2022 was a bumper year for Kia. With total sales of 78,330 the Korean manufacturer
finished third in the overall sales race behind Toyota and Mazda, the company’s first-ever
podium finish. Along the way Kia also won family bragging rights by outselling sibling
Hyundai for the first time.
Star performer for Kia in 2022 was the fifth-generation Sportage which arrived at the start
of the year and accounted for almost a quarter of the brand’s total sales.
As with the previous model Sportage comes in four variants, S, SX, SX+ and GT-Line, with
the choice of petrol or diesel engines and two- and four-wheel drive.
Although we’re told that the styling of the latest Sportage has polarised opinions we love it,
as presumably do the nearly 19,000 people who bought one during 2022.
The front has a bold look with the new gloss black grille stretched across the width of the
vehicle and flanked by a pair of boomerang-shaped LED daytime running lights. While the
similarity is probably coincidental, we reckon they’re modelled on boomerangs – that’s our
story and we’re sticking to it!
In profile there’s a new semi-fastback look with the roofline sloping down to an integrated
spoiler and angular taillights which are linked by a strong horizontal line that gives the car
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 of Sportage has been upgraded and now has a more upmarket look and feel
even in the lower-level SX that we drove.
The extra width of MY22 Sportage translates into more interior space all round, especially
in the rear where there’s comfortable space for two adults — three without too much
shoulder and hip rubbing.
Rear seat passengers do miss out on many of the features that we’re becoming used to
including storage spaces, air conditioning controls and USB ports. There is a large folding
centre armrest with two drink holders.
Boot space is pretty good at 543 litres with the rear seatbacks in place, expandable to
1829 litres when they’re folded. SX+ and GT-Line have a powered bootlid.
Another plus, at least in our opinion, is that all Sportage models get a full-size spare wheel
under the boot floor.
ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
The choice of Sportage powertrains could hardly be more impressive. There are two petrol
and one diesel engines; manual and three different automatic transmissions; and either
front or all-wheel drive.
The S, SX and SX+ each get a naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre petrol engine that carries over
from the outgoing Sportage. Maximum outputs are 115 kW at 6200 rpm and 192 Nm at
4500 revs. Both S and SX have a six-speed manual option while all three get a six-speed
automatic transmission and front-wheel drive only.
A 2.0-litre turbo-diesel is available with all variants. It generates 137 kW and 416 Nm and
is mated to an eight-speed auto and only comes with all-wheel drive.
The third engine option is a new 1.6T-GDI turbocharged petrol engine producing 132 kW
of power and up to 265 Nm of torque. It’s available with both the SX+ and GT-Line and
comes with seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and AWD.
Sportage comes with three different 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 screen with a 12.3-inch digital driver cluster. The lower-spec models each
get a basic 4.2-inch LCD driver cluster.
The SX, SX+ and GT-Line get satellite navigation with 10-year updates as well as the
capacity to personalise their preferences such as radio favourites and Bluetooth priorities.
All variants get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless in the S (which doesn’t have
SatNav) but wired in the three high-spec models which do.
Wireless smartphone charging is only available with the GT-Line.
Kia Sportage got the maximum 5-star ANCAP rating when tested in 2022 under the more
Standard safety features across the range include seven airbags, autonomous emergency
braking with pedestrian and cyclist features, lane keeping and following assist, intelligent
speed limit assist, rear cross traffic warning, multi-collision braking, reversing camera
automatic headlights, and IsoFix child seat anchors in the outer rear seats.
For the careless driver there’s also driver inattention alert, safe exit warning, and blind spot
Sportage S gets rear parking sensors only, the others add front sensors.
The height of Sportage makes for relatively easy access. And, once settled, the front seats
are firm, supportive but still comfortable and bode well for long-distance trips.
There’s excellent visibility in all directions with large doors, windows and side mirrors
together with the sloping bonnet all contributing. The steering wheel is reach and height
Start-up in both S and SX is through an old-style key-in-ignition which we actually still
prefer – at least you always know where the key is. Having said that it’s pretty rare
nowadays and we did spend most of the week tossing the key into the centre console and
then having to scramble around retrieving it. SX+ and GT-Line have push button start/stop
Likewise, only SX+ and GT-Line get a powered driver’s seat with the passenger also
catered for in the GT-Line. All Sportage variants do get powered driver’s lumbar support.
As with most Australian Kia models there has been considerable local input into tuning
Sportage to suit local conditions. The result is improved ride and handling that combines
comfort with stability even when pushed reasonably hard.
Steering is direct and responsive.
Fuel consumption is listed at 8.1 litres per 100 kilometres from the naturally-aspirated 2.0-
litre engine in the SX that we tested. We averaged 9.2 L/100km. By comparison, the
claimed usage from the 1.6-T engine is 7.2 L/100km and 6.3 with the diesel.
With its combination of striking new looks, spacious interior, large choice of drivetrains,
added safety features and the impressive seven-year warranty the new Kia Sportage has
plenty of offer.
AT A GLANCE
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 SX 2.0-litre petrol five-door wagon)
Capacity: 1.999 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 115 kW @ 6200 rpm
Maximum Torque: 192 Nm @ 4500 rpm
Fuel Type: Standard unleaded
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 8.1 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 184 g/km
DRIVELINE: Six-speed automatic
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4660 mm
Wheelbase: 2755 mm
Width: 1865 mm
Height: 1665 mm
Turning Circle: 11.4 metres
Kerb Mass: 1650 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 54 litres
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Solid disc
Seven years / unlimited kilometres