By Malusi Msomi
Our Otsile Kadiege got acquainted with the new turbo-petrol mill of the new Kia Sportage last year. We at Khulekani on Wheels quite like its futuristic design, new technologies, and its 1.6-liter turbo-petrol powerplant. However, recently we got to sample its more frugal sibling, the CRDi on launch in the Richest Square Mile in Africa, Sandton.
Bold exterior looks and modern interior
In terms of the model range, Kia has introduced three specifications: the CRDi LX, EX, and GT-Line Plus. On launch, we had the opportunity to sample the latter, which we enjoyed. On the outside, as standard, you get 19-inch wheels, LED headlights/taillights, and LED daytime running lights. The range looks good, but this spec seems to be the head-turner. The cabin of the Sportage is modern and premium. It boasts a combination of artificial leather and suede upholstery, a driver-focused curved display, and an array of safety features. It’s honestly a good place to be in.
Performance and driving impressions
The highlight, of course, is the engine which is a 1.6-litre turbodiesel that produces 100 kW and 320 Nm. Power is sent to the front wheels via a 7-speed DCT gearbox. Kia claims a combined fuel consumption of 4.9 L/100 km. At launch, we got to sample the CRDi Sportage on the highway and in the city, and it is a gem. The engine is smooth, and so is the 7-speed DCT transmission. When it comes to fuel consumption, we’ll have to test it over a longer period for a comprehensive review of its frugality.
Sportage 1.6 CRDi LX – R609,995
Sportage 1.6 CRDi EX – R663,995
Sportage 1.6 CRDi GT-Line Plus – R747,995
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