1 Aug 2010
The third-generation Kia Sportage landed in August 2010 with striking looks – a continuance of the Schreyer design language pioneered by the 2008 Cerato. It adopted the wedgy low-roof, high-waistline, contoured clamshell bonnet and reverse-angle C-pillar for a ‘coupe-like’ appearance.
The 2010 Sportage was released with a trio of four-cylinder engines available: 2.0-litre or 2.4-litre petrol variants and a 2.0 turbo-diesel. The car also arrived with both a six-speed automatic and five-speed manual and front-drive and all-wheel-drive variants.
Claimed fuel consumption for the 122kW/197Nm 2.0-litre FWD was 8.7L/100km in both transmission guises, while the 130kw/227Nm 2.4-litre automatic-only AWD managed 9.2L/100km. Neither of the petrol models broke any land speed records, with 0-100km/h times taking 10.6 seconds and 10 seconds in automatic forms respectively.
The acclaimed ‘R’ series 2.0-litre turbo-diesel model came in automatic-guise only, and returned fuel-consumption of a respectable 7.5L/100km. The Euro 4- compliant direct-injection diesel delivered low CO2 emissions and 135kW with a thumping 393Nm of torque.
The car was the first ever Kia model to have had input from Australian engineers, with the steering and suspension tuning made more palatable to local conditions. The car, as you would expect, came with all the safety acronyms, including ABS, ESC, EBD and TCS, as well as 6 airbags.
Aside from some minor niggles to an otherwise classy and ergonomic cabin, as well as poor rear-vision, the Sportage was a big step-up for the Korean manufacturer and worthy of serious consideration in the booming compact-SUV segment.
When it was new