Review: 2016 Kia Sportage Si Premium

Posted by Motorama in Vehicle Reviews

It’s hard to believe that Australians have been buying the Kia Sportage for nearly 20 years.

The current generation, on sale since 2010, has made the most impact on customers in terms of style, comfort and convenience. The mid-range Si Premium and the top-of-the-line Platinum have consistently been the top sellers for the Korean brand, so we got out in them both to test-drive two of the hottest entries in the compact SUV market.

Initial Impression

The Sportage used to be styled somewhat conservatively, in the classic two-box style that made it feel a little dated, as we got further into the 21st century. That all changed when Kia updated their design language with German designer Peter Schreyer at the helm.

The current generation Sportage is one of the most attractive compact SUVs on the market, with a sleek curved design that outpaces its rivals, particularly at this price point. If you covered the badges, you could easily fool someone into thinking the Sportage is much more expensive.

Inside the cabin is a pleasant place to spend your time; soft touch plastics and an easy-to-use layout highlight the practicality of the Sportage. The Platinum steps up even further, anchoring the dash around the 7” LCD audio-entertainment display over the 4.2” information display in entry models.

Overall, the Sportage is well done – hints of flair in interior and exterior design make it one of Kia’s most attractive models.


The Sportage was not the first to recognise that customers want versatility in driving options, but it does offer one of the best range of choices. Available in Two Wheel- and All Wheel Drive – with petrol and diesel engines under the hood – the softroader options give you the commanding driving position and spacious cabin without the added fuel use, while the All Wheel Drive models let you get into some moderately off-road driving, letting you explore a little off the beaten track. It’s never going to scale a mountain, but it won’t be unsettled by a little rough and tumble.

We got out in the 2WD petrol Si Premium as well as the top-model AWD diesel Platinum, and the differences are subtle.

In the Si Premium, the power delivery is good from the 2.0L unit, and for its size, the Sportage doesn’t rely on drinking fuel to achieve performance. The fuel gauge didn’t plunge downwards in heavy stop-start traffic, while highway driving felt unrestricted with no sacrifice of fuel economy when cruising at or above 100km/h.

The turbo-diesel powering the Platinum is a testament to how far diesel technology has come for passenger cars. The only way you’ll know that you’re driving a diesel is where you pull up at the petrol station. There is no awkward lag when taking off from a standstill, and no agricultural clatter while driving around. Fuel economy is a boon as well, with the Sportage’s 2.0L diesel sipping 7.2L/100km in a combined cycle of city and highway driving.

Cornering produces no lurching body roll associated with SUVs (but you are cushioned well by the seats), and the drive in both petrol and diesel models is satisfyingly engaging.


As families move en masse to the compact SUV rather than the station wagon or people mover, and young professionals take advantage of the competitive market to buy bigger and better cars for lower prices, the Sportage is there to fill every need.

Thanks to the mix of driving options, the Sportage looks as at home in the city as it does in the suburbs and out in the countryside.

Safety is excellent across the range, with stability and traction control plus six airbags and electronic braking contributing to a 5 Star ANCAP safety rating. Noise, vibration and harshness are also minimised thanks to an extra layer between the windscreen glass laminations, meaning that you can hear a whisper from the back seat even under hard driving.

Reversing camera is standard starting from the Si Premium model (the entry level Si makes do with reverse parking sensors), but because it doesn’t have the 7” LCD audio display, the Premium puts its reversing camera in the electro chromatic mirror. All models above the Si have both the mirror display as well as the larger screen in the dash.
With seating limited to 5, passengers enjoy generous legroom without the squeeze that comes from an extra row shoehorned into a compact SUV. Rear boot space fills up with 564 litres, while folding the rear seats down will net you 1,353 litres.


The entry level Si will set you back $26,990 for the manual 2WD petrol, this rises to $41,990 for the top-shelf AWD Diesel Sportage Platinum Auto.

As tested, the Si Premium 2WD Petrol will cost you $29,990 and the previously mentioned AWD Diesel Sportage Platinum is $41,990 driveaway.

All Sportage models receive a $1,000 gift card from Kia, which you can use to lower the driveaway price.

Servicing costs are kept under control by Kia’s 7-year unlimited kilometre warranty with 7 years capped price servicing. This varies for petrol and diesel models, but all Sportage’s are scheduled for service annually or every 15,000km. On average, petrol models cost $2,607 over 7 years of capped price servicing, with diesel models costing $3,608 over the same period. This varies from $254-$533 for petrol models, and $349-$561 for diesels; you can confirm with Motorama Kia for exact service costs by running the VIN through Kia’s online capped price service calculator.

Premium paint on the Sportage is $520, which is everything except Casa White.


The Sportage is an attractive proposition for young families as well as professionals who want step up into a well-built, stylish compact SUV for their busy lifestyles. In a heavily populated segment, the Sportage standouts thanks to its value proposition delivering a sophisticated drive experience for an unexpectedly low price point.

A 7 year unlimited kilometre warranty and 7 years capped price servicing add even more value to the Sportage’s package, so it’s clear to see why this compact SUV has soared up the sales charts to become a best-seller for Kia.

Speak to the team at Motorama Kia today to get a great deal on the Sportage and the entire Kia range.

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