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2015 Kia Sportage Si Premium Review

Joel Helmes reviews the 2015 Kia Sportage.

2015 Kia Sportage Si Premium Review

2015 Kia Sportage Si Premium Review.

The 2015 Kia Sportage offers good value motoring in a package that is just about the right size for most users.

Big enough for a small family, while also being small enough to drive and park easily in the city and with a little ‘light-duty’ off-road ability the Sportage does a lot for not a lot of money.

It also still looks really sharp too, especially after a mild 2014 make-over.

I road tested and reviewed the petrol-powered flagship Kia Sportage Platinum last month, this month I’m in the Premium grade of the entry-level Sportage Si.

2015 Kia Sportage Si Premium Review

2015 Kia Sportage Si Premium Review.

This offering is just under $2,000 more than the equivalent automatic version of the Si and picks up a rear view camera, larger 17” alloy wheels, partial leather interior, some chrome highlights and auto headlights.

Priced from $29,990, the 2015 Kia Sportage Si Premium is only offered with the combination of a 2.0 litre petrol engine and six-speed auto transmission.

Once again, the petrol engine in the Sportage is an adequate unit. It produces 122kW and 205Nm and acceleration, power, and a claimed 8.6L/100km combined fuel consumption rate are all respectable, but the diesel-powered Sportage is a better offering and package.

The only issue is that the diesel range starts from $37,990 with the higher-spec SLi, though if you are planning on doing a lot of mileage in your Sportage it might be worth considering the more powerful diesel version.

2015 Kia Sportage Si Premium Review

2015 Kia Sportage Si Premium Review.

In this more budget-focussed grade of Sportage I noticed that the seats were not as comfortable and supportive as those in the Platinum. With quite a flat base and a very firm feel especially in the lower-back area, I was definitely a little uncomfortable after only a limited time behind the wheel.

There was also a little quirk displayed by this Sportage that took a little getting used to. The Si grade uses a traditional key ignition and when switched to the start position there is a delay for a moment or two that makes you think something is wrong.

A number of times this made me release the key, checking whether the vehicle was in Park or if there was something wrong. I have never encountered this in another Kia vehicle and it also caught out my colleague Simon Lai when he tried to start the Sportage.

I also wasn’t overly impressed by the location of the rear view camera display screen either.

2015 Kia Sportage Si Premium Review

2015 Kia Sportage Si Premium Review.

The display screen is incorporated into the rear view mirror and while this seems a logical location I find it disconcerting and much prefer the now almost universally standard on-dash display (as is what’s found in upper-spec Sportage models).

It’s also a little disappointing to note that in this grade of Sportage satellite navigation is not an option, literally!

Beyond those issues the 2015 Kia Sportage picks up points for a generally well-sized cabin, good cabin storage areas, surprisingly roomy boot and impressive ride and turning circle.

It also features a full five-star ANCAP safety rating and that industry leading Kia seven year warranty.

2015 Kia Sportage Si Premium Review

2015 Kia Sportage Si Premium Review.

Summing it up; naturally, when compared to the Platinum grade version this one is going to feel a little disappointing. The diesel engine is the better power plant, though the pricing might preclude some buyers.

If your budget won’t stretch that far then the Premium enhanced Sportage Si is a model worth considering.

Other small SUV/Crossovers to test drive include the Hyundai ix35, Ford Kuga, Nissan QASHQAI and Mitsubishi ASX.

NUTS and BOLTS – 2015 Kia Sportage Si Premium

Engine: 2.0 litre petrol producing 122kW and 205Nm

Transmission: Six-speed automatic

Warranty: Seven Years

Safety: Five stars

Origin: Slovakia

Price: From $29,990

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