Already impressed by the base model Sportage, this week I got a crack at the 2016 Kia Sportage SLi Diesel.
The SLi is the mid-spec model in a three model range and up for testing is the diesel engine; a good comparison against last week’s petrol model.
Retailing from $37,990 the SLi diesel is not as immediate with its acceleration, taking a bit more of winding up but definitely feels more ballsy once it’s up to speed.
And the 400Nm of torque from the 2.0 litre engine is nothing to be sneezed at. Power too is higher than in the petrol churning out 136Kw.
A responsive six-speed automatic gearbox makes up the drivetrain and is the same found in every model configuration.
Wheel diameters also get progressively larger with 18” alloys fitted onto this grade in addition to AWD and a differential lock button on the console.
Other upgrades from the Kia Sportage Si are dual zone climate control, satellite navigation, auto wipers, front sensors, front fog lights LED DRLs and rear lights.
On the inside you get smooth leather seats, a powered driver’s seat adjustable up to ten directions, auto dimming rear view mirror and a colour LCD instrument display.
A neat feature I noticed were child proof rear door locks that can be controlled from the driver’s door controls preventing any littlies escaping unexpectedly.
The boot is the same size at 466 litres and has a bonus luggage net added in. If you need more space, the rear seats fold down almost flat with a quick release latch on the side of the seats or there’s always the roof rails up top.
You can always rely on Kia for substantial storage with pockets and bootle holders on all doors, four cup holders, large glovebox and centre bin and a handy storage well in the centre console with complementary auxiliary USB, 12V and line in ports.
The particular car I had a rather fetching coat of Fiery Red but this premium paint option will cost an extra $520.
The body is adorned with a gloss grille mesh and chrome door handles, a step up from the body coloured handles in the Sportage Si, and this combined with fog lights, alloys and streamlined shape make for one attractive package.
The middle of the range 2016 Kia Sportage SLi diesel comes with a good range of useful features and with a willing engine is a hard proposition to pass up for new SUV buyers.
Look out for the last of my Sportage reviews with the Kia Sportage Platinum range next week.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2016 Kia Sportage SLi Diesel
Engine: 2.0L diesel producing 136kW and 400Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Warranty: 7 year unlimited
Safety: Five stars
Origin: South Korea
Price: From $37,990