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Get a solid, practical drive from the Kia Sportage

The 2023 edition of Kia’s popular SUV offers power and practicality, if limited tech options, writes SHERYL GOLDSTUCK.

Behind the wheel of the Kia Sportage 2023, one gets the sense of power and stability. It is an easy and practical SUV to drive. It is designed to impress and offers a well-balanced package of features.  The Sportage has two engine options: a 1.6-liter turbocharged petrol engine and a 1.6-liter turbocharged diesel engine, both paired with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The petrol engine delivers an impressive 132 kW of power and 265 Nm of torque, while the diesel engine offers a respectable 100 kW of power and 320 Nm of torque. Performance-wise, the petrol engine takes the lead, but if fuel efficiency is your priority, the diesel engine is the way to go. I drove the petrol version and was impressed with the fuel efficiency. The Kia has good road handling and  manoeuvrability. I felt safe against the ever-terrifying taxi drivers of SA.

From the outside, the Sportage has a stylish exterior, sleek swept-back headlights, and an attractive sloping roofline. Step inside, and you will find a modern dashboard, comfortable seats, and ample legroom for passengers. If the boot cover is rolled away, there is plenty of space for kids’ school bags and sports equipment. The Kia Sportage is ideal for both daily commutes and weekend getaways.

The Sportage is generously equipped with features, such as a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a wireless charging pad, and a premium JBL sound system. While Android Auto or Apple Car Play is not wireless, it has a very smooth cable connection. 

The digital instrument cluster and infotainment system are both very responsive and easy to use, partly because the options are limited. The infotainment system can be used to control the radio, navigation, and climate control.

The two screens are seamlessly integrated, creating a single, wide display. This makes it easy to see all the information one needs, without having to take your eyes off the road. However, the instrument cluster can be difficult to read in direct sunlight.

The wireless charging pad is equipped with air vents, preventing the phone from overheating while charging. The sound system is modern and well balanced in the front and rear of the vehicle.

The Kia Sportage 2023 presents itself as an attractive option for those seeking a well-equipped, practical, and stylish compact SUV. It has  excellent performance, fuel efficiency, and array of features, it ticks many boxes.

Pricing starts at R585,995

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