1.7 CRDi 3 Sat Nav 2WD
is a Crossover really an SUV?
A difficult question to answer. The
easiest definition is that as soon
as a crossover has a 4x4 drivetrain
then its a compact SUV. So, what
does that make Kias latest Sportage
2WD a crossover, SUV or 4x2?
MANUFACTURERS USED TO BE SHY about labelling their compact 4x4s as SUVs because
of the latter-day backlash against 4x4s of all types. But then someone came
up with the 'crossover' tag. As the segments of the new car market
become even more blurred, the term 'crossover' has really come
into its own: we can have crossover hatchbacks with MPVs; hatchbacks with SUVs;
hatchbacks with estates; and so on...
Following the recent bad winters, sales of 4x4s of both crossovers and SUVs
are now once again big business, with these types of vehicles now accounting
for one in ten new cars sold in the UK that's around 200,000 units
The Kia Sportage five-door range, launched in August 2010, comprised, until
recently, of all 4x4 models with 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engine options
but carrying the crossover classification.
recently introduced two additional new engines, both with emission reducing
technology and with two-wheel drive only. So, like the sector's sales-leading
Nissan Qashqai and the Sportage's sister models from Hyundai (the ix35), these
line-ups are now a mixture of crossovers and 4x4s or should it
be 4x2s and 4x4s?
we call them, the fact is that the Sportage range now includes a 133bhp 1.6-litre
GDI (gasoline direct injection) petrol engine and a 114bhp 1.7-litre CRDi turbodiesel
unit with, and despite the recent hike in VAT, prices starting from an attractive
£17,015. They are also, of course, covered by Hyundai's transferable seven-year,
of all ages
are attracted to the
Sportage because of the
long warranties, low
running costs and
Another case of the right
product at the right
The new 16-model range is based on Kia's familiar 1, 2 and 3 trim designations;
all-wheel drive versions are given a KX preface. There's also a special range-topping
'Sat Nav' grade of the Sportage 3 and KX-3, featuring a fully-integrated 7-inch
touchscreen satellite navigation system with built-in reversing camera and upgraded
audio sound system. All other versions are also extremely well specified.
So, four engines, two- or active four-wheel drive, manual or automatic transmission
options and many with Kia's Intelligent Stop and Go (ISG) system complete a
formidable line-up. No wonder they're selling like hot-cakes to the young singles,
couples and the not so young. I can see why customers of all ages and types
are attracted to the Sportage and the ix35 because of the attractive prices,
long warranties, low running costs and affordable taxes. Another case of the
right products at the right time.
I have written about the Sportage before, at its introduction last year, but
as a brief reminder it's the size of a C-segment, five-door hatchback with increased
ground clearance, chunky looks with a high waistline. Inside, it's well equipped
with logically displayed instruments and controls and with three rear seats
for two adults and a small child. These fold to make a large-ish load bay for
even more versatility, providing between 564 and 1,353 litres of cargo space.
in the entry-level 1 trim grade, the new Sportage is a fully-specced car. Standard
items include 16-inch alloy wheels, AirCon, all-round electric windows, a two-way
adjustable steering column, LED daytime running lights, body-coloured electric
door mirrors, remote central locking, a leather-covered steering wheel and gearlever
knob, front fog lights and cornering lights, rain sensing wipers, Bluetooth
connectivity with voice recognition, cruise control, steering wheel-mounted
controls and an iPod cable.
New Sportage 2 and 4WD KX-2 models add part-leather upholstery, roof rails,
privacy glass, reversing sensors, panoramic sunroof, 17-inch alloy wheels, power-fold
mirrors, luggage net, vanity mirror illumination, trip computer and adjustable
lumbar support on the driver's seat.
flagship Sportage 3 and KX-3 versions additionally have full leather upholstery
with heated front and rear seats, dual-zone climate control, Xenon headlights
with washers, auto lights, front wiper de-icer, premium vision instrument cluster,
auto-dimming rear-view mirror and 18-inch alloy wheels.
versions of new Sportage 3 and KX-3 are also available as a special range-topping
'Sat Nav' model which includes a rear-view safety camera that transmits an image
to an LCD colour display integrated into the 7-inch, in-dash screen. This model
is also available with an upgraded audio system with external amp and sub-woofer.
is thoroughly modern and meets the needs of today's customers whether they want
two- or four-wheel drive.
speed is an illegal
and zero to 62mph
takes 11.9 seconds,
which gave me time to
enjoy the view...
Personally, I'd always go for a 4WD because I live in the country but these
versions only come with the 2.0-litre petrol or diesel engines priced from £21,255
for the petrol and £22,810 for the diesel.
So wearing my frugal driving hat, my test Sportage was the new 1.7-litre CRDi
2WD, priced from £18,550. However, fully loaded in specification 3 Sat Nav guise
it weighed in at a hefty £23,065. For £255 less I could buy a 4WD 2.0-litre
CRDi diesel version with a lower specification, but still well equipped, with
a bit more oomph and, of course, the security and safety of on-demand 4WD for
when the going gets tough.
If you want to get into the trendy Sportage way of life but have budgetary limitations
then the new 1.6-litre GDI 2WD model with the lowest spec only costs £17,015
and for many that will be the 'best buy'. We'll be putting that version through
its paces shortly.
Back to the fuel-miserly 1.7 CRDi 2WD which, like the new 1.6-litre GDI petrol
engine models, has ISG Stop and Go technology with a slick to use six-speed
manual gearbox and carries 'EcoDynamics' badging. The 1.7-litre CRDi four-cylinder
turbodiesel engine with the level 3 equipment, which includes 18-inch alloy
wheels, is officially capable of 52.3mpg average fuel economy.
My test car, driven over all types of roads and on long and short journeys,
returned a very creditable 49.4mpg. CO2 emissions are only 135g/km with 16 or
17-inch alloys but with the 18-inch wheels this goes up to 143g/km. This makes
the road tax £125 a year instead of £110, and the BIK company car tax 20% instead
of 19%. So size does matter and thinking small might be financially better.
The new 114bhp 1.7-litre turbodiesel engine performed adequately in spite of
the tall fifth and sixth gear ratios. No ball-of-fire under hard acceleration,
but being sensible on today's congested and potholed roads it was acceptable.
Top speed is an illegal 107mph and zero to 62mph takes 11.9 seconds, which gave
me time to enjoy the view.
Actually, given its size, it felt quite nippy in and around traffic thanks to
the low-down torque (188lb ft is available from just 1,250rpm). Reasons to buy:
fuel-frugal, low taxes, smart looks, versatile, lower spec version is less pricey
and even less taxing. Take note, though, that the bigger wheels mean the top
specification 2WD model carries more road tax and overall is relatively expensive,
making some 4WD versions cheaper.
Other plus points include being easy to park, predictable body control and ride
comfort on country roads and it can hold its own at motorway cruising
speeds without distress. All features most crossover customers will be happy
with, so this Sportage hits the target even if it's at considerable cost.
Kia Sportage 1.7 CRDi 3 Sat Nav 2WD | £23,065
Maximum speed: 107mph | 0-62mph: 11.9 seconds | Overall Test MPG:
Power: 114bhp | Torque: 188lb ft | CO2 143g/km