I can’t express enough how much I adore the Kia Sportage. And I know you are so sick of hearing me harp on about it, but guys, I can’t help it. And I can assure you, I am not paid by Kia in any way, shape or form. I wish! At this rate I think I should be given a Sportage, just for good measure, you know?!

The reason I am back on about the Kia Sportage is because Kia SA has made a few adjustments to the range. This current generation, which is the fifth gen, was only launched last year, but Kia SA doesn’t want to wait three years before tweaking its line up. The reason being that technology and the likes moves so quickly these days that manufacturers would be crazy to wait for those mid-life cycle facelifts.

Even though the Sportage range already boasts an array of safety features, Kia SA has now also added Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) technology to all models, not just the GT-Line. This means every model now has  Lane Follow Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist as standard.

Kia’s ace up its sleeve is its diesel models. More manufacturers are moving away from diesel options only because they have to, not because they want to. But Kia is proud to be able to still offer the South African customer what they want – and at an affordable price point. With electric vehicles and hybrids costing a bomb, the next best option is diesel. Kia introduced its 1.6 CDI turbodiesel model to the market in May this year. It offers 100 kW of power and 320 Nm of torque. The draw card here, besides being an excellently refined engine, is the fuel consumption. It is a crazy low 4.9l/100 km. There are few hybrids that can match this.

But if it is a bit more punch you are after, you still have the option of a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol pot producing 132 kW and 265 Nm. It is a tad more punchy, but you will also have a higher fuel consumption of 6.5l/100 km. Which is not exactly terrible either.

The other slight change, you can only get the diesel engine in LX or EX guise, whereas the GT-Line models are all petrol-powered.

Guys, I know you are all looking at the Chinese brands and can see the incredible value they offer. I get it. You can’t deny that at the price points they are coming in at, it’s hard not to be blown away. HOWEVER, and this is a big one, take it from me, the expert, driving them back-to-back – which I recently did at the Consumer awards testing days – the refinement of this Sportage is unmatched. I test drove it against the Haval H6 and Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Max and as much as I would recommend these two cars if someone so desired them, the Sportage is just unparalleled when it comes to build quality and refinement as I mentioned.

I will do anything I can to own a Sportage one day. Watch this space…


Kia Sportage 1.6 CRDi LX: R 637 995

Kia Sportage 1.6 CRDi EX: R 691 995

Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi GT-Line: R 713 995

Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi GT-Line Plus: R 741 995

Kia Sportage 1.6 CRDi GT-Line Plus: R 765 995

Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi GT-Line S: R 798 995

I’m Julz, South African motoring journalist with a passion for cars and a questionable sense of humour. I am not your average motoring journalist, and this is not your average motoring website.

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