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Kia Sportage GT-Line diesel 2019 review


For parents looking for a little luxury in a family hauler, there are now plenty of premium SUVs to choose from. But there is one obvious downside; your kids will make every effort to destroy it. 

For my weekend test I’m driving the 2019 Kia Sportage GT-Line. Priced from $47,690, my GT-Line (in diesel form) sits at the top of the Sportage range, and right at the premium end of the mid-sized SUV market.

Kia has gifted the GT-Line with a long list of premium features and safety equipment. So, how will this top--of-the-line Sportage handle family duties for the weekend? And will my kids destroy it? 

Saturday

Our Sportage GT-Line was on shopping duties in the morning, and was then tasked with taxiing us to an early family Christmas get together in the afternoon.  

It’s a good-looking and well-proportioned SUV, and one only improved by the rich Fiery Red paint my test car came dressed in. I’m not a massive fan of the bold front-end design, however it definitely appeals from every other angle, with the 19-inch alloys and dual chrome-tipped exhaust working well to convey a sportier feel.

  • It’s a good-looking and well-proportioned SUV especially from the back. It’s a good-looking and well-proportioned SUV especially from the back.
  • The GT-Line gets 19-inch alloy wheels. The GT-Line gets 19-inch alloy wheels.

Inside, there is a good amount of space with plenty of leg and head room for kids and adults alike. It’s a nice place to sit, and it delivers on the premium promise with quality finishes and materials used throughout. 

The leather appointed seats are reasonably comfortable, however the driver's seat is positioned too high for my liking - even at its lowest setting. Although providing great visibility, the position felt awkward in relation to the steering wheel and dash, which seemed too low by comparison.

  • The cabin offers a good amount of space for kids and adults alike. The cabin offers a good amount of space for kids and adults alike.
  • The leather appointed seats are reasonably comfortable. The leather appointed seats are reasonably comfortable.

The GT-Line comes with a full complement of features, including keyless entry, auto lights and wipers, dual-zone climate control, vented and heated powered seats, a sunroof and park assist. Front and centre in the dash is an 8.0-inch touchscreen which operates the digital radio, eight-speaker JBL sound system, sat nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Inside, there's a 8.0-inch touchscreen that controls which operates the digital radio, sat nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Inside, there's a 8.0-inch touchscreen that controls which operates the digital radio, sat nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Driving around the local suburbs on the way to supermarket it was hard not to notice the agricultural-sounding diesel engine noise filling the cabin. Our driving music playlist had to work hard to compete against this, as well as the annoying speed-camera warnings which we had to switch off. 

The Kia did, however, feel nimble and perfectly composed over the endless lumps and bumps we encountered. 

Once at the carpark, the GT-Line's good all-round visibility, reversing camera and parking sensors front and rear made the job of maneuvering easy.  

Sunday

Our GT-Line was on light duties with a trip to the beach the only destination for the day.

The 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine is well matched to the eight-speed automatic transmission which drives power to all four wheels. It’s easy to drive around town, but it tends to lose its nerve a little up hills as it hunts for the right gear. On the plus side, there's plenty of punch to propel the GT-Line from a standing start in good time, and ample acceleration when overtaking at mid-range speeds. 

It’s obvious Kia has put plenty of thought into the practicality of the cabin space and the number of storage options available to both front and back seat occupants. The kids in the rear had a pair of cupholders in the centre armrest, map pockets behind the front seats, air vents and two USB ports to charges their smartphones. 

Rear passengers get air vents, two USB charging ports and a 12V socket. Rear passengers get air vents, two USB charging ports and a 12V socket.

Up front there are plenty of spaces to store loose items as well as two cup holders in the centre console. There’s also room for large bottles in the four doors. 

Boot space is 466 litres with the 60/40 rear seats up; enough for a couple of scooters or a large pram plus carry bags. And there's a cavernous 1455 litres with the rear seats folded flat.

With the rear seats in place, boot space is rated at 466 litres. With the rear seats in place, boot space is rated at 466 litres.

Good news on the safety front, too, with the five-star ANCAP-rated GT-Line providing a long list of features including auto emergency braking (AEB) with forward collision warning, lane keep assist and downhill speed control. Added to this are six airbags, including full-length curtain airbags, blind spot detection, lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert.

The diesel sipping GT-Line comes with a 62-litre tank, and after a weekend of suburban driving (250km) displayed a fuel consumption reading of 8.3 litres/100km. A good 30 per cent more than Kia’s claim of 6.4 litres/100km (combined), but not an unliveable number. 


The Wrap

The Sportage GT-Line is a mild mannered SUV that delivers practically and polish, but at a price. I was impressed with its ride, levels of comfort and good looks. It's easy to live with and will stand up to the rigours of driving a car load of kids whilst also providing a little luxury for mum and dad.

Are you sporting a Sportage? Tell us what you think of it below.

Likes

Safety kit
Premium and practical
Good looks

Dislikes

Noisy diesel
Driver seat too high
Not cheap

Scores

Dan:

3.8

The Kids:

$47,690

Based on new car retail price

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