Photo: Pravda, Martin Domček Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi HEV 4WD (2022) The Kia Sportage is particularly interesting at the front with its distinctive “boomerang” LED daytime running lights. For several years now, SUVs have been absolutely dominant not only on the Slovak market, but practically throughout Europe. Currently, every second passenger car sold in Slovakia is SU or a crossover. Their market share is also growing at the present time, associated with rising prices and high inflation, as more and more people are considering where to direct their savings and what they could save on. However, this is somehow not affected by cars. The SUV market has been dominated by “Asians”. If we take a closer look at the development of the SUV and crossover market and their sales in 2022, it is evident that Asian carmakers, who own the first three places, are “on horseback”. For the first four months, the best-selling SUV in Slovakia is the Hyundai Tucson, followed by the Kia Sportage, and the Toyota RAV4 has been redesigned to the podium. Only in fourth place is the smaller Mladá Boleslav crossover Škoda Kamiq with about half the sales of the Tucson and the top five is closed by the Škoda Karoq. It is interesting in other places – the sixth is the traditional bestseller Duster, followed by the Škoda Kodiaq, and we would like to point out the eighth place where this year’s novelty literally shot up on the market, which established itself surprisingly quickly. It is a smaller Japanese crossover Toyota Yaris Cross. And in order to have a complete top ten, the ninth place still belongs to another Toyota, specifically C-HR, and SsangYong Korando, who is gaining more and more popularity in Slovakia, also got into the top ten. Not only Škoda, but also Toyota has a threefold share in the top ten best-selling SUVs and crossovers. There are up to six Asian cars in this category, but Korean models Hyndai Tucson and Kia Sportage still dominate. In terms of specific numbers, this means that Tucson (you can find our test of this model at this link) in the first four months with sales of over 900 pieces and the radically redesigned Kie Sportage, which is manufactured in Slovakia at the Kie factory in Žilina and whose test you You are reading, almost 680 have been sold so far. Photo: Pravda, Martin Domček Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi HEV 4WD (2022) Dimensionally – and I in terms of wheelbase – the new generation is practically identical to the previous one. Radically new When a Korean carmaker comes up with a new generation of one of its models, it is seldom in the “look for ten differences” style, it is usually a major design and technological change. The new Kia Sportage illustrates this perfectly, compared to its predecessor, there was literally no “stone on stone” left. A special version has been developed for Europe, based on the new N3 platform, thanks to which it also comes in an electrified form. We also tested this hybrid version, which has a gasoline combustion engine with an output of 132 hp under the hood, complemented by a synchronous electric motor with permanent magnets with an output of 44 kW and a 4 × 4 drive. Its model name is Sportage 1.6 T-GDi HEV 4WD. It was supplemented by a 6-speed automatic and we got it for testing in the highest GT-Line equipment. Photo: Pravda, Martin Domček Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi HEV 4WD (2022) The large curved display in the interior looks really impressive. This means that the price of the tested car reached almost 45,000 euros. However, the basic price of the new Sportage is set more than competitively, starting just above the 23,000 euro mark, with a 1.6 T-GDi engine with an output of 110 kW and a six-speed manual. The car we tested was equipped really exclusively. In addition to the use of an electric motor with a more powerful variant of the 1.6 T-GDi combustion engine, which meant a maximum combined power of 169 kW (230 hp) and a remarkable torque of 350 Nm, it had a number of additional equipment. For example, it included 18-inch wheels, full LED lights, front with “matrix” technology, intelligent parking assistant with remote control, 360-degree camera, leather interior, black roof upholstery, heated front and rear seats (front and ventilated) and keyless control. Photo: Pravda, Martin Domček Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi HEV 4WD (2022) Subjectively, the interior of the Kie Sportage seems a bit more interesting than the interior of its sister Tucson. It also had a 3-zone automatic climate control, a digital cockpit with a 12.3-inch curved LCD display, navigation, high-end Harman-Kardon audio, a large panoramic sunroof, a number of design accessories related to GT Line equipment and advanced safety equipment. So the higher price of the tested car is not surprising, there is practically nothing