A new look to