What would you do if you were a car manufacturer and you wanted to make a popular seller more up-to-date? You’d probably keep the best features of the old version and add some new features… or some improved ones. This is pretty much what has happened with Kia and the popular SUV Sportage. You can still pick up versions of the old Sportage at the dealers’ yards, but you can also find the new, improved version: the Kia Sportage Series 2. The Kia Sportage Series 2 has another point of difference from the older types of Sportage – its country of manufacture. Up to now, the Sportage has been manufactured in South Korea. Now, reversing the general trend of outsourcing everything to Southeast Asia, the new Kia Sportage Series 2 available in Australia is being made in Slovakia in Europe. Maybe that’s why there are so many features to do with cold conditions.
The shift to Slovakia is partly because the Sportage is so popular throughout Asia and the South Korean plant apparently can’t keep up with demand. The shift is good for Australian drivers, as the exchange rate is likely to mean that the new Kia Sportage Series 2 will be cheaper than it could have been.
Here’s just one example of how the designers have improved the Kia Sportage Series 2. For quite some time now, manufacturers have put heated seats in for the driver and rear passenger. In the Kia Sportage Series 2, the people in the back get them too. After all, if you’ve used an SUV to take yourselves and some mates up to the skifields, it’s not just the people in the front who get cold butts that need warming up.
Here’s another improvement in the Kia Sportage Series 2: the static cornering lamps. These are different from the active cornering headlights that you’ve seen on other new cars. Here, when you use your indicators, the static cornering lights come on, illuminating what’s around the corner. This has the overall effect of making the headlamps look wider and slightly more – well, maybe aggressive isn’t quite the right word – enthusiastic.
Kia claim that there are 20 or more new or enhanced features on the Kia Sportage Series 2. If I tried to describe the lot of them, you’d probably go to sleep. There is only so much one can read about things like aero blade windscreen wipers, complete with de-icers. Or the partial leather trim on the seats. Let’s get onto the things that most drivers like to know when considering a new vehicle. What are the specs of the Kia Sportage Series 2?
The Kia Sportage Series 2 comes in either 2WD or 4×4 for the drivetrain – yes, you can take this SUV off road a bit or onto the back roads heading up to the skifields mentioned earlier (the ground clearance is 172 mm). There’s only one fuel type available for the 2WD (petrol), but with the 4×4, you can pick either petrol or diesel. Of these two engines, the 16-valve CRDi diesel is the most powerful, maxing the power curve at 135 kW (4000 rpm) and wringing out 392 Nm of torque at 1800–2500 rpm. However, the CVVT DOHC petrol is no slouch either, with 122 kW (6200 rpm) and 197 Nm (4600) on tap.
Fuel economy is a pretty hot topic these days, and for many people (like me), it’s more important than the power and performance. Of course, the economy figures depend on where you’re driving, how you’re driving and what the drivetrain and transmission are like. The 4×4 versions of the Kia Sportage Series 2 are both what Kia calls “manu-matic” – which is technically a 6-speed automatic gearbox. On the 2WD, you can also have 5-speed manual. It’s pleasing to see that in the petrol versions, both 2WD and 4×4 have similar combined fuel economy figures: 8.8 L/100 km for the auto transmission and the manual very close at 8.7 L/100 km. The diesel 4×4 is a shade better at 7.2 L/100 km.
Regarding the trim levels, the Kia Sportage Series 2 Si is what you get with the 2WD petrol engine. The Kia Sportage Series 2 SLi and Platinum have either of the 4x4s you fancy. On all trim levels, you have an improved air-con system (that’s one of the 20 new things) which has seven ventilation modes to get the warm air on your feet and the cold air on your face, or whatever you need. The thing that sets the Platinum trim apart is the inclusion of sat-nav.
The chances are that if you have a SUV, you will probably want to tow something at some stage, whether that’s all the goodies you use as a contractor, or whether it’s the caravan or all the bikes and kayaks loaded into a trailer. Maximum towing capacity is 1600 kg braked and 750 kg unbraked no matter what variant you have. When you consider that that Kia Sportage Series 2 has a gross weight of 1980 kg (for the 2WD), this is pretty impressive. Even the heaviest variant, the 4×4 diesel, can pull (braked) 74% of its gross weight. Holidays, here we come!
Current model series include:
For any more information on the Kia Sportage Series 2, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quotes requests out to our national network of Kia dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!
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