Driven: 2016 Kia Sportage 1.7 CRDi ‘2’ Eco Review
Say hello to the latest Kia Sportage, a super-efficient, go anywhere, mid-sized SUV.
What is the 2016 Kia Sportage 1.7 CRDi ‘2’ Eco all About?
The Sportage is Kia’s answer to the mid-size SUV market, however Kia do it like no other. With their latest range of engines they have managed to achieve staggeringly high fuel efficiency without any compromise on performance or reliability, making this SUV stand out from the rest.
The exterior design of the car is very appealing. There are lots of feature points on the car; I particularly like the 17 inch alloy wheels, the integrated spoiler, and stylish front headlight cluster, not forgetting the new silver tipped grille.
The new Sportage we have on test is powered by a 1.7 litre diesel engine which creates 114 bhp and 280 Nm of torque. The power goes through a 6-speed manual gearbox to the front wheels, which means the car can get from 0-60 mph in 11.1 seconds and will do a top speed of 109 mph. Our test model was a front wheel drive car but AWD is available.
How Does it Drive?
Although the Kia Sportage is fairly tall and has loads of room inside, the driving experience is actually very similar to a saloon-sized car, and is still a thrill to drive!
Driving the Sportage with the 1.7 litre diesel engine, you instantly notice it has plenty of torque, specifically 280 Nm on paper, but it actually feels like more from behind the wheel. This performance doesn’t come at a price as the economy is just as good. Kia state that the car will be able to do a combined mpg figure of 61 mpg and I see no reason why this isn’t possible from my testing.
Taking the Sportage out for a country road blast was great fun; the car is very responsive by SUV standards and feels very lively on the road. Owners of SUVs love that high driving position which gives you a feeling of security and superiority, and the Sportage defiantly delivers this experience. But it does so with a great balance; you get that higher driving position, and you also get a sharp and alive element in the steering that helps give the car a sporting edge.
Driven slowly the Sportage is calm, refined, and delivers a peaceful way of travelling around. Minimal effort is needed to maneuver the car around and most drivers will be surprised how nimble this large car really is.
What’s it Like Inside?
Inside, the Kia Sportage is brilliantly designed and laid out. As with all of the Kia models the quality of materials used has helped achieve a great standard. It’s not a premium, luxury interior but the balance between cost and quality is at a very good point.
The niceties inside include a black leather steering wheel, black cloth seats, and dual-zone climate control with ioniser. Then comes the technology, the car has sat nav, reversing camera, USB and AUX ports, Bluetooth music streaming, DAB radio and a 6 speaker sound system. This is very easily controlled from the large central touch screen, the system works well and ticks all the boxes expected by the modern customer for sure.
The experience of owning the Kia Sportage is a remarkable one. The car delivers on all the necessary key points for a mid-sized SUV. It‘s practical, safe and easy to use, but also fuel efficient and has an enjoyable driving experience.
One of the most impressive elements about the car is just how usable it is, the Sportage is just the right size and it has all the usable passenger and load space you need without being too big on the road.
But the single most impressive element of the car is the balance between performance and fuel efficiency. The driving experience of the Sportage is powerful and capable with its 4 wheel drive system, but somehow Kia have finely tuned the efficiency level of the car to reach a high figure of miles per gallon. Kia claim that the Sportage can achieve a combined efficiency rating of 61 mpg, which is phenomenal for a car of this size.
The Kia Sportage is the perfect balance when it comes to a mid-sized SUV for many reasons. The Sportage is well equipped, very well priced and practical. But the major selling points to the Kia Sportage, which makes it stand out from the others, is simply the high level of kit you can get for the money and let’s not forget that 7 year / 100,000 mile warranty, it’s remarkable.
Kia Sportage 1.7 CRDi ‘2’ Eco
- Price: £22,050
- Engine: 1.7-Litre Diesel
- Power: 114 bhp
- Torque: 280 Nm
- Transmission: 6 Speed Manual
- 0-62mph: 11.1 Seconds
- Top speed: 109 mph
- Weight: 1,639 kg
- Economy combined: 61 mpg
- CO2: 119 g/km
Author: Paul Hadley