Kia Motors have certainly done it again producing another winner with the updated stablemate the 2016 Kia Sportage Platinum.
This is my third look at the Kia Sportage finishing up with the top of the range model after rides in the Sportage Si and Sportage SLi. But all possesses high build quality, ride quality and bang for your buck no matter which variant you pick.
I was lucky enough to test drive both Platinum varieties – the 2.4L petrol and 2.0L diesel engine.
Being packed full of features is no surprise for a top of the line model but true to form, Kia offers a comprehensive inventory and value for money.
The petrol Platinum is priced from $43,490 while retail prices for the diesel Platinum start from $45,990.
The roof is worth another mention as it’s a full size panoramic but also serves as a sunroof with a powered front half able to open up and let you stick your head out like you’re on Hollywood Boulevard (not that we advocate that).
Given an external makeover, the Kia Sportage has a fresh, attractive appeal with a new grille and tail light configuration. The Platinum is fitted with a sports kit, gloss grille mesh and silver door handle highlights. Any premium paint options cost an extra $520.
Occupants will have peace of mind when it comes to safety with the usual airbags and front sensors as well as blind spot detection, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning and forward collision warning systems all uniting to warrant the five star safety rating.
Also at the driver’s fingertips are auto wipers and washers, dual zone climate control, LED DRLs, LED rear lights, high beam assist, push button start and auto dimming rear view mirror.
Comfort in the front is paramount with powered front seats for both driver and passenger all upholstered in smooth leather and a leather flat bottomed steering wheel paddle shifters.
The instrument cluster is clear and easy to read with a colour LCD driver info screen which displays a tyre pressure monitor amongst others (which actually came in handy in a real life situation when I had a run-in with a screw).
When you’re not battling runaway hardware, the Kia Sportage Platinum is a great performer on the road.
Boasting a 2.4L petrol engine, this is a step up from the 2.0L petrol and eliminates any lag or lack of responsiveness experienced in the lower models.
Capable of tops of 135kW and 237Nm of power and torque it’s fairly brawny but there’s a sport mode if you need a bit more bite.
In the case of the diesel version, the drivetrain is no different from that of the lower spec models - a six-speed automatic transmission coupled with the 2.0L turbo diesel engine delivering a chunky 400Nm of torque as well as 136kW of power.
Acceleration is not so immediate as in the bigger petrol engine but definitely has a drive that feels more solid and meaty. If made to work you do start to hear some diesel noise but the internal insulation is outstanding as always.
Handling in both is exceptional with direct, though very light, steering and an impressively tight turning circle. For any surfaces that aren’t sealed, there’s AWD differential lock on hand.
However, and this is always a gripe with me, the upper spec model is presented with larger rims which are less comfortable than the just as capable 17” or 18” alloys.
Other than that this SUV is another high standard product that’s hard to fault.
The Kia Sportage is a definite contender for this year’s Behind the Wheel Car of the Year.
Having driven the range of models on offer, my pick of the bunch would probably be the diesel SLi at $37,990. On the other hand if you have a little more cash to splash then the Platinum with the larger petrol engine and additional features would be the go.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2016 Kia Sportage Platinum
Engine: 2.4L petrol producing 135kW and 237Nm
or 2.0L turbo diesel producing 136kW and 400Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Warranty: 7 year unlimited
Safety: Five stars
Origin: South Korea
Price: From $43,490