Driven: 2022 Kia Sportage GT-Line 2.0 Diesel Will Knock Your Socks Off

Driven: 2022 Kia Sportage GT-Line 2.0 Diesel Will Knock Your Socks Off

Since 1993, the Kia Sportage has been a constant in the automaker’s ever-changing line-up and now in its fifth generation, the Sportage isn’t just better than it’s ever been before but it’s also one of the very best mid-size SUVs out there.

When we typically do reviews, we have vehicles for a week and try to test them in as many conditions as possible and across various different road surfaces. When we locked in a review of the 2022 Kia Sportage GT-Line 2.0 Diesel AWD, however, we decided to embark on a much longer and more comprehensive test to see what it is really capable of.

Our journey would see us travel up the West Coast of Australia on a two-week journey that took us over 5,300 km / 3,293 miles (despite what the map below says). As a means of discovering just how far the Koreans have come with their SUV, this was one surefire way to do it.

A very different Sportage

While U.S. buyers of the latest-generation Sportage have no option of a diesel, shoppers in Australia can order the car with either a 2.0-liter petrol four-cylinder, a 1.6-liter turbocharged petrol four-cylinder, or a 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel four-cylinder, the latter of which we tested.

This engine is rated at 137 kW (186 hp) at 4,000 rpm and 416 Nm (306 lb-ft) of torque between 2,000 and 2,750 rpm, making it the most powerful engine on offer, outgunning the base 2.0-liter with its 115 kW (156 hp) and 192 Nm (141 lb-ft) as well as the 1.6-liter turbo with 132 kW (179 hp) and 265 Nm (195 lb-ft). What’s more, the 2.0-liter turbo-diesel is also the most fuel-efficient with combined fuel consumption of 7.7 l/100 km (30.5 U.S. mpg) over the combined cycle with the sole available transmission, an eight-speed automatic, and all-wheel drive.

Tthe new Sportage is based on the same Hyundai-Kia N3 platform as the latest Hyundai Tucson. In Australia, the engine and transmission options are identical for both the Sportage and Tucson but the Sportage is slightly bigger, measuring 4,660 mm (183 inches) in length compared to the 4,630 mm (182 inches) of the Tucson. Both share the same 2,755 mm (108.4-inch) wheelbase.

Our journey with the Sportage GT-Line 2.0 Diesel saw us drive up the coast from Perth to Exmouth before jutting inland to Karijini National Park and back down to Perth. The Sportage proved to be the perfect partner for such a journey.

Five Fingers Reef, Coral Bay

An SUV that stands out from the crowd

Approaching the new Sportage for the first time, I was not won over by the design, although it did grow on me. Kia has abandoned the safe and conservative design philosophy that it pursued in the past and this is no more evident than with the new Sportage. Not only does it look unlike any other Kia model but it looks nothing like anything else on the road, making a very dramatic statement with those boomerang-shaped LED daytime running lights and the massive black grille.

It is a similar story when viewed from the side thanks to the dramatic lines and curves running along the doors, as well as the bold and eye-catching shape of the rear side windows. Kia’s designers also went to town on the SUV’s rear end with new LED taillights.

Francois Peron National Park

A cabin that everyone can love

Regardless of how you feel about the Sportage’s exterior design, it’s hard to deny that Kia has knocked it out of the park with the interior.

Whereas the design of the Tucson’s cabin feels a little uninspired and simple, the interior of the Sportage is anything but. Our flagship GT-Line variant comes as standard with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 12.3-inch infotainment screen, both neatly incorporated into a curved panel that runs seamlessly across the dashboard and exudes a premium feel akin to the Germans.

Flanking the screens are dramatically-shaped air vents while located directly below is a wooden veneer that extends from the dashboard through to the front door panels. The Sportage GT-Line also has a dedicated touchscreen housing both the climate controls and important media functions just like in the EV6. As such, a quick press on the screen can adjust it from the HVAC settings to the media settings. It’s a neat way to avoid splitting the controls into two panels and thanks to the responsiveness of the slim screen, is very easy to use.

The transmission tunnel is where you’ll find a rotary shifter for the gears, as well as buttons for the heated and ventilated seats, plus the various driving modes. It’s beautifully laid out, although the overabundance of piano black may irk some buyers. Leather-appointed seats with lashings of artificial suede add to the premium feel, as do the eight-way power-adjustable driver and front passenger seats.

Other key features found within the 2022 Sportage GT-Line 2.0 Diesel include alloy sports pedals, paddle shifters, adjustable ambient mood lighting, wireless phone charging, and a panoramic sunroof.

