2 or 3.

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Around town you cruise comfortably – point your Sportage out of the city and the SUV continues to impress. With easy handling and soft suspension the Sportage makes for a smooth ride. Overall it doesn’t make for an overly exciting drive but let’s be honest, it’s most at home cruising up High Street and pulling up outside vulcan lane bagelry.

The Kia’s touchscreen also impresses thanks to its responsiveness and easy-to-use layout –  it actually feels like some thought was put into it; there’s no sense of a last minute decision here.

Although the interior feels solid, to me the overall design looks a bit outdated. The chunky heating dials are easy to use but take away from the interiors modern aspects.

Debatably the most important thing to mention is that the Sportage scored an impressive 5/5 in the NCAPS’s crash test. Presumedly we can put that down to the help of six airbags and electronic stability control fit to all models.

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Overall the 2016 Sportage proves itself as a head turner. It impresses behind the wheel just as much as it does looking at it. Kia have really stepped their game up this year so no doubt you’ll be seeing more of these on the road to come.

14 Comments

  1. I bought the base version at $29,999 which is fantastic value for money, a great car that has everything I ever need, it also had standard a reversing camera, rear parking sensors, but no LED Day Light running Lights, so I installed them myself and it looks great, also installed a chrome strip on the rear light clusters to create some contract between the red paint and lights, just used plastic strips, photos on link to my web page.

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  2. Not so keen on the front profile, I think it was designed in Germany, a rather strange choice, they always seem to favour very boxy out dated looking cars. I think the crucial challenge for the new Kia is how do eyes it match up to the mighty and very good looking Nissan Quashqai

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    1. The Kia Sportage 2016 was designed by Peter Schreyer. He’s a German automobile designer and has worked for Audi and Volkswagen in the past. The Nissan Quashqai is a nice looking vehicle too.

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  3. The specifications in this article are way off accurate. We have just bought an EX AWD and it does not have Satnav or lane assist. It does have front sensors though. Suggest if you like these, get yourself a brochure and take it for a test drive. You will be pleasantly surprised!

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    1. Hi Andre, We mentioned that the Kia is available in four specifications. For the sake of simplicity we didn’t go into great detail but in fact there are 4 more sub-specifications. You’re correct the EX AWD 2.4 petrol/diesel does not have satnav or lane departure assist but the LTD AWD 2.4 petrol/diesel does. We appreciate your comment but our facts are not “way off”. It would become an awfully boring read if we detailed all 8 specifications. But for anyone who is interested, all the information you need is here: https://kia.co.nz/assets/Uploads/Model-brochures/KIA150558-Sportage-2016-Brochure-WEB.PDF

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  4. When I saw the first photos of the new Sportage last year I didn’t like it at all, but over time you get used to the new design and now I think it looks very interesting, it grows on you and above all it is such a practical and spacious car and I was sold on it after a short testdrive, especially for that price of $29,990 for the LX version.

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