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Review: 2021 Kia Sportage

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Review: 2021 Kia Sportage

The all-new Kia Sportage is packed with the latest technology and looks like it's from the future, both inside and out. Let's take a closer look at the latest version of Kia's best selling SUV.


Most people's first reaction when seeing the all-new Kia Sportage is 'look at that spaceship'. Few vehicles look as futuristic as the Kia Sportage, with its distinctive grill and sharply shaped headlights.

It's bigger than its predecessor, offering a wider stance and larger footprint - equally noticeable on the inside. Whether you like its rear end is up for discussion, but it definitely does fit with the overall pointy look of the Sportage. Let's take it for a spin!


It actually doesn't matter which engine you choose for the new Kia Sportage, as they all offer ample power and torque with impressive fuel economy. There are three engine choices: a 115kW/192Nm 2.0-litre non-turbo petrol four-cylinder, 132kW/265Nm 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol four-cylinder, and a 137kW/416Nm 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder.

The 2.0-litre petrol engine is front-wheel drive only with a choice of six-speed manual or automatic, while the 1.6-litre turbo-petrol and 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engines employ all-wheel drive and are paired to either seven-speed dual-clutch (petrol) or eight-speed automatic transmissions (diesel). Fuel usage sits around the 7.2L/100km.

Every variant offer a smooth and comfortable drive due to a well balance suspensions set up and light steering. Though the Sportage is a sizeable SUV, it drives like a compact sedan and handles as confidently.


Step inside the new Sportage and you're greeted by the centrepiece of the cabin: a curved, wrap around infotainment touchscreen and digital dashboard combination. It doesn't only looks really cool, it's also very functional, easy to use and has all the features (including Apple Carplay & Android Auto) you can imagine, including a comfort sounds mode.

You'll also find more air conditioning controls (front and back), air vents, USB points and cup holders in the middle, all within easy reach. Just like the outside, everything in the interior looks futuristic and very glossy.

The extra dimensions outside are mostly noticeable for the second row passengers, who have gained about 8cm of leg room and 7cm of head room. It feels roomy in the back, supported by 543L of cargo space through a 60:40 split back seat, which completely folded down offers no less than 1829 litres.


The Kia Sportage comes in a lot of different trim levels with several engine variants, too many to all list here.

It all starts with the Sportage S 2.0-litre petrol with a manual and FWD at just under $35k. The same model with an automatic sets you back another $1000, and if you want it with the 2.0-litre turbo diesel you're looking at just over $40k.

Next in line is the Sportage SX, which boosts the 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen instead of the 8.0-inch version and also gets you dual-zone climate control. This one comes in just under $40k for the 2.0-litre petrol manual FWD and tops out with the diesel just over $45k.

Then there is the SX+, which with the 1.6-litre turbo petrol AWD sits around $47k and with the diesel comes in just under $50k. For that you'll get keyless entry and start, leather and electric seats and a powered tailgate.

Top-of-the-line is the Sportage GT-line which comes with the curved display, panoramic sunroof and 360-degree camera amongst its options. For this one you'll have to fork out at least $50k for the 1.6-litre version, with the diesel variant sitting around the $55k mark.

Every variant in the range is covered by Kia’s 7-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, along with 7-year roadside assist and capped-price servicing.

With servicing, the Sportage needs to visit the workshop every 15,000km (or 12 months), and will cost $3988 over the seven years for the 1.6-litre turbo petrol, $3479 for the 2.0-litre petrol models, and $3672 for the diesel variant.


The Kia Sportage has grown in size and its futuristic design has most definitely grown on us when taking it for a ride. It's got the looks, the tech and above all the comfort to drive your whole family around in style, while making light work of eating up the kilometres on a long road trip.

Plus, the Kia Sportage won the 2022 Drive Car of the Year Medium SUV title recently, because of its 'unrivalled standard safety, practicality, in-car technology and driving dynamics', according to the jury. "This category was one of the most hard-fought of all the Drive Car of the Year categories this year, and it goes to show that Australian consumers are benefitting from this intense competition with some of the best quality, best value, safest and most advanced cars that manufacturers can produce. The Kia Sportage is without question a worthy winner of Drive Car of the Year Best Medium SUV".

With Kia's 7-year unlimited kilometre warranty and capped price servicing, you know you're in good hands for the long run!

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