Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?
One of the big hooks of today’s SUVs is the often-ridiculous equipment levels they come with. The Sportage is no stranger to this. Since its recent 2018 facelift, it has received even more standard equipment than it had before (and a bump in price).
Standard features on the SLi now include an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as built in sat-nav, JBL eight-speaker audio system, dimming rear view mirror, reversing sensors, reversing camera, massive 18-inch alloys, LED DRLs and rear lights as well as a slew of aesthetic touches over the Si and Si Premium that sit below it.
Total cost for all that is $36,790 before on-roads, but our car is pushed to $37,310 due to the $520 premium ‘Steel Grey’ paint (only ‘Clear White’ is a free colour).
That cost pitches it against the Mazda CX-5 Maxx Sport ($36,990), the Honda CR-V VTi-S ($35,490) and the Toyota RAV4 GXL ($38,490). The worst part? At this price point all of those competitors are all-wheel drive (AWD) compared to the Sportage’s front-wheel drive (FWD). To get AWD on the Sportage SLi you’ll need to spend $5400 and switch to diesel.
On the upside, the SLi has power-adjustable leather seats as standard which is part of an option pack on the RAV4 GXL, and unavailable on the CX-5 Maxx Sport.
A lot of the extra cost is down to the significantly boosted standard safety offering, but we’ll get to that in the safety section of this review.
Stepping up to the top-spec GT-Line variant ($44,790) mainly adds equipment luxuries like a sunroof, auto parking assist, heated seats, a Qi wireless phone charger and sporty trim bits. It makes the SLi the pick of the range, but you’ll see there’s a bit of a catch in other parts of this review.