The 2019 Kia Sportage

2019 Kia Sportage 1.6 Diesel Review

The 2019 Kia Sportage
The 2019 Kia Sportage

Caroline drives the 2019 Kia Sportage!

The Kia Sportage took on a life of its own in Ireland with the launch of the third generation back in 2010. Accessibility and a stylish design ensured its presence on Irish roads in numbers.

The current generation of the Sportage was launched back in 2016, sporting (!) an even more sensuous design that always endeared the car to this reviewer. Coinciding with the Irish buyer's increasing appetite for SUVs, the Sportage is Kia’s bestselling model here and also one of Ireland's ten bestselling cars.

What's new in the 2019 Kia Sportage?

For Sportage fans, there’s now a new facelifted model on sale as we enter 2019, with some mild styling tweaks and changes to equipment and engines. Pricing starts from €29,815.

The familiar tiger nose grille is still there and the rather avantgarde lighting around the rear. In profile, the 2019 Kia Sportage is all but the same. Yet in fact there is a redesigned front bumper, grille and fog lamp housing. The facelift also introduces new full-LED headlamps with four-point LED daytime running lights on some models, and at the back there’s a new C-shaped LED light signature. The reversing lamp and reflectors are now integrated into the new rear bumper, which is finished with a flash of chrome across its base.

The interior of the 2019 Kia Sportage
The interior of the 2019 Kia Sportage

For all senses and purposes, the Kia Sportage is a very stylish SUV. There are also five new body colours, including the Blue Flame of the test car. The top of the range GT Line model also receives special cosmetic upgrades and 19″ alloys.

Inside the 2019 Kia Sportage

There is no change to dimensions and inside the Kia Sportage will seat five with decent accommodation all round. The Sportage is a very practical family vehicle with plenty of storage, rear seat space and a large square boot of 467 litres.

Inside the general layout of the cabin is retained but there’s a new steering wheel, revised driver instrument cluster, and the option of a new black-and-grey, two-tone upholstery. The ventilation and air conditioning controls have also been revised. Depending on trim level, the Kia Sportage comes equipped with a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system or a new ‘frameless’ 8.0-inch system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Material quality is generally good and the interior is easy to navigate and interact with.

The Kia Sportage range is very simple in that there is just one engine available, a new 1.6-litre diesel with 115 hp in manual versions or 136 hp in the automatic. This engine replaces the old 1.7-litre diesel and Kia claims that it is the cleanest diesel engine that they have ever made. There are K2, K3, K4 and GT Line trim levels with prices rising from €29,815 to €36,385 for a top of the range GT Line. Standard equipment includes 16″ alloys, roof rails, electric windows, 7″ touchscreen, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, rear parking sensors, air con and cruise control.

The 2019 Kia Sportage has a new 1.6-litre diesel engine
The 2019 Kia Sportage has a new 1.6-litre diesel engine

My test car was in the K4 trim and retails from €33,404. Equipment highlights included dual zone air con, leather upholstery, 19" alloys, wireless phone charger and a parking camera.

What's the Kia Sportage like to drive?

Mechanically nothing has changed under the skin during this update. On the road the Kia Sportage delivers a comfortable ride and competent handling that makes it a pleasant daily driver. The new diesel engine has plenty of torque to move the Sportage efficiently though it's still on the noisy side. Over a week of driving my fuel consumption was 6.1l/100km.

It’s very easy to see why the Kia Sportage is so popular with Irish buyers. Upgrades to this new model are small, but the new engine brings some improvements and in essence the Sportage is still a great SUV for its space, family friendly cabin and good road manners. In a crowded family SUV segment, the Sportage still manages to be stylish, practical and desirable.

The Kia Sportage is still a practical and desirable family SUV
The Kia Sportage is still a practical and desirable family SUV

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Kia Sportage 1.6-litre CRDi K4
Price: 
€33,404 (Range from €29,815)
Engine: 1.6-litre turbo diesel
Power:
115 hp
Torque: 280 Nm
0-100km/h: 
11.5 seconds
Top speed: 175 km/h
Economy: 
4.8-5.0l/100km
CO2 emissions:
126 g/km
Motor tax: 
€270 per year

Rear seating space in the Kia Sportage
Rear seating space in the Kia Sportage

The 2018 Kia Sportage has just arrived in Ireland

2018 Kia Sportage Launched In Ireland

The 2018 Kia Sportage has just arrived in Ireland
The 2018 Kia Sportage has just arrived in Ireland

An updated 2018 Kia Sportage has just arrived in Ireland, priced from €29,495.

Styling has been lightly revised, with the new Kia Sportage 'sporting' (!) a redesigned front bumper, grille and fog lamp housing.

There are new full-LED headlamps with four-point LED daytime running lights, and at the back there's a new C-shaped LED light signature. The reversing lamp and reflectors are now integrated into the new rear bumper, which is finished with a flash of chrome across its base.

There are a total of 5 new body colours and the GT Line model also receives special cosmetic upgrades and 19" alloys.

Inside the general layout of the cabin is retained but there's a new steering wheel, revised driver instrument cluster, and the option of a new black-and-grey, two-tone upholstery. The ventilation and air conditioning controls have also been revised. Depending on trim level, the 2018 Kia Sportage comes equipped with a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system or a new ‘frameless’ 8.0-inch system.

