The Kia Sportage ‘KX-4’ is a version of the brand’s very popular crossover model that has a high level of turbodiesel engine output with a luxurious level of specification not yet seen in this type of model. The Sportage ‘KX-4’ uses the 181bhp version of the CRDi 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine paired with either a 6-speed automatic transmission or 6-speed manual plus the intelligent All-Wheel Drive system.
The ‘KX-4’ also builds on the ‘KX-3 Sat Nav’ through the addition of a Parallel Parking Assist System that has all-round parking sensors, an engine start/stop button, keyless smart entry system, and door scuff plates made of stainless steel.
Standard equipment of the ‘KX-4’ includes 18-inch allow wheels, Xenon lights, seven-inch touchscreen satellite navigation system with EU mapping, privacy glass, automatic lights and wipers, dual-zone climate control, panoramic sunroof, cruise control, full leather upholstery, colour reversing camera, 7-speaker stereo with external amplifier and subwoofer , and iPod connectivity.
A unique feature of the ‘KX-4’ is the engine that produces 181bhp at 4,000 rpm and torque of 383 Nm within a range of 1,800 rpm and 2,500 rpm. For the automatic transmission, the torque is 392 Nm. The older engine originally had 134bhp and the increase in the power was due to a revision in the variable geometry of the turbocharger, software mapping, and the high pressure piezo injectors.
When fitted with the 6-speed manual transmission, the engine allows a maximum speed of 120 mph and can go from 0 to 60 mph in 9.4 seconds. The official combined cycle stands at 46.3 mpg and CO2 emissions is at 158 g/km. Utilizing the 6-speed automatic ensures a 121 mph top speed with CO2 emissions at 189 g/km and 39.2 mpg measured for the official combined cycle.
Regardless of the transmission, both versions of the Sportage are classified as insurance category 19. Unlike the other versions that also have the option for the two-wheel drive, the ‘KX-4’ only has the All-Wheel Drive.
By using an intelligent and electronically-controlled single high ratio system, the ‘KX-4’ monitors the different driving conditions and is able to determine when the AWD is needed to make sure that the car is always the right driving mode for the current situation.
While the AWD can give 100% of the engine’s torque to its front wheels, in the case of deteriorating road conditions, the torque allows for redistribution in a ratio of 60:40 for the front and rear wheels enhancing stability especially when cornering.
When driving off-road, the lock mode can be manually selected splitting the torque at 50-50 during speeds of 25 mph. The ‘KX-4’ with manual transmission retails at £27,195 OTR while the automatic comes in at £28,500 OTR.
Both versions come with the usual transferable and 7-year warranty. Since it was launched in September 2010, the Sportage has been favoured by many car buyers with around 18,000 owners already in the UK. During the same period, more than half a million units of the Sportage have been sold around the world.