All told, the interior of the flagship Sportage is up there with the very best from the midsize SUV market. And on the road? It excels there too.

Francois Peron National Park

Very little can unsettle the Sportage

Setting off on our journey and with rain lashing the Kia’s windshield, we were immediately impressed with the visibility offered up by the SUV. Despite the steeply raked windshield and the seemingly compact side windows, the Sportage certainly feels more like a premium offering than its price tag may suggest.

Thanks in part to a local tuning program designed to make the Sportage perfectly suited to Australian surfaces, bumpy highway and country roads are an absolute breeze. The SUV feels composed along the coarsest of tarmac and it does an excellent job of soaking up bumps. This comes despite the fact that the GT-Line comes standard with 19-inch wheels.

The engine and transmission also suit the Sportage well. Much like the larger 2.2-liter turbo-diesel in the Sorento, the 2.0-liter unit found here is eager to respond and quiet, so much so that’d you’d be hard-pressed to even know that it is a diesel unless you’re a little too happy with the throttle. Response off the line is good and the eight-speed automatic performs well. However, we would have liked to see Kia’s dual-clutch find its way into the Sportage.

Charles Knife Canyon, Exmouth

A handful of driving modes are available, including Eco, Normal, Smart, and Sport. They all say what they do on the tin and throughout our journey, we primarily used the Eco and Smart modes. The latter of these options is particularly good for use around town as it serves as a good middle ground between Normal where the transmission can be a little slow to respond whereas Sport is often a little too abrupt in its feedback, making it particularly hard to get off the line smoothly. We averaged 6.7 l/100 km (35.1 U.S. mpg) during our time with the Sportage, although that was heavily skewed towards highway driving.

Read More: Funky Looking 2022 Kia Sportage Comes To Australia In Long Body Form

Of course, it should come as no surprise that the Sportage performs well on the street. What we were particularly keen to discover was just how it would handle some more difficult surfaces, like driving on sand and along corrugated gravel roads with 100 km/h (62 mph) speed limits.

Five Fingers Reef, Coral Bay

Is the Sportage even remotely rugged?

Our first opportunity to sample the Sportage’s off-roading abilities came in the small town of Coral Bay, known for its snorkeling. Reaching one of the most popular snorkeling areas necessitated us to navigate through a tight, twisting off-road area consisting of soft sand, deep ruts, and some pretty serious approach and departure angles. The Kia performed flawlessly and when we reached the beach, it certainly turned quite a few heads. After all, of the 30-plus vehicles on the beach, it was the only one that wasn’t a Toyota Land Cruiser, Toyota HiLux, or Nissan Navara.

Karijini National Park

It’s also worth noting that the Sportage GT-Line 2.0 Diesel doesn’t come equipped with the most off-road focused tires out there. In fact, it comes standard with Nexen Roadian GTX 235/55 touring tires but with the pressures dropped to around 15 psi, it performed very well. Admittedly, we did have to drive across the sand with more speed than most others around us, fearing that driving too slowly could see us get bogged. The only area that proved too much for the Sportage was a steep ascent up a sand dune but that obstacle was also too difficult for the Land Cruiser Prado in front of us. Nothing to be ashamed of, then.

We also took the Sportage through some of Australia’s infamous bulldust. This soft, powdery dust is found throughout the outback and deserts of Australia and is made up of very fine pieces of sand. When you drive across it, particularly at high speeds, it billows up huge clouds that can remain suspended in the air for several minutes. It was not too much for the Sportage to handle, however, and while it did completely cover the outside of the SUV, the cabin remained remarkably free of dust and the Kia was always easy to control. It even did a good job of passing along corrugated gravel roads, although admittedly not as well as a larger SUV with more advanced shocks and springs would.

Red Bluff Lookout, Kalbarri

It is hard not to be impressed by the new Sportage. It feels every bit as premium as the larger Sorento and also feels just as home when taken off the tarmac. In our opinion, midsize SUV buyers should seriously consider it.

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Photo Credits: Brad Anderson/CarScoops

We’re Driving The BMW i4 eDrive40, What Do You Want To Know?

We’re Driving The BMW i4 eDrive40, What Do You Want To Know?

The all-electric BMW i4 may be based around the combustion-powered 4-Series Gran Coupe but it has a lot of promise and soon, we will be spending a week with one.

Two variants of the i4 have been introduced in the Australian market. The model we’re driving is the entry-level eDrive40 complete with the M Sport package and while it doesn’t offer the kind of M3-rivalling speeds of the i40 M50, it should offer plenty of performance.