The 1.7-litre diesel has been replaced by a 1.6-litre diesel with either 115 or 136 ps, with emissions rated from 126 g/km for 115 ps models, and 123 g/km for higher-powered models (combined, WLTP, converted back to NEDC).

A six-speed manual transmission comes as standard. The higher powered diesel is also available with all-wheel drive and a seven-speed double-clutch transmission.

The 2018 Kia Sportage goes on sale in Ireland in K2, K3, K4 and GT Line trim levels. Standard equipment includes 16" alloys, roof rails, electric windows, 7" touchscreen, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, rear parking sensors, air con and cruise control.

James Brooks, Managing Director of Kia Motors Ireland, says: “The Sportage has been a major contributor to the development of the Kia brand here in Ireland. The C-SUV segment is one that particularly attracts Irish motorists and the Sportage is a model that is consistently on those consumers' consideration list."

He continued: “As our flagship SUV in Europe, the Sportage represents the best of Kia’s brand values – great design, innovative technologies, and high quality. The upgraded model remains as compelling as ever, with enhanced and cleaner engine technology , a refreshed design, and a series of new technologies to boost safety, comfort and convenience.”


Kia Sportage Ireland Review

Kia Sportage Review

Kia Sportage Ireland Review
The new Kia Sportage

The new Kia Sportage landed in Ireland earlier in 2016. This is the fourth generation of the popular compact SUV and Kia are hoping to build on the success of the outgoing model with improvements in efficiency, performance, refinement and drivability.

Kia did make real progress with this car’s predecessor, the third generation that is a common sight on Irish roads and has made the Sportage a household name in the burgeoning and fashionable compact SUV segment.

This is a brand with real prominence now in Ireland, one of the top ten selling carmakers here, and the Sportage has been a key driver in that growth with over 11,000 sold here to date.

With a strong new exterior design, which manages to both retain a classic Sportage profile but add much more definition and character, the new model certainly does look the part. There is a genuine rugged 4x4 look to the Sportage and it also has the height to indicate the same.

Of course to any petrolhead, the grille and front-end styling is strikingly similar to the Porsche Macan, which I think is a wondrous thing. Kia has pulled off the best bit of copycat styling since Ford started digging an Aston Martin grille.

Kia Sportage review Ireland
The new face of the Kia Sportage with Kia's now trademark 'tiger-nose' grille

Inside you can see the effort that has been made to inject the same sort of contemporary style into the cabin. It’s a mixture of black plastics, metalwork and stitched leather for a tactile finish. The design is simple and modern, and a 7” touchscreen infotainment and navigation system is standard on EX and above.

The Sportage is a five seater but increased exterior and interior dimensions mean that the new car is roomier than before. Rear legroom is generous and even the middle seat passenger can sit quite comfortably without feeling too cramped from either side. Cargo space has also grown from 465 litres to 503 litres and the sill is flat so it’s easy to slide large items in and out of the boot.

Diesels start at €27,995 in LX spec and standard equipment is good including 16” alloy wheels, front fog lights, roof rails, electric windows and mirrors, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, cruise control, and air con. EX models (from €29,995) add 17” alloys, touchscreen, sat nav, reversing camera, driver’s power seat, half leather upholstery, high beam assist and lane keep assist. The top of the range GSE (from €34,495) adds 19” alloys, sunroof, full leather, heated seats, power passenger seat, smart key and xenon lights.

Kia Sportage Ireland Review
A stylish new interior for the Kia Sportage with improved quality

A 1.7-litre diesel is available for front wheel drive models and a 2.0-litre diesel for all wheel drive. The 1.7-litre engine has been reworked to improve efficiency and the new car also happens to have a more aerodynamic design. With the addition of Idle Stop and Go technology, emissions have been reduced and motor tax is now at a low of €200 per year.

Soundproofing has been bolstered to improve in-car refinement and on the motorway the new Sportage is impressively quiet. The 1.7-litre diesel is a bit gruff stopping and starting around town and under hard acceleration, but it is not annoyingly harsh and I found its 115hp adequate power for the car. Despite the Sportage’s imposing presence, the gearing and light steering mean it’s a pleasant SUV to drive around town and suburbia. Updates have been made to the suspension to keep the car tighter through corners and while there is lean if you push it hard, there is loads of grip and it never feels too flaccid. The engineers have definitely had a go at the idea of driver feedback when tuning the steering too. It’s reasonably effective – the steering does weight up on the twisty stuff but does feel a little bit forced and artificial at times. There is some harshness over rough/uneven surfaces, but comfort levels are generally good.

In a market where there are many slightly elevated hatchbacks masquerading as off-roaders, Kia can be commended for managing to pull off the authentic SUV feeling in the Sportage, but at a price and with a level of standard kit that makes this car a great choice if you want ‘bang for your buck’. And that’s before I’ve even written the words 'seven year warranty'. You can see why the Sportage to date has made such an impact on the Irish market. The new 2016 model only improves again what its predecessor started with a more spacious and better finished cabin, and improvements to economy and refinement. And it’s not bad-looking either, is it?

Kia Sportage Ireland Review
Kia Sportage is a comfortable five seater that's well equipped and has the kerb appeal to mix with the big guys

Caroline Kidd

Model Tested: Kia Sportage 1.7D EX SR
Price: 
€31,095
Engine: 
1.7-litre turbo diesel
Power: 
115hp
0-100km/h:
11.5 seconds
Economy:
61mpg
CO2 Emissions: 
119g/km
Motor Tax: 
€190 per year