to add to its equipment. Let’s also look at the technique. The completely new platform not only enabled electrification, but also increased the rigidity of the body, which had a positive effect on the driving characteristics of the car. Although the new generation is radically overhauled, something has hardly changed from the previous one – the external dimensions. The car grew a bit, but really only cosmetically in the millimeters. In specific numbers, this means that the new Sportage is 4,515 mm long, 1,865 mm wide and 1,645 mm high. It is therefore 30 mm longer and only a centimeter wider and higher. It is also the same with an axle wheelbase of 2,680 mm, where only a centimeter has been added. However, the design is fundamentally new. At the front, the car impresses with its distinctive boomerang-shaped LED daytime running lights, divided at the rear by horizontally placed lights, connected by a thin light bar. Inside, the large curved on-board display, consisting of two interconnected 12.3-inch displays, is an absolutely dominant element. One acts as a digital cockpit, the other is a central infotainment system. It looks extremely effective and this solution is really suitable for Sportage. Infotainment can be controlled by touch, voice and control in the center tunnel. There is also the possibility of remote updates, which is good news and will also please inductive charging of phones with a power of up to 15 W. The air conditioning is controlled via a separate panel, which is clear, all basic functions are available at one touch and the temperature setting even has rotating hardware controls. . We really praise this solution. Photo: Pravda, Martin Domček Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi HEV 4WD (2022) The GT Line version had a leather interior and sports seats. The space in the front and also in the rear seats is more than sufficient, after this side of the tested Kii Sportage there is absolutely nothing to blame, it manages the role of a family car very well. And not only thanks to the large interior space, but also the above-standard driving comfort. But more on that later. From this “family” point of view, we would probably welcome a slightly larger volume of the suitcase, 587 liters is not small, but Sportage does not dazzle this value. Sovereign in the city of Auto had a 1.6-liter petrol engine under the hood, which is marked T-GDi Smartstream. All engines, petrol, mild-hybrid, hybrid and even diesel, have the same volume, ie 1.6. In the tested car, however, an electric motor with an output of 44 kW (60 hp) was added, supplemented by a battery with a capacity of 1.49 kWh. This means that the car had a combined maximum power of 169 kW (230 hp) and torque of 350 Nm. The unit cooperated with a 6-speed automatic and power was transferred to all four wheels as needed. In terms of dynamics and overall driving comfort, it is excellent. In the city and when accelerating, the electric motor helps itself, so it responds very well even at low speeds. Above all, however, Sportage uses its potential very effectively in starting and accelerating, which is a sign of excellent consumption in the city, where, thanks to frequent recuperation, you can drive with an average of somewhere around six liters, perhaps a little less. The hybrid Sportage really deserves praise for that. Consumption is also good in districts, where you can still drive with an average of about seven liters, but higher ones are to be expected on motorways, where the electric motor comes to the fore. When driving at the limit of the motorway limit and maybe even three behind it, you will approach the double-digit limit with consumption. Our overall average at the end of the test was 7.6 liters. Photo: Pravda, Martin Domček Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi HEV 4WD (2022) At the rear, the car attracts with its narrowly connected horizontal LED lights, spoiler and sophisticated bumper. We were also really pleasantly surprised by the driving comfort. The car managed to cope with both smaller and larger inequalities beyond expectations. It is due to the electronically controlled shock absorbers that are part of the GT Line version. And it pays to pay extra for them, driving with them is really comparable to driving in premium cars. From our point of view, the tested Kia Sportage is one of the most comfortable SUVs we have been sitting in in recent months. The Kia Sportage looks quite eccentric, but not gooey. It offers excellent interior space, a modern interior with a large curved display and, above all, the tested version rides extremely comfortably. The tax for this is, of course, a significantly higher price than the base – but this is at the individual discretion of each applicant. In the Sportage base, you get it for the price of a more luxuriously equipped Fabia.
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