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ROAD TEST REPORT

MEMBER SERVICES

By Bob Hudson MIAME Vehicle Evaluation Engineer August

National Roads and Motorists' Association Limited

ABN 77 000 010 506

No. 622

trading as

NRMA Member Services

JANUARY 2002

KIA SPORTAGE

2.0-Litre Manual 4WD Wagon

FEATURES BEST

Good value for money A capable off-road performer Tight turning circle Good load space

WORST

Standards of finish below average Lacklustre on-road performance Slow steering Basic seat comfort than relatively short trips. Our measurements of the new Sportage's cargo area showed that the load length with the rear seat erect has increased by around 300 mm, and it's also a little wider between the wheel arches. The cushion folds forward in one piece, but the front seats need to be set well forward to do this. You can just fold the equally divided backrest but this leaves quite a difference in floor load heights. Moving the spare wheel from the tailgate has improved rearward vision and with the Sportage's tight turning circle, it's easier to park than most 4WDs. As mentioned earlier, the extra mass of the latest model has further dulled the performance and on-road, the Sportage almost always feels sluggish when called on to accelerate, or to climb steep hills. Off-road, it's a different story as low range can be brought into use if more power is needed. Low range has a reduction ratio of 1.981, which significantly lowers the ratios of all gears. The added benefits of a limited slip rear differential, and good approach and departure angles, allow the Sportage to put in a solid offroad performance. However, if drivers get too adventurous, it's likely the middle of the car will scrape first, as the Sportage's ramp-over angle is not as good as some. With steering that's slow (four turns lock-tolock) and a bit vague, and suspension settings that allow some wallowing on corners, the Sportage doesn't rate highly on handling qualities. However, this latest model wasn't unsettled by bumpy corners to the same degree as the previous model, nor did it skip around as much over corrugated unsealed surfaces. Without the benefits of ABS, and with only drums at the rear, the Sportage's braking performance is only fair when the brakes are worked hard. In normal usage, the brakes are quite satisfactory. SUMMARY: With its sharp pricing, the Kia Sportage remains one of the better value buys in the medium four-wheel drive sector. The latest version enhances this value for money equation with its improvements in load and occupant space, plus its freshened appearance and its extra equipment. There are other 4WDs in this segment that put in better on-road performances with their more powerful engines and/or better sorted chassis set-ups, however the Sportage can certainly hold its own in the rough stuff.

Kia has given its Sportage 4WD a longer tail for improved luggage space and has moved the spare wheel from its tailgate mount to be out of the way, underneath the body. Along with these changes, the latest Sportages get an exterior revamp that includes a body kit, roof rails, alloy wheels and twotone paint treatment. Competitive pricing is one of the Kia's strengths and at the time of writing, the Sportage was very keenly priced at $24,990 for the manual and $27,490 for the automatic. Most of the Sportage's competition is priced around $30,000, or more. However some of those competitors have larger capacity and/or more powerful engines, while the Sportage soldiers on with the same 94 kW 2.0 litre engine that in the latest model, now has to carry another 116 kg around. The result is a fairly lacklustre on-road performance. Kia boasts that the Sportage comes "fully equipped for both the city and the outback" but when you run down the equipment list, there are pluses and minuses. On the plus side, the Sportage has air conditioning, a driver's airbag, four speaker stereo with CD player, power windows, electric exterior mirrors, central locking and a 50/50 split fold rear seat. What you don't get includes a front passenger airbag, remote operation for the central locking, a driver's footrest, an adjustable steering wheel and adjustable upper front seatbelt mountings. The Sportage's styling revisions, along with its additional `dress-up' embellishments, have lifted the appearance, however it remains in the conservative class when compared to more avantgarde styles such as the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V and Renault Scenic. While the revised styling might attract more buyers, it's disappointing to find that the standards of finish are still below average. The test Sportage had varying panel gaps, particularly between the tops of the doors at the B pillars, orange peel effect in the exterior paintwork and rough finish inside the tailgate. The door latches don't have a quality feel when engaging. The Sportage rates around the class average for occupant space, with enough leg room front and rear for most average size adults. We recorded an increase of 50 mm in rear leg room over the previous model. Though occupant space rates well enough, seat comfort and support is very basic and could prove uncomfortable on anything other

KIA SPORTAGE 4WD wagon

SPECIFICATIONS

ENGINE: Type ....Four cylinder, in-line, DOHC, 16 valves Capacity in litres..................................... 1.998 Induction .................Mulit-point fuel injection Fuel recommendation.............................. ULP Claimed max. power ........ 94 kW at 5300 rpm Claimed max. torque ...... 175 Nm at 4700 rpm Specific power output.................47.0 kW/litre TRANSMISSION: Type .................................. Five speed manual Driving wheels .....Selectable four wheel drive Speed per 1000 rpm in top gear....... 32.5 km/h WHEELS: ........................Alloy, 6J x 15 inch TYRES: ..........................Kumho, 205/70 R15 Spare: ....................... Matching size and type STEERING: Type ..................... Power assisted ball and nut Turns lock to lock....................................... 4.0 Turning circle (measured) .............10.7 metres DIMENSIONS: Mass ................................................... 1610 kg Length .............................................. 4430 mm Width (incl. mirrors 1952 mm) ........ 1735 mm Height............................................... 1655 mm Ground clearance (measured)............. 193 mm Seating capacity ............................................ 5 Fuel tank capacity............................... 65 litres TOWING: Max. towed mass (trailer plus load)........ 1800 kg Max. towball download (laden trailer) . 180 kg NRMA THEFT RATING: Points on 0-110 scale (high score best) .... 45.5 WARRANTY: .........Three years, 100,000 km MANUFACTURED IN:....................... Korea

TEST RESULTS

ACCELERATION: 50 - 80 km/h (in 3rd gear)...................... 6.6 sec 60 -100 km/h (in 3rd gear)..................... 8.8 sec 0 - 80 km/h ........................................... 9.6 sec 0 - 100 km/h ....................................... 15.1 sec 0 - 400 metres..................................... 19.7 sec FUEL CONSUMPTION: Litres/100 km in city ................................ 14.1 Litres/100 km on highway........................ 10.4 Litres/100 km overall ............................... 11.6 BRAKING: Distance to stop from 80 km/h ......33.8 metres NOISE: Interior at constant 80 km/h.............. 66 dB(A)

·.

Test vehicle supplied by Kia Automotive Australia

Call NRMA Automotive Technical Services on 1300 655 443, should you require additional information on this vehicle, on other makes, or for general advice on automotive matters.

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Microsoft Word - 622.doc