Review Kia Sportage 2020: GT-Line
While often priced in the striking distance of high-end options, we’re often surprised at the popularity of top-class midsize SUVs from traditional ‘budget’ brands.
Take for example Kia’s flagship GT-Line Sportage. Kia told us that it has accounted for 16.6% of Sportage sales so far, or a lot of SUVs among Sportage sales brands volume greater than 10,000 units to date.
It has an even more important number when you realize that for the same amount, you can jump into something like Audi’s new third quarter.
The last question is: Should you? Besides the obvious things like the warranty, which attracted people to the Kia brand in the first place, is it really high-end enough to justify its pricey price tag? I drove a Sportage GT-Line for a week to find out.
Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with? 7/10
We covered it, but the $ 49,490 MSRP used by GT-Line diesel is very expensive. More expensive by a fair margin than rivals such as Honda CR-V VTi-LX ($ 44,290), Nissan X-Trail Ti ($ 45,050) and Mitsubishi Outlander Exceed diesel ($ 46,790).
Standard specs are more than decent, putting it above similarly priced high-end rivals still lacks some juicy stuff.
Our diesel version is all-wheel drive (AWD) and comes with a 19-inch alloy, 8.0-inch multimedia touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, technical radio support number, JBL high-end audio system, wireless phone charging compartment, front LED lighting, heated and ventilated front seats, and striking satin silver trim.
Rounding the specs is the flat-bottom sports steering wheel with bespoke GT-Line trim. Aside from the more impressive LED accessories, the top-class vehicle doesn’t seem too far from the equivalent S base.
Good for base model buyers, I suppose. GT-Line is also available with a 2.4-liter engine for a slightly more affordable price ($ 46,490). The real attraction of this top-class SUV is the fact that the only Sportage comes with a full-fat safety kit.
There is no option to pack active safety items such as active cruise control, blind spot monitoring (BSM) and rear traffic warning (RCTA) on smaller Sportage, so quite hard.
Is there anything interesting about its design? 8/10
The Kia designers, who went out on a limb give the Sportage a much more polarizing appearance than its Hyundai Tucson sibling when this generation debuted back in 2016.
Five years is an eternity in the years of a car, two years of an eternity in the mid-sized SUV years, so we should all be surprised how much Sportage holds up against its more recent rivals by 2020. .
While it may have been released yesterday, the style is one of polarizing ones. Some people like it and see more sharing the Porsche Cayenne’s Kia Cayenne fares in the headlights, taillights and profiles. Others look at its strange insect face, oversized hump and strange dimples with sarcasm.
Either way, at least, in a sea of identical SUV shapes, it dares to be a bit different.
The inside isn completely different, but still in stark contrast to its cousins. What could be simply a badge exchange instead of a completely different approach.
Instead of Hyundai’s symmetry, Sportage offers an angular, driver-centered dashboard, with a sporty three-spoke wheel and a shortcut button below the 8.0-inch screen.
The screen is nice and bright, and uses the meaningless sleek software suite of Hyundai Group. It’s a bit old-fashioned, has a screen embedded in the dash, but some people will appreciate it compared to current tablet-style designs.
The GT-Line stands out inside by Audi’s almost flat-bottomed steering wheel (with perforated leather, no less) and an abundance of chrome and glossy details.
It lifts the GT-Line cabin on gray finishes of the rest of the range. I’m a fan of the premium center console, leather-wrapped movement and asymmetrical design that gives my left knee plenty of room.
It has a nice interior, only a few hard surfaces where there can be soft surfaces.
How realistic is the inner space? 8/10
Properly designed Kia works throughout the cabin. Front passengers receive large grooves at each door, large cups in the center console, along with two larger grooves (plus Qi wireless phone charger in the main compartment). There is a large central control box and a small glove box.
The connection is a cinch with each port easily placed under the main monitor.
The abundance of busy shortcut buttons in the dash panel style are both much more useful and easier than using the screen to achieve the same result.
One reward is having a dial for almost anything. Dual climate zone temperature, volume, and adjustments. A fan speed dial would be fine, but it still scores strong.
There is plenty of room for the front passenger, and while the sunroof eats some headroom, it doesn’t affect me (182cm tall).
In the back seat there are large mugs at the doors, installed on the back of both seats and the door handles are twice as deep as the small storage areas.
Rear-seat comfort is above average as well, with dual vents, USB sockets and 12-volt sockets.
The rear seats of Sportage, which can be reclined, allow more comfort or boot space depending on what you need. It’s not as convenient as having the whole assembly on a track like in some VW Group products or something like the Nissan X-Trail, but it’s nonetheless a smart feature.
Sportage has a decent boot at 466 liters (VDA). It’s easily overshadowed by some in this class (like the X-Trail), but still taller than the Mazda CX-5 (442L).