KIA SPORTAGE GT-Line: best seller writes a new chapter

1157831_95453kia_Sportage GT-Line 1.6 T-GDI MT6_019YOU might have read a lot already about how good the all new Kia Sportage is. A car that outsells Audi’s Q3 and BMW’s X1 in Europe.

I can offer a reason for that. And that is that anything anyone’s said or written about the desirability of the Kia is beyond question.

It IS a very good vehicle.

1188585_2263It’s a car that has sold as much on its looks as its undoubted practicality for the UK family in the past. And now it looks even smarter.

The spacious five door five seater has a lot going for it. It was always neatly styled but the latest version, which is breaking sales records for Kia almost by the hour, is a whole Greg Rutherford type leap forward. It’s set to remain their best selling model for some time yet.

it’ll more than meet the requirements of the modern family and their lifestyle, and it won’t bite you on the bum when it comes to running it on a day to day basis.

Its sleekish profile makes it stylish and sporty at the same time, and a step ahead of most of its opposition. Its purposeful wide front track gives it good stability, and while the ground clearance still helps to give you a good all round view of the mayhem going on around you, it’s not as high as some – Kia’s thinking is that the car is less likely to be used as an off-road vehicle, and I think they’re right.

1137460_Sportage GT-Line 1.6 T-GDI MT6_045In normal use the ride quality is pretty good, and the power assisted steering has a light feel that makes what is a decent sized car easy to manoeuvre round town.

There are 18 versions of the all new Sportage, so plenty to choose from. Five trim levels are badged 1,2,,3,4 and GT-Line, with a limited run First Edition model brimming with extra kit thrown into the equation.

And there are a number of improvements to absorb, like the fact the 1.7 CRDi favoured by more than half of all buyers is now more than 7mpg more efficient in combined mode, while its CO2 output had dropped by 16g/km.

The new 1.6T-GDi engine sampled here in the GT-Line has a claimed combined figure topping 37mpg and a CO2 rating of 177g/km.

It’s maybe not as smooth and unflustered as other engines on offer, and needs firm pressure on the loud pedal to induce some haste but once up to a sensible speed all is well with the world.

1137327_Sportage GT-Line 1.6 T-GDI MT6_084GT-Line is easily picked out in a crowd thanks to its high gloss black ‘blade mesh’ radiator grille, unique 19 inch alloys, ice cube style LED front fogs, twin tailpipes and silver painted front and rear skid plates.

The key thing people seem to forget when conditions turn tricky is that even if you’ve got all wheel drive, as this version has, a touch of discretion is, on reflection, the best route to follow.

Here’s the clever bit. The all wheel drive system is a piece of kit that needs no extraneous buttons and switches to operate. It continuously monitors conditions and anticipates when all wheel drive is needed. Normally 100 per cent of the engine torque goes up front, but that can be redistributed to a maximum of 60:40 front to rear to boost cornering ability or if road conditions deteriorate.

It also now includes Advanced Traction Cornering Control in the package, which helps maximise cornering stability.

Its overall level of fit and finish makes it, if its possible, an even more desirable proposition than before.

FASTFACTS: Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi GT-Line; £24,350; 1591cc four cylinder 16 valve, 174bhp, 265Nm; six speed manual gearbox; top speed 126mph, 0-60mph 9.2secs; fuel – urban 28.2, extra urban 45.6, combined 37.2; CO2 177g/km; will it fit the garage? 4480/1855/1645 (l/w/h); 7 year/100,000 mile warranty.

© Wheelwrite 20161137416_Sportage GT-Line 1.6 T-GDI MT6_017