New Sportage is Kia’s Golden Child

Kia SportageThe sitcom, Modern Family is a comedic masterpiece – and I’m not just saying this because it features the sultry actress, Sofia Vergara. It’s one of the few shows airing presently that doesn’t induce drowsiness. Of course, that’s my opinion: I’m not discriminating against our dear readers who might find Idols, or Desperate Housewives totally riveting.

It’s also pretty clever that Kia have seized an opportunity, using Modern Family’s slot to advertise Kia’s very own family: from the handsome, over-achieving golden boy (Sportage), to the drop-dead gorgeous perfect 10 (Cerato Koup).

Now, having never fathered a child of my own, I’m yet to discover the joy of having a first-born son. After some time spent in Kia’s latest Sportage, I’m happy to report that this golden boy is bound to make many parents, or owners, very happy indeed.

Let’s start on the outside, with the Sportage’s striking features. There’s no denying paternity here – this one definitely belongs to Kia. Those days of the dreary Rio, drab Magentis and downright ugly Shuma are long gone. I seem to recall excerpts from the Kia press machine saying that from the front, the Kia Sportage resembles a tiger.

Lyrics from Eye of the tiger come to mind once you get behind the wheel. “Rising up to the challenge of our rivals” – certainly seems like that’s what Kia is doing, with quality interior finishes and a solid, well-assembled feel to everything in the Sportage’s cockpit. In the centre arm-rest there’s a little slot in which to store they key fob. But funnily enough, one doesn’t need to insert it to start the Kia up – even if it’s in your pocket, simply press the Start-Stop button to the left of the car’s steering, and the Kia comes alive. You’ll either hear the beating of a 2.4-litre petrol, 2.0-litre petrol, or the rumble of a 2.0-litre diesel engine.

I listened to the soundtrack of the latter. Although the diesel grumble isn’t prominent, or deafening, thanks to a well-Kia Sportageinsulated cabin. It’s a 2.0-litre mill that produces 130 kilo-watts and a very ample 392 Newton-metres of torque. It did feel a bit sluggish at lower speeds, but on the highway, when you put your foot down, the Kia surges forward steadily. The 6-speed automatic transmission it was mated to swapped cogs smoothly, although you can have a 6-speed manual, if you prefer using that left hand. There are two other petrol engines available: a 2.0-litre producing 122 kilo-watts and a 2.4-litre powerplant with an output of 130 kilo-watts. Driving the Kia is pretty much what you’d expect from a car of its size – it feels stable, and firmly planted to the road. It’s like a wholesome meal; bulky and full of substance.

Colour choices for the Sportage are unique. There’s Mineral Silver, Sand Track, Signal Red, Techno Orange, Electronic Yellow, Vintage Blue, Black Cherry, Clear White and Bright Silver.

I like the Kia Sportage very much. I’m sure this addition to the Kia family will become a popular sight on the roads. But it does have to deal with many others vying for the best spot in this segment, such as the Volkswagen Tiguan, Hyundai ix35, Nissan Quashqai – and maybe even the Nissan Juke, which could be arriving soon.

Brenwin Naidu

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