2016 Kia Sportage Platinum Road Test

2016 Kia Sportage Platinum Road Test and Review

Sibling rivalry is a fact of life in human families, and it seems to be the same in the automotive industry. That is if we take Kia as an example.

Last year, my Behind the Wheel colleagues awarded our coveted Car of the Year trophy to Kia’s redesigned, high-quality yet affordable, Sorento range.

Now for 2016, a fresh version of the Sorento’s baby sibling, the Kia Sportage, has been released, and it’s a case of ‘anything you can do, I can do better’.

In fact, there are already whispers that this mid-sized SUV from South Korea will be a firm contender for Car of the Year 2016!

Check out the look. New Sportage is handsome from any angle. Yes I know we always bang on about styling being subjective, but I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t find the new look appealing.

There’s a smart rendering of the redesigned family face, and an elaborate lighting setup - just try counting the driving lights and headlights!

The silhouette certainly makes a statement, and attention to detail extends to the elegant rear end treatment, that looks for all the world like something from Germany.

I started with the 2016 Sportage Platinum diesel - top of the range with lots of features - and in coming weeks plan to sample other less expensive models.

The new Sportage cabin is a delight, fit and finish seem spot-on.

The Sportage Platinum comes with stylish 19″ wheels, which absolutely look the part. Quality two tone upholstery with contrasting stitching sets off the fittings nicely.

There’s an upmarket feel throughout, from the steering wheel, to the smart new dash, and that panoramic sunroof.

There’s ample room for two adults in the back; the boot happily accommodates golf clubs, groceries and the like, and the car has a spacious feel.

The infotainment system is straightforward and easy to navigate, and the latest safety features are there, including blind-spot monitoring, lane departure and collision warnings and city emergency braking.

The 2016 Kia Sportage, with 4×4 on demand, rides so well that even the drudgery of the regular commute becomes a pleasant experience. The six-speed automatic transmission is smooth, handling is predictable and well sorted.

There’s quick acceleration off the mark with plenty in reserve when on the move. The 2.0 litre turbo diesel produces 136kW and 400Nm.

While Kia claims fuel consumption of 6.8 L/100km, with my driving it was more like 9.5L/100km, but that might just be my driving! Stop/start technology was about the only thing missing from the car as tested.

The top of the range 2016 Kia Sportage Platinum feels classy, up market and, at $45,990 before on-roads, could be a good choice for buyers in the highly competitive mid-sized SUV market.

I wouldn’t be surprised if it makes it to the finals of this year’s Car of the Year awards.

NUTS and BOLTS - 2016 Kia Sportage Platinum

Engine: 2.0 litre turbo-diesel producing 136kW and 400Nm

Transmission: Six-speed automatic

Warranty: Seven years

Safety: Five stars

Origin: South Korea

Price: Platinum from $45,990

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