More safety features, even better value: the updated Kia Sportage range

Kia South Africa today introduces a revised line-up of its multi-award-winning Sportage range, building on the success of the model since its local introduction in September 2022.

The latest Sportage has garnered acclaim from customers and critics alike for its future-forward design, high-quality interior finishes and vast list of standard features, bringing life to Kia’s multiple global awards for quality and reliability.

At launch, Sportage set out to lead by example in the midsize SUV segment. It not only bears testimony to Kia’s new design language, Opposites United, with its dynamic and assertive road presence, but also provides customers with an interior that is state-of-the-art and at the forefront of the midsize SUV segment. It truly is a vehicle that brings life to Kia’s multi-year first place ranking in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study.

“We have long maintained that Sportage is a flagbearer of the Kia brand’s pioneering DNA and that it has always been a car of ‘firsts’ for the brand,” comments Gary Scott, CEO of Kia South Africa. “We are very proud of the current Sportage and take great joy in that fact that it has consistently garnered favour amongst press and customers alike in a segment where customers are spoilt for choice. The variety of accolades it has gathered in just more than a year reinforces our belief that Sportage truly is the ultimate urban SUV.”

In June this year, the South African Guild of Mobility Journalists declared it the best mid-size SUV introduced in 2022, awarding it with a category win in the annual South African Car of the Year competition. A multitude of publications echoed this sentiment, recognising the Sportage’s outstanding premium value offering as a stand-out in the market. More recently, declared the Sportage CRDi EX a finalist in the publication’s authoritative Consumer Awards, while in November, Car Magazine named it the Best Buy in the midsize SUV category of the publication’s authoritative Top 12 Best Buy Awards for 2024.

Frugality to the fore

Kia’s continuous evaluation of market trends and customer needs ensures that its product ranges offer customers the best combination of features, benefits and value for money. In a segment where diesel-powered options are becoming fewer, the introduction of the 1.6 CRDi powertrain to the Sportage line-up in May this year offered a solution to the many South African customers who enjoy the better power delivery and increased fuel efficiency that comes with a turbodiesel engine.

The 1,582cc Common Rail Direct Injection diesel engine delivers 100 kW of power at 4,000 r/min, with 320 Nm of torque available between 2,000 and 2,250 r/min. It completes the 0- to 100 km/h sprint in 11,4 seconds, with a top speed of 180 km/h. CO2 emissions are rated at 129 g/km in the combined cycle. Going forward, the entry-level LX and EX models in the Sportage line-up will be on offer only with the 1.6 CRDi engine.

“The 1.6 diesel engine, paired with Kia’s 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, has found favour especially amongst customers who prioritise practicality and efficiency,” comments Stephen Crosse, Sales and Marketing Director at Kia South Africa. “These models strike the optimal balance between power, performance and frugality at a price point where it’s truly unrivalled without any compromises on standard specification or value for money.”

The punchy 1.6 T-GDi powertrain remains available in the three GT-Line models in the range as the perfect companion to its sportier positioning. The 1,598cc turbocharged Gasoline Direct Injection engine delivers 132 kW of power at 5,500 r/min, with 265 Nm of torque available between 1,500 and 4,500 r/min. It allows the Sportage to reach the 100 km/h mark in 8,8 seconds, with a top speed of 201 km/h. CO2 emissions are rated at 149 g/km in the combined cycle.

Advanced technology for safety

The fifth generation Sportage is equipped with a MacPherson strut type suspension at the front and a four-link type set-up at the rear. The combination results in an SUV with a refined, stable and comfortable ride with agile and dynamic handling, supported by an advanced steering system that has been meticulously tuned to help bring these qualities together. It is underpinned by a compact wheelbase of 2,680mm, a width of 1,865mm, length of 4,515mm and height of 1,650mm. This has resulted in a package that is class-leading for legroom, headroom and luggage capacity (591 litres VDA).

The complete Sportage line-up already benefits from a raft of active and passive safety features, including an Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC), Downhill Brake Control (DBC) and Trailer Stability Assist (TSA).

All Sportage models include a total of six airbags: a driver’s airbag, front passenger airbag, side airbags, and side curtain airbags. ISOFIX child seat anchors are also a standard inclusion across the range, as is Smart Entry with Push Button Start, as well as an electric parking brake with auto-hold functionality.

A variety of Kia’s acclaimed in-house developed Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) technology was previously also included on the GT-Line derivatives. However, as of this month, Kia has added these features across all models. Regardless of which derivative in the range a customer opts for, Lane Follow Assist and Lane Keeping Assist is included as standard, as is Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA).

“There are a wide variety of factors that contribute to South Africa’s alarming high road fatality rate, including factors such as the general roadworthiness of cars on the road, speeding, unsafe pedestrian behaviour and distracted driving,” comments Crosse. “Features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have become as much a safety feature as a convenience feature, but with the rapid advances in technology, we can now include a range of active safety systems to help drivers avoid collisions even better.”

Lane Follow Assist and Lane Keeping Assist work alongside the standard Blind Spot Warning system, with the former using cameras and radar to ensure the vehicle is electronically aided to stay in its lane. Should the vehicle veer over into the adjacent lane without indicating, the system automatically assists steering to prevent the vehicle from entering the adjacent lane. If the lane markings are of poor quality, the Lane Follow Assist system automatically reverts to following the vehicle ahead of the Sportage to aid steering for a certain period of time.

Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) helps to avoid collisions with objects in front of the vehicle while driving. If the preceding vehicle suddenly slows down, or if a forward collision risk is detected, such as a stopped vehicle, a pedestrian, or a cyclist in front of the Sportage, FCA provides a warning. After the warning, if the risk of collision increases, FCA automatically assists with emergency braking of the vehicle.

An exemplary value proposition.

All Sportage models ship as standard with Kia’s industry-leading Unlimited Kilometre/5-year warranty, inclusive of Roadside Assistance. In addition, a pre-paid 6-year / 90,000 km service plan is included to give customers peace of mind and predictability when it comes to vehicle maintenance.

“Kia’s industry-leading unlimited kilometre warranty bears testimony to the faith we have in the quality and reliability of our vehicles, while the prepaid service plan across the range gives customers additional peace of mind and predictability of spend in regard to vehicle maintenance,” comments Crosse. “The standard inclusion of more advanced driver assistance systems across the range makes the Sportage offering unrivalled in its segment, with a truly unbeatable value proposition.”

Recommended retail pricing for the Sportage range, effective 1 November 2023, is as follows:

Kia Sportage 1.6 CRDi LX:                             R 637,995

Kia Sportage 1.6 CRDi EX:                            R 691,995

Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi GT-Line:                   R 713,995

Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi GT-Line Plus:           R 741,995

Kia Sportage 1.6 CRDi GT-Line Plus:            R 765,995

Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi GT-Line S:               R 798,995

The revised Kia Sportage line-up is on sale immediately.