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2022 Kia Sportage GT-Line Review

December 19, 2021
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Bowen

Bowen's Report Card


2022 Kia Sportage GT-Line Review

THE BOWEN SCORE

“It has all the safety technology you need, an athletic, muscular and distinct look”

It’s fair to say many SUVs look more than similar. However, the 2022 Kia Sportage does its very best to rise from the SUV plaugue. I reckon it has enough road presence to circumvent the same-same trend. Recently, I spent a week in the top of the range Kia Sportage GT-Line!

Performance

The as tested Jungle Wood Green example here is fitted with a 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine. There’s also a 2.0 petrol and diesel option.

The turbo produces 132kW at 5500rpm and 265Nm that falls between 1500rpm and 4500rpm.

It’s paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch (DCT) transmission with all-wheel drive (AWD). The turbo unit is happy to take regular unleaded and can hold 54 litres in the tank.

The Drive

I found the all-new Sportage to be almost perfect, but…

There is one major issue I simply must mention. The turbo petrol engine and DCT combo is disappointing, at times.

The new model is substantially bigger than the outgoing model, For example it’s 175mm longer.

The extra heft does blunt both power delivery and cornering prowess. In fact, under the drivers sun visor is a graphic that warns you it may well roll over in certain circumstances. That’s just physics for all SUVs, so there’s no need to panic.

The DCT transmission is frustrating, as they often are. I found the seven-speed to hesitate and get a tad confused too often for my liking.

Often I have to check myself via my own filter. In this case it did cause me to ask the following question. Just how many SUV owners are really after super sharp dynamics?

During my week with vehicle I had the opportunity to take an off-grid run home via a dirt track on multiple occasions. The clever AWD system really helped at sorting out the wet and sandy surface.

Heck you can even lock the rear diff.

Design

When I first jumped in the hot seat I said to myself, holy moly, That’s a phrase I use instead of holy f##k, just to be clear.

Honestly take a look at it, there’s a massive 12.3-inch curved monitor that looks like a screen that you’d find in a new Mercedes-Benz, that brand uses a screen often referred to as the “plank”. In this case, there’s a discreet bend, much like the iPhone 6 fiasco, when you sat on it.

The interior itself immediately evokes a sense of luxury. At first glance it’s on par with anything from Audi, BMW or Mercedes-Benz. In terms of fit and finish, it’s stunning.

Look closer and yes, there are some harder wearing plastics and built to price materials. However, the perception of quality is the best I’ve seen in this mid-SUV class.

Which is a good thing because it has significant competition like the Toyota RAV4, which can be had as a hybrid, making it a pretty big winner in this segment.

On the design front it’s best to start on the outside. I mean, it’s pretty full on right? Check out those boomerang shaped daytime running lights. The overall silhouette that tapers back to an almost fastback-style tailgate. The cargo space sits at 543 litres, which is around 16 per cent bigger.

I guess you could say the design is distinctive. There are creases left, right and centre along with a completely new interpretation of the Kia “Tiger Nose Grille”.

The ideal angle is side-on, some might find the rest of it a little too confronting. Jump in and straight away you’ll notice there is no gear shifter. Instead there’s a rotary style dial in the centre console. It makes for a clean, modern and more spacious feeling space.

Technology

There are some very clever features, for a Kia. I love the lower touchscreen, one that you’re able to alter via one press to flick between climate controls and media, settings and navigation controls. Actual buttons are so 2020. Highlights include:

  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
  • Leather seats with suede upper trim
  • 8-wayDriver’s seat with memory function
  • Power passenger seat adjustment
  • Heated/ventilated front seats
  • Bi-LED headlights (projector type)
  • Full-LED tail lights
  • Shift-by-wire gear selector
  • Wireless phone charger
  • Ambient interior lighting
  • LED interior lighting
  • Parking Collision Avoidance (reverse)
  • Surround-view cameras with 3D view

Unusually these days there is at the very least wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. However, wireless Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay is available on the base S model.

Unless I’ve completely taken leave my senses it’s not available on the other three grades that being the SX, SX+ and the as tested GT Line.

