Living legend: Kia Sportage GT Line
The local distributor for Korean automaker Kia has been injecting more small SUVs in its lineup to address the healthy demand in the segment while tapping the younger market. Take the case of the Seltos and Kia's latest hot item, the Stonic. These vehicles have been some of Kia Philippines’ sales drivers since last year.
While the new kids on the block are getting all the attention, there has been a nameplate in the Kia stable that has long offered similar features (and more) compared to the two aforementioned models.
This is the Kia Sportage.
But can the Kia Sportage keep up with its newer stablemates and that of the competition? Let’s check what the Sportage GT Line 4x2 Diesel offers to the market.
At 4,480mm long, 1,855mm wide and 1,655mm tall, the Kia Sportage GT Line synergizes the capabilities of a daily driver while promising ample space for hauling people and cargo. The 2,670mm wheelbase provides sufficient legroom, and the 172mm ground clearance gives the vehicle room for enough peace of mind when driving on the metro’s floodwaters. Further, the Kia Sportage GT Line can amply accommodate cargo through its 1,480-liter luggage capacity.
The European-inspired look of the Sportage gives subtle cues as to where the Seltos and Stonic’s youthful vibe comes from. Aside from that, the Kia Sportage GT Line commands attention due to its aggressive front fascia that you might say calls to mind the premium European brand Porsche.
The horizontal chrome garnish links the beautifully-housed foglamps, which complements the wide front grille design and the skid plates.
The Kia Sportage GT Line stands a few millimeters taller (literally and figuratively) than the lower variants. It is fitted with 19-inch alloy wheels, which also match the bulkier design of the vehicle.
Drivers — especially those who have driven the previous-generation — will find themselves at home with the Kia Sportage GT Line when it comes to ergonomics. Though I'm not a fan of a steering wheel with a lot of buttons, the Kia Sportage GT Line neatly placed all the switches on it to make sure you keep your eyes on the road,
Occupants are welcomed by a black leather interior with white stitching, while the driver will be greeted by the flat-bottomed steering wheel with aluminum finish that has an engraved GT-Line for a sporty appeal. Add to that the scuff plates that wear the same hue as the dashboard trim; the Kia Sportage GT Line has enough trinkets that makes it very elegant.
The engine is the best thing about the Kia Sportage GT Line, and it definitely hits home with a 2.0-liter in-line, four-cylinder, DOHC, Common Rail Direct Injection (CRDI) diesel powertrain. This provides 400Nm torque and 182 horsepower. Shift shocks are definitely near to nil as it is equipped with an eight-speed Automatic with Shiftronic. Even after dropping the 4x4 capability, this crossover still gives customers the power it needs for an urban setting.
After being driven for around 101 kilometers of highway and city roads with four passengers inside, it mustered a 13 kilometers-per-liter reading.
Further, the Kia Sportage GT Line has received numerous updates when it comes to technological and safety features. Among them are the push start engine system, keyless entry, auto-folding side mirrors, as well as rain-sensing wipers, speed-sensing door locks cruise control, rear camera display with park guide and parking sonars for front and back. Front passengers enjoy power-adjustable seats—with additional lumbar support for the driver.
Aside from the abovementioned, it also has six airbags (front, side, and curtain), anti-lock brake system, electronic stability control (ESC), downhill brake control (DBC) and hill-start assist control (HAC).
Further, the Kia Sportage GT Line has an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment that can be connected via Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The price bracket where the Kia Sportage GT Line belongs can get one a midsize SUV, probably with similar to less features that could provide more room and height. However, even if the pricing of P1.82 million might be a bit prohibitive for many car buyers, the Kia Sportage GT Line still is a good consideration among its competitors in the market—being tech-rich and all that jazz.
Those who are looking into a more affordable line may check the gas-powered base model priced at P1.29 million or the mid-line diesel offering at P1.545 million. Those who are ready to sacrifice size may opt for the Seltos and the Stonic, which are the budget-size (and budget-friendlier) crossover offerings from the Korean three-letter marque.
Photos by Ruben D. Manahan IV