Driving the i4 eDrive40 is a single electric motor powering the rear wheels and pumping out 250 kW (335 hp) and 317 lb-ft (470 Nm) of torque. That’s a healthy amount of power given the base model isn’t all-wheel drive like the flagship Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 which both have two electric motors and are capped at 225 kW (302 hp) and 605 Nm (446 lb-ft).

BMW says the eDrive40 is good for 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.7 seconds and thanks to its large 84 kWh battery pack, has a range of 520 km (323 miles) over the combined cycle under Australian testing parameters.

Read Also: BMW Sales Boss Says Tesla’s Reign Over The EV Market Is Over

Plenty of other things make the entry-level BMW i4 seem quite promising. For example, it is capable of 200 kW charging and in Australia, comes with a 5-year Chargefox membership offering complimentary unlimited use of Fast and Ultra-Rapid public charging stations. Making an impression on the outside are 19-inch M light-alloy wheels, the M High-gloss Shadow Line kit, and the M Aerodynamics package.

The interior of the i4 is quite similar to the 4-Series Gran Coupe although it does have some unique features, the most notable of which is the curved display that includes a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 14.0-inch infotainment display, and which made its appearance this week in the facelifted 3-Series and the model year update of the M3 as well.

As mentioned, we’ll be spending a week with the i4 eDrive40 so will have plenty of time to test it out in a host of different conditions. If there’s anything you’d like to know about the EV, let us know in the comments.

Photos: BMW

A BMW E61 M5 Touring With A Six-Speed Manual Swap Is A Near Perfect Wagon

The E60-generation BMW M5 will always have a special place in the heart of enthusiasts thanks largely to its use of a 5.0-liter naturally-aspirated V10.

BMW built the E60 M5 over a period of six years, offering it in both sedan and Touring guises. In most markets, a seven-speed SMG automatic transmission was the only available option but buyers in the U.S. could also purchase the sedan with a six-speed manual. So, when a British engineer embarked on his latest project, he decided to get his hands on an M5 Touring and equip it with a stick shift, creating a variant of the M5 that BMW itself never produced.

Watch Also: How Much Power Does An E61 M5 Touring Make In High And Low Power Modes?

Carfection recently had the opportunity to drive the car and notes that the gearbox fitted to his M5 Touring is very similar to the six-speed of the U.S. model but does have a few different parts.

As you can imagine, the combination of a high-revving V10 and a manual transmission results in a truly remarkable package. When coupled with the fact that this M5 is the more practical Touring model, you have what could very well be the perfect daily driver.

The V10 was good for 500 hp and 384 lb-ft (520 Nm) of torque when it was new but this example probably has slightly more grunt than that thanks to the fitment of a carbon fiber air intake and airbox. The presence of this intake also results in some beautiful induction noise that Henry Catchpole is particularly fond of.

Chris Harris Used To Own This Wicked Little Lotus Exige S1

The Lotus Exige is sadly no more but it remains one of the purest and most addictive sports cars ever launched and Chris Harris recently took a trip down memory lane with one particular special Exige.

This Exige is a Series 1 model and was once a press car. Harris used it as a long-termer for six months when it was new and says that he drove it almost 15,000 miles (~24,000 km) during his time with it.

Harris absolutely loved his time with the Exige S1 back it did have some issues back in the day. Most notably, the engine had an issue where it could rock back and forth and during one trip back from the Nurburgring, he blew up the original engine. It has since been fitted with a replacement 1.8-liter Rover K-Series producing roughly 190 hp.

Read Also: Unbelievably Lucky Guys Cheat Death In Final Destination-Like Crash After Lotus Flies Into Lamp Post

When driving the car for the first time in 20 years, Harris notes that he would happily forgo all of the performance offered by modern-day sports cars and supercars for a driving experience as raw as this. He describes that the steering is “gorgeous” and says that the manual transmission is absolutely perfect.

2022 Hyundai Santa Fe

What kind of vehicle is the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe? What does it compare to?

The Santa Fe spans the mid-size crossover SUV range with seating for five, a fuel-sipping Hybrid model, and turbo-4 Calligraphy luxury edition. Its competition ranges from the similar Kia Sorento to the Honda Passport, Nissan Murano, and Jeep Grand Cherokee. 

Is the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe a good SUV?

Review continues below

It’s very good, with a TCC Rating of 7.2 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What’s new for the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe?

The plug-in hybrid is now available, and a new XRT trim joins the lineup of SE, SEL, Limited, and Calligraphy crossovers.

