Edging ahead

Powering the Sportage's front wheels is the familiar Theta II 2-litre motor that also powers the Forte Koup, Hyundai Tucson, Hyundai i45 and other models within the Hyundai-Kia Group. The 1998cc four-pot unit makes a healthy and competitive 166bhp at 6200rpm.

With up to 197Nm of torque available at 4600rpm, the Sportage's motor lacks the strong mid-range pull of more advanced direct injection turbocharged units that European manufacturers offer these days. Outright performance is more than sufficient though, the 1.4 tonne Sportage can accelerate to 100km/h from rest in a competitive 10.6 seconds, with top speed rated at 182km/h. The normally aspirated Subaru Forester 2.0X will sprint from rest to 100km/h in a much slower 12.7 seconds in comparison.

Refinement though, isn't the Theta II's forte. It can sound pretty harsh and strained when you give it some stick. Thankfully, the Sportage's cabin is well insulated from engine and road noise. Drive the Sportage serenely and you'll never notice the engine's lack of refinement at high revs.

Like the Tucson, the gearbox is Hyundai-kia's new six-speed torque converter unit that is also used in the i45, Tucson as well as in the Forte models soon. With six ratios to play with, both performance and efficiency can be maximized. In terms of shift quality, the Sportage's gearbox is every bit is as smooth shifting and intuitive as the best torque converter units from the German brands. A ‘+/-‘ sequential manual mode is standard on all Sportage models.

A modern and contemporarily styled cabin matches the purposeful looking exterior. Up front, the driver gets an electrically adjustable seat on the SX model here and the dashboard is similarly styled to those in Kia's recent models which means switchgear that not only looks good but tactile to the touch as well as attractive instruments. Everything is ergonomically sound but some of the surfaces on the dash feel a tad too hard and lack quality.

Utility wise, the Sportage's interior offers plenty of useable compartments to store odds and ends - there are large door bins as well as substantially sized compartment under the centre armrest and so on. At the rear, there's a near flat floor design for the passenger sitting in the centre to savour. Leg and headroom are up with the class best and the seat bench is generously sized for good under thigh support. The boot offers a voluminous load area but the floor is a tad high due to the full sized spare tyre underneath.

 


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Sylvia Goh - 1 month ago

Engine

Engine Capacity 1998cc
Engine Type Inline 4
Power 166bhp @ 6200rpm
Torque 197Nm @ 4600rpm
Power to Weight 118.3 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 10.6s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 180 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 11.4 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed Auto
Drive Type FF
Steering Electric

Measurements

Body Type SUV
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4440 x 1855 x 1635) mm
Wheelbase 2640 mm
Kerb Weight 1403 kg

Brakes