When I first saw the new Kia Sportage I noticed that this is a very good looking vehicle. The design is aggressive, stylish and well designed, finished off nicely with the added features present on the LX model like roof rack bars, spoiler, and 17 inch alloys.
Now as a father one of the first things I wanted to know about was the safety features, and the new Kia Sportage is packed with them! First off, the Dynamax Intelligent Control Unit allows the vehicle to control and anticipate the need for all wheel drive mode, allowing for better performance and safer driving. As well as having this feature there is also the all wheel drive lock mode, which allows you to lock the Sportage in all wheel drive mode. This will split the torque evenly across both the front and rear axles, perfect for low-traction surfaces.
As cars get newer it seems there are more and more airbags being installed in vehicles. The Kia Sportage has its fair share, sporting a 6 airbag system with rollover sensor. It’s not surprising that the new Kia Sportage has been given a 5 star ANCAP and ERUOCAP rating.
One of my favourite features in the Sportage is the Electro-Chromic rear view mirror. With the amount of deaths of young children due to not being seen by backing vehicles in New Zealand, this feature is really important for me. The Electro-Chromic mirror has a built in backing camera screen in the rear view mirror. Once you’re out of reverse it turns back into a regular rear view mirror. Combine this with the parking grid and reversing sensors and you feel very much in control with your parking.
Getting a car seat into some vehicles can be a real struggle. Helpful hint: always check your car seat fits before you buy a new car! I found it very easy to fit our daughter’s car seat in the Kia Sportage. It has car seat anchors, and the layout of the back seats offered a tight fit that gave me peace of mind driving the Sportage with my daughter in it.
The Kia Sportage looks just as good on the inside as it does on the outside. A beautifully designed interior, with a simplistic yet elegant dash setup makes this very easy on the eye. The Kia Sportage LX “sports” all the feature you could need in a vehicle. From its easy to use Bluetooth integration for music and hands free cellphone use, to its always helpful cruise control. I hate having to wipe down wet, cold side mirrors on winter mornings so I can gauge the sides of the car while backing or changing lanes. Fortunately Kia has covered with heated side mirrors! Yes you read right, heated side mirrors. Who would of thought, but this feature was great. No more towel in the car for wiping down those mirrors before going anywhere.
Most parents need room for sports gear for the kids, or packing up for a road trip away. The Sportage has plenty of boot space, and you can add a tow bar as an added feature, with a 750kg unbraked and 1600kg braked towing capacity. This allows the Sportage to be a very useful vehicle when transporting your kids around.
The real thing that dads want to know about any new car before they buy it is, what the power is like. The LX Sportage comes with a 2.0L ’R Series’ DOHC CRDI Diesel Turbo engine. This little powerhouse turned out 135kW @ 4000rpm, and a max torque of 392Nm @ 1800-2500rpm, and you will notice it. I was skeptical of such a small motor, but that went out the window when I put my foot down. In saying that, this did not affect the economy, and driving around town we got 7.2L/100km. I had only driven older diesel vehicles in the past, so one of my big concerns was noise. There are so many other diesel SUV’s in the market that come with big price tags, but in the end still sound like tractors. This definitely was not the case with the new LX Sportage. It was quiet, and I mean really quiet. Sitting inside this you think you are in the petrol version. It was amazing.
Overall, the new Kia Sportage LX comes with everything a family could need and more, and for $44,240 for the LX model it really rivals other SUV’s for price for value. The new Sportage encompasses the best of safety, style, power, and economy all in a great value for money vehicle.