What is it like to own a 2022 Kia Sportage SX diesel? Follow our long-term ‘ownership’ journey.
Welcome to our new long-term review format. We don’t actually buy these cars, but do try to replicate as much of the purchase experience as we can so that you get the full picture.
We’ve added a 2022 Kia Sportage SX diesel to our garage for 12 weeks. We’re going to treat this car just like it was our own, commuting to and from work, the school run, running around on the weekends, and taking on some longer road adventures.
Our aim is to learn what the Kia Sportage SX diesel is like to live with as an only car.
Our coverage will kick off with a dealership handover that mirrors what real Sportage buyers can expect. Following that, we’ll get to work testing everything this new vehicle has to offer, and more. And we will report on it every step of the way down below.
|At a glance||2022 Kia Sportage SX diesel|
|Our spec (inc. options)||Metallic paint $520|
|Price as tested (on road)||$47,283|
|Drivetrain||2.0-litre turbo diesel
|Power & torque||137kW @ 4000rpm
416Nm @ 2000–2750rpm
|Dimensions (L / W / H / WB)||4660mm / 1865mm / 1680mm / 2755mm|
|Fuel consumption (claimed combined)||6.3L/100km|
What do you want to know?
If you’d like to know something about this car, or want to see us doing something specific with it, then here’s your chance. Think of it as talkback TV, except via the web. We want to know what you want to know about our latest test car, and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.
Previous tests and reviews
As our reigning Drive Car of the Year, we’ve reviewed the Kia Sportage extensively. You can catch up on our road tests of every Sportage through the drive garage here. Alternatively, if you want to read our impressions of the Sportage SX diesel specifically, our most recent review can be found here.
If you’d like to learn more about the Sportage range, its features and equipment, check out our Kia Sportage showroom.
Our long-term fleet grew by one this year with the handover of our 2022 Kia Sportage. As one of Australia’s best-selling vehicles and as our reigning 2022 Drive Car of the Year, the Kia Sportage seemed like an obvious candidate.
Kia’s medium SUV remains the Korean brand’s best-selling vehicle with 15,497 sold to the end of October this year.
We chose a humble Sportage for our long-term fleet, opting for the all-wheel-drive SX diesel, one of four diesel-powered variants in the range that also comprises five petrol-powered Sportages (two front-wheel drive and two all-wheel drive).
We took ‘ownership’ of our Sportage at Col Crawford Kia in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, our experience designed to mirror that of an actual new Sportage owner.
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With helpful Col Crawford staff on hand, we were given a blow-by-blow rundown on the Sportage and all of its features, the process taking around an hour. It’s a thorough examination of all of the key features found in the Sportage, with particular attention paid to the infotainment set-up, the salesperson setting up Apple CarPlay for us and running us through key functions.
As motoring journalists hopping in and out of a range of new cars every week and month, we are au fait with how smartphone mirroring works, but for many new car buyers this is quite possibly their first experience of the technology, and helping them set up and explain how the system operates is invaluable.
Our long-termer is the 2023 Kia Sportage SX diesel. It’s priced at $42,400 plus on-road costs. Kia doesn’t typically do options, preferring to up-sell you into the next variants in any given range’s line-up, with only fancy paint attracting an extra cost.
Our tester was finished in a gorgeous shade of Vesta Blue, adding $520 to the bottom line for a list price of $42,920, translating to $47,283 drive-away in NSW. Depending on where you live, the drive-away price can range from a low of $47,008 (Queensland) to a high of $48,166 (Western Australia).
Despite sitting near the entry point into the Sportage range, the SX diesel is well equipped for the money. Yes, there are signs of its status in the broader Sportage range, like seats trimmed in cloth, turnkey start, and a manual handbrake as against a more contemporary electronic version, but overall, the Sportage SX looks and feels pretty nice inside.
Standard inclusions run to dual-zone climate control with air vents for the second row, AM/FM/DAB+ radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, Bluetooth connectivity, satellite navigation, a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen, LED head- and tail-lights, front and rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera.
There’s also a comprehensive suite of safety technologies including autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, driver attention monitor, tyre pressure monitoring, and adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality. There are also seven airbags, all adding up to a five-star ANCAP safety rating awarded in 2022.
Powering our Sportage SX is Kia’s 2.0-litre inline four-cylinder turbo diesel making 137kW and a juicy 416Nm. It’s mated to an eight-speed conventional automatic transmission sending power to all four wheels.
Diesel power hasn’t always had the greatest reputation, certainly in passenger cars regarding engine noise and the dreaded ‘diesel clatter’, so it will be interesting to note how the Sportage SX performs and behaves in everyday driving conditions.
Despite being wrapped up in a red ribbon, our Sportage wasn’t quite a brand-spanker, driving out of the Col Crawford showroom with 4900km on the odometer and a fuel reading of 7.6L/100km. Kia claims a combined fuel consumption figure of 6.3L/100km.
After resetting the fuel reading to zero, it’ll be interesting to note whether our time behind the wheel will see us get closer to matching Kia’s number.
Any thoughts that a diesel-powered Sportage might offer up an agricultural experience behind the wheel are soon banished. The quietude of the diesel engine and the refined nature of the cabin ambience are not only good, they’re exemplary. So much so, I had to double-check that we had, in fact, landed ourselves a diesel variant (we had).
Kia’s local suspension tune came to the fore as well, almost straight away, with patchy Sydney road surfaces tailor-made to test the Sportage’s road manners. In a word, great. In a few more words, the Sportage handled the scrappy surfaces with the kind of suppleness we’ve come to expect from the Korean brand.
And our initial feelings about the engine and transmission combination are also good, the Sportage responsive off standstill and with even better mid-range acceleration thanks to the turbo diesel’s generous dollop of 416Nm and user-friendly 2000–2750rpm peak torque band. It’s no sports car, but then neither does it pretend to be. Instead, there’s an honesty to the way the Sportage handles the day-to-day grind of everyday motoring.
A good start, then, for our journey with the Sportage, but how will we feel after the end of our long-term loan? Stay tuned to find out.