Late in 2021 Kia launched the fifth generation Sportage mid-sized SUV. The Gens 3 and 4
were big seller in Australia for many years, frequently topping the sales charts in its class.
Not just topping them, but leaving the others in its class so far behind that their marketing
departments must have been close to tears.

The Gen 5 Kia Sportage is sold in four variants, entry-level S, mid-spec SX and SX+ and
top-grade GT-Line. Our review car for the week was the SX.

The front has a much bolder look its predecessor, with a gloss black grille stretched across
the width of the vehicle. It’s flanked by a pair of boomerang-shaped LED daytime running
lights which frame the diagonal LED headlights.

In profile there’s a semi-fastback look to new Sportage with the roofline sloping sharply
down to the integrated spoiler and angular taillights which are linked by a strong horizontal
line that gives a wider appearance.

Each spec level gets a different wheel style. All are machined finish alloys, 17-inch in the
S, 18-inch in the SX and 19-inch in the SX+ and GT-Line.

The cabin has an upmarket look and feel that’s impressive in a vehicle selling at a compa-
rable moderate price.

It’s now larger in all external dimensions than the outgoing model and that contributes to
extra interior space, especially in the rear seats. There’s stretch out space for four adults,
five without too much shoulder and hip running in the back. Only

There are three different levels of infotainment touchscreens: 8.0-inch in the S, 12.3-inch
LCD in the SX and SX+; and a curved display in the GT-Line that combines both the 12.3-
inch LCD infotainment screen with a 12.3-inch digital drive cluster. The lower-spec models
each get a 4.2-inch digital driver cluster.

The SX, SX+ and GT-Line get satellite navigation with 10-year updates as well as the ca-
pacity to personalise their preferences such as radio favourites and Bluetooth priorities.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both available. We found Bluetooth pairing to be fast
and intuitive, always a plus when you’re in our position of frequent swapping from vehicle
to vehicle during road testing.

As always, DAB+ dropped out far too often, not only when driving in our home area where
there are lots of high-rise buildings, but also when running on roads cut through hilly areas
or with lots of trees on verges.

There’s a huge choice of powertrains in new Sportage: including two petrol and one diesel
engines; manual and three different automatic transmissions; and either front or all-wheel

The S and SX models each get the naturally-aspirated MPI 2.0-litre petrol engine that car-
ries over from the outgoing Sportage. Peak outputs are 115 kW and 192 Nm and it comes
with the choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions and front-wheel

Available across all four variants is a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel that generates 137 kW and 416
Nm. It’s mated to an eight-speed auto and only comes with all-wheel drive. This was the
powertrain in our test car.

The top spec GT-Line comes with either the 1.6T-GDI or the 2.0 CRDI with eight-speed
automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive.

The Sportage SX+ gets the full menu choice with both of the above engines as well as a
new 1.6T-GDI engine producing 132 kW of power and up to 265 Nm turbo-petrol unit
linked to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

All models have seven airbags (including front-centre); autonomous emergency braking
with pedestrian and cyclist features; blind spot collision warning; rear cross traffic warning;
driver inattention alert; lane keeping and following assist; safe exit warning; intelligent
speed limit assist; rear parking sensors; multi-collision braking; reversing camera; auto-
matic headlights; and IsoFix child seat anchors.

As with all Australian Kia models there has been considerable local input into tuning
Sportage to suit our driving conditions and the likes of typical owners.

The result is improved ride and handling that combines comfort with stability even when
pushed reasonably hard. During our test period we covered close to 500 kilometres on our
usual selection of roads that included 100 km/h motorways, suburban streets, shopping
centres and hilly country roads. Some of the latter are in good condition, others have been
knocked around a fair bit by the recent heavy rains and floods.

We liked it, and suspect that many the ‘typical’ Aussie drivers will like it as well. It’s certain-
ly worth adding to your list of medium-large SUVs under consideration.

Our fuel consumption was impressively low – averaging just eight litres per hundred kilo-
metres around town and just five to six litres per hundred kilometres in our usual mixture of
country roads.

With its combination of striking new looks, a large choice of drivetrains, added safety fea-
tures and the impressive seven-year warranty the new Kia Sportage has plenty of offer.

Would we buy one? It’s larger than we need for our two-people-plus-a-dog family but other
than that it’s got a lot going for it.


S 2.0-litre 2WD petrol: $32,445 (six-speed manual), $35,000 (six-speed automatic)
S 2.0-litre 2WD turbo-diesel: $39,845 (eight-speed automatic)
SX 2.0-litre 2WD petrol: $35,000 (six-speed manual), $37,000 (six-speed automatic)
SX 2.0-litre AWD turbo-diesel: $42,400 (eight-speed automatic)
SX+ 2.0-litre 2WD petrol: $41,500 (six-speed automatic)
SX+ 2.0-litre AWD turbo-diesel: $42,400 (eight-speed automatic)
SX+ 1.6-litre AWD turbo-petrol: $43,500 (seven-speed DCT automatic)
GT-Line 1.6-litre AWD turbo-petrol: $49,370 (seven-speed DCT automatic)
GT-Line AWD 2.0-litre turbo-diesel: $52,370 (eight-speed automatic)
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your
local Kia dealer for drive-away prices..
SPECIFICATIONS (Kia Sportage GT-Line 1.6-litre turbo-petrol five-door wagon)
Capacity: 1.598 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 132 kW @ 5500 rpm
Maximum Torque: 265 Nm @ 1500 rpm
Fuel Type: Standard unleaded
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 7.2 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 164 g/km
DRIVELINE: Seven-speed dual clutch automatic
Length: 4660 mm
Wheelbase: 2755 mm
Width: 1865 mm
Height: 1680 mm
Turning Circle: 11.4 metres
Kerb Mass: 1643 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 54 litres
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Solid disc
Seven years / unlimited kilometres
Looks: 9/10
Performance: 7/10
Safety: 8/10
Thirst: 9/10
Practicality: 9/10
Comfort: 8/10
Tech: 8/10
Value: 8/10

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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