Kia has added diesel variants to its popular Sportage range in South Africa, one of the few key RHD (right-hand drive) markets like ours. In fact, three new turbodiesel derivatives are being added to the existing popular 1.6L turbocharged petrol lineup for the new Sportage.
Under the hood, the Sportage diesel variants get a 1.6L turbodiesel engine, also available exclusively with an advanced version of Kia’s 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT). The 1,582cc Common Rail Direct Injection diesel engine delivers 135hp of power and 320Nm of torque. Kia says the 1.6 CRDi engine and 7-speed DCT pairing make the Sportage a great package with an optimal balance between power, performance, and frugality.
The fifth generation Sportage is built on the company’s new N3 architecture and is equipped with a MacPherson strut-type suspension at the front and a four-link type set-up at the rear. This combination makes for a refined and comfortable ride with agile and dynamic handling supported by an advanced steering system, which regardless of driving conditions can really be felt behind the wheel. Though the petrol variants are great to drive, naturally however, the diesel model is even punchier thanks to that great torque.
The new turbodiesel variants mimic the existing Sportage range and are available in three grades: LX, EX, and GT-Line Plus. All variants have 6 airbags: a driver’s airbag, front passenger airbag, side airbags, and side curtain airbags as well as ISOFIX child seat anchors as standard. Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) technology is also included, depending on the variant.
Safety features include an Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC), as well as Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC), Downhill Brake Control (DBC) and Trailer Stability Assist (TSA). All models feature Smart Entry with Push Button Start and an electric parking brake with auto-hold functionality.
Sportage also comes with Drive Mode Select, allowing the driver to select from Comfort, Eco, Sport, or Smart sub-settings, as well as a Blind Spot Collision Warning system to monitor your blind spots and warn you of oncoming cars via a symbol in the side mirrors. The flagship GT-Line Plus variant also benefits from Lane Follow Assist and Lane Keeping Assist. These systems work alongside the standard Blind Spot Warning system, with the former using cameras and radar to ensure the vehicle is electronically aided to stay in its lane.
The latest generation of Sportage, which was introduced (in South Africa) in September of last year, swiftly struck popularity with South African buyers, so much so that Kia claims demand for these vehicles significantly outnumbers supply. Particularly the first quarter of this year has proven to be challenging in getting vehicles in stock.
Related: Remembering the First-Gen Kia Sportage in Pakistan
According to Gary Scott, the CEO of Kia South Africa:
“Demand has been strong across the Sportage, and as a South African Car of the Year finalist, it has already been recognized as a distinctive and progressive package. Such accolades reinforce our belief that Sportage truly is the ultimate urban SUV.”
The new Kia Sportage has been widely recognized for its combination of luxury and value for money. It is underpinned by award-winning design and engineering that sets it apart in its segment.
Related: Pakistan is the Only Place Where Old Sportage is Still Assembled
While the 5th generation Kia Sportage which made its world debut in 2021, continues to amaze consumers across the globe, Pakistan remains the only country where the globally retired 4th gen Sportage is still being sold. Earlier this month, Kia launched the Sportage Black Edition with an exorbitant price tag of PKR 90.5 lac. However, there is still no news as to when the new 5th gen Sportage will be introduced here, not to mention 3 out of 4 Kia models assembled in Pakistan are globally discontinued vehicles.
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com