Kia Sportage 2.0 Euro V Diesel Review: A step in the right direction

Kia Sportage 2.0 Euro V Diesel Review: A step in the right direction

OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
15 Jun 2013
What we like:
pros
Its sporty futuristic design. Decent handling for a large SUV. Spacious cabin and gargantuan boot capacity.
What we dislike:
cons
Firm ride when the going gets rough.

According to Kia, the 2.0-litre diesel under the bonnet is the ideal powerplant for the eco conscious. That doesn’t seem too far from the truth and even when compared with its European rivals, the carbon emissions for the Sportage remains competitive at just 189g/Km and falls into the neutral zone of the CEVS banding. Fuel consumption isn’t too shabby either at 13km/L.

That being said, the main reason for anyone to consider a diesel SUV is its hauling capacity. And with 392Nm of torque from as low as 1,800rpm through 2,500rpm, the Sportage Diesel serves up plenty for your hauling duties.

Underneath, the Sportage maintains the Tucson’s underpinnings which explains the electro-hydraulic steering and the front Macpherson strut and rear multi-link setup. While the Sportage remains faithful to driver inputs, it however lacks the feel and feedback that enthusiastic drivers crave.

That aside, the ride is quite compliant over most road surfaces but errs a little more on the firm side when the going gets rough. A concession given to the SUV’s impressive body control in the bends.

Despite its sporty exterior, the Sportage is endowed with a pretty impressive 4WD system that comes equipped with some decent kit. That includes a hill descent control and a locking differential. The intelligent 4WD system sends 100% of the available torque to the front wheels during normal city driving but is able to automatically transfer up to 50% of the available torque to the rear axle when slip is detected.

During our test, we attempted a short climb up a 20 degree incline over a grassy knoll with the differential lock activated. This the Sportage took in its stride without drama and gave the impression that it could be challengened further still.

Conclusion

The Sportage is an impressive package that offers significant performance for its price. It is a semi-capable off road vehicle masquerading as a sporty crossover SUV with equally decent handling on and off-road.

Credits: Story and Photos by Benjamin G. Kline

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