 

Safety

In this day and age, it’s almost compulsory to get a five star ANCAP or Euro NCAP rating. The Sportage is yet to receive a rating but given the platform is based on the Hyundai Tucson, it will score the five stars.

There’s a stack of active and passive safety features including:

  • ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) with EBD & ESC (Electronic Stability Control)
  • DBC (Downhill Brake Control)
    HAC
  • (Hill-start Assist Control)
  • TSA (Trailer Stability Assist)
  • MCB (Multi-Collision Braking)
  • AEB (Autonomous Emergency Braking) – car, pedestrian, cyclist & junction
  • LKA (Lane Keeping Assist) with line/road edge detection
  • LFA (Lane Following Assist)
    BCW (Blind Spot Collision Warning) with RCCW (Rear Cross Traffic Collision Warning)
  • BCA (Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist) with RCCA (Rear Cross Traffic Collision Avoidance)
  • DAA+ (Driver Attention Alert with Lead
  • Vehicle Departure Alert)
  • SEW (Safe Exit Warning)
  • ISLA (Intelligent Speed Limit Assist)

There’s also a front centre airbag, which is still a newish innovation on any vehicle. Its prevents driver/front passenger head to head clashes during T-bone type accidents.

Comfort

There are five seats with leather appointed material with what Kia claim is artificial suede upper treatment. Irrespective of cows being involved or not, they do feel rather premium. The driver’s seat can be adjusted in eight different combinations with two-way power lumbar support. The front passenger doesn’t miss out either, with an eight-way power adjustable seat.

The steering wheel even cops a little bit of leather too.

There’s a multifunction trip computer right in the middle of the instrument cluster. Two USB chargers are up front. One USB-A and 1 USB-C fast charger. A 12-volt power outlet can be found in the boot and front tray.

Cupholders are spread around with four all up, two in the front console and two in the rear centre armrest. Four bottles holders occupy the side door pockets.

The GT-Line scores a sliding rear storage tray and cargo cover which is retractable plus a luggage net.

Humans in the back don’t miss out on rapid cooling thanks to rear ventilation vents.

The front seats can also be heated and cooled.

Value For Money

If you need to have a top of the range medium sized SUV, you’re also going to pay a lot of money. The as tested 2022 Kia Sportage GT-Line 1.6 litre turbo with AWD has a driveway price of $51,990.

The 2.0-litre diesel AWD sits at $54,990. You can enter the new Sportage lineup via the 2.0-litre petrol FWD S model, which costs $34,690 drive-away and comes with a six-speed manual.

Who is buying that? I have no idea. I’m tipping maybe one or two people worldwide.

Fuel economy for the 1.6-litre turbo is rated at 7.2L/100km. If you can achieve that, I will send you a prize.

The diesel averages 6.3L/100km while the 2.0-litre petrol averages 7.6L/100km for the six-speed manual or 8.1L/100km for the six-speed automatic.

Kia offers a seven-year/unlimited kilometre warranty. That includes a capped price servicing plan. Interestingly, if you do go for the petrol turbo, the service intervals are at 10,000km as opposed to 15,000 for the other petrol and diesel model or every 12 months whatever comes first. So, you’re looking at payments of $323, $573, $422, $783, $364, $851 and $672.

What I Love

It’s good to get in an SUV that doesn’t look like the one next door. There are some streets that look like they should feature on the Truman Show, the SUV design landscape is rather bland.

Bowen’s Report Card

Looking at some competitors, I’ll just give you a quick summation of my views. It’s up against cars like the Volkswagen Tiguan, that’s a little more premium. I’m a huge fan of Toyota RAV4 hybrid variants. I would probably choose that simply because I’m rather pragmatic when it comes to buying cars. The Mazda CX-5 is showing its age while the Hyundai Tucson is superb and the natural enemy of the Sportage. The Honda CRV is there as well, but I think it’s crap. The all-new Kia Sportage GT-Line is a fantastic offering. It has all the safety technology you need, an athletic, muscular and distinct look. Plus a world class interior at a great price, lots of space and the benefit of all-wheel drive. It’s let down by an annoying transmission and underdone engine, so get the diesel.

Having said all that, it does deserve a very high score. I’m prepared to give it an 87 out of 100.