Kia Sportage Platinum is a generously equipped, beautifully made, great driving and stylish jewel in Kia’s crown
Kia has struck recent success with – let’s be honest here – virtually all of its new models, including the highly acclaimed Sorento full-size SUV. When it came to renewing the Sportage compact SUV, Kia had their work cut out for them as they not only had to match their own high standards, but compete with and potentially beat rivals such as the Toyota RAV4, Hyundai Tucson, Mitsubishi Outlander and even some versions of Holden’s Captiva.
We sampled the flagship Kia Sportage Platinum to find out if Kia has created another winner.
What we like:
- Equipment levels
- Almost luxurious and spacious cabin
- Punchy and frugal engine
Not so much:
- That frontal styling isn’t for everyone
- No Apple CarPlay or voice control
- Diesel engine can be noisy
- No adaptive cruise
The Kia Sportage Platinum’s interior design seems to be a combination of Sorento Platinum and Optima GT interiors. There’s a genuine premium feel to the design and materials, and, that Audi-esque feel is ever present, thanks to Kia’s design boss, Peter Schreyer.
All Australian-delivered Kia Sportage Platinum models are fitted with Kia’s GT Line styling package as standard which includes a number of styling upgrades including a thick flat bottomed steering wheel and red stitching, to give the cabin a sportier look.
All buttons are chunky, are easily legible and fall within quick and easy reach. Kia’s touchscreen infotainment system with satellite navigation is relatively easy to use, but still misses out on Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, software that is increasingly making its way into rivals, including the Sportage’s cousin, the Hyundai Tucson. Voice control is another feature that is nowhere to be had.
However, like the Optima GT, there’s also wireless mobile phone charging as well as USB and auxiliary inputs for media devices.
The Sportage Platinum interior is not only well made and well thought out, it’s also well equipped. Occupants enjoy cream and grey two tone leather trim, with front seat passengers treated to seats heating and cooling. There’s dual zone climate control, a decent stereo along with a panoramic glass roof.
All five seats are supportive and well padded, and rear legroom is especially exceptional. The rear cargo area is rated at 466 litres. Kia Sportage Platinum models are also fitted with Kia’s intelligent handsfree tailgate. Either open the tailgate via the keyfob or stand at close proximity for three seconds and that rear will rise automatically.
Under the Bonnet
The Kia Sportage Platinum we tested was fitted with a 2.0 litre turbo diesel engine – a 2.4 litre petrol four is also available – that develops 136kW @ 4000rpm and 400Nm @ 1750-2750rpm. The engine has plentiful torque for most driving situations and it can overtake with aplomb.
The six-speed auto shifts quickly and smoothly, and should you be in a sporty mood, there are steering wheel mounted shift paddles.
Kia claims that average fuel consumption of 6.8 litres per 100 kilometres, however we found 8.5 litres was more accurate.
On the Road
Blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert and automatic emergency braking are a number of safety driving aides fitted to the Sportage Platinum as standard. There’s also an automated parking system, which’ll even help you reverse parallel park.
On the road, the Sportage Platinum rides with comfort and solidarity and for a medium SUV it handles rather well too, especially in built up urban areas where it’ll be spending the bulk of its time.
Should one wish to venture out of metropolis, there’s the lockable all-wheel drive system which should provide enough grip and versatility to reach one’s favourite camping spot without much fuss.
The Kia Sportage is backed by Kia’s class leading seven year/unlimited kilometre warranty.
Name: Kia Sportage Platinum
Engine: 1995cc turbo diesel engine, 136kW @ 4000rpm and 400Nm @ 1750-2750rpm
Price: $45,990 plus on road costs
Options: Metallic paint $520
Country of Origin: Korea