Last year’s revamp of the Santa Fe’s nose and tail injected some energetic styling cues, maybe a little too energetic. Its exterior wears lots of cutlines and trim, but this year’s new XRT edition tones some of the clutter down with dark trim and wheels. The interior strikes us as more appealing: it’s confidently executed, with podlike vents, a low beltline, and big infotainment screens of up to 10.3 inches to go with quilted leather and high-grade headliners.

The base Santa Fe makes do with a pedestrian 191-hp inline-4; a 277-hp turbo-4 clips along at a significantly faster pace, but city driving leaves its dual-clutch transmission confused at times. We like the 226-hp Hybrid best for smoothness and efficiency, but will hold judgement until we drive the coming plug-in hybrid and test its 31-mile range claim. All Santa Fes put ride quality ahead of steering precision—rightly so, for a family vehicle—and deliver that poise better with the smaller wheels and tires offered across the lineup.

With room for four 6-foot-tall passengers and a smaller fifth in the back middle seat, the Santa Fe scores in interior comfort. Its well-cushioned front seats can be covered in nappa leather, and can be power-adjusted, heated, and cooled; in back it’s comfy for people or easily folded down to grow storage space to 72.1 cubic feet behind the front seats. The related Kia Sorento still has a third-row seat, but the Santa Fe doesn’t.

Every Santa Fe comes with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high-beam headlights. A head-up display can be fitted, as can a surround-view camera system. Crash-test scores rank at the top of the mid-size crossover class, too.

How much does the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe cost?

The $28,425 Santa Fe SE comes with cloth upholstery, 18-inch wheels, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as an 8.0-inch touchscreen and a 5-year/60,000-mile warranty. Spend about $30,000 for an SEL with a power driver seat, wireless smartphone charging, and remote start—or make it a hybrid with a digital gauge cluster, leather upholstery, and a panoramic roof for about $39,000. 

Where is the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe made?

Hybrids come from South Korea; other Santa Fes hail from Alabama.

2023 Nissan Z

What kind of vehicle is the 2023 Nissan Z? What does it compare to?

The 2023 Nissan Z is a two-seat sports coupe with classic proportions wrapped in a stunning new silhouette. Starting at about $41,000, it competes with American muscle cars as well as the Toyota GR Supra, the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ twins, and Hyundai N models. 

Is the 2023 Nissan Z a good car?

Review continues below

The rear-wheel-drive coupe with a standard 6-speed manual honors the past while adapting to the present with an eye-catching design, a stiffer structure, more power, and the latest safety and convenience technologies. It earns a TCC Rating of 6.2 out of 10.  (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What’s new for the 2023 Nissan Z?

After skipping the 2021 and 2022 model years, the Z returns with just a trademark letter, even though it still rides on the chassis of its predecessor, the 370Z. It’s stronger, stiffer, quieter, quicker, more modern, and pretty much better in every measure.  

Its classic sports car proportions, low and wide with a rounded roof and a long nose and snub rear, draws praise from people who appreciate beauty, regardless of if they appreciate cars. The interior also honors the Z’s storied history but steps into the modern era with a digital gauge cluster and a larger touchscreen. 

The gauges help drivers measure the output of a new twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 shared with the Infiniti Q50/Q60 in the Nissan family. It makes 400 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque, sent to the rear wheels via an efficient 9-speed automatic with paddle shifters or a carryover 6-speed manual with downshift rev matching, no-lift shifts, and a springy clutch pedal. It’s a joy, and the stiffer chassis and notable suspension upgrades make the Z equal parts everyday commuter and weekend getaway car. 

But only two passengers are getting away in this two seater, and they’ll need to pack light with scant storage space in the doors and rear pockets, and a hatch that can only fit items about two feet tall, by our estimation. 

Nissan equips the Z with safety systems designed to mitigate or avoid crashes. All models come with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitors, lane-departure warnings, and automatic high beams. The new Z may not be crash tested by the IIHS or the NHTSA due its expected low volume. 

How much does the 2023 Nissan Z cost?

The Z starts at a reasonable $41,015, including a $1,025 destination fee. The base Sport model features a 12.3-inch reconfigurable gauge cluster and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It carries the old school vibe here as well with manual seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The Performance model adds $10,000 as well as a mechanical limited-slip differential, lightweight 19-inch RAYS alloy wheels wrapped and performance tires, sport brakes, and active noise cancellation. A Proto Spec with yellow accents and bronze 19-inch wheels costs $54,015, but it’s limited to only 240 units in the U.S. 

Where is the 2023 Nissan Z made?

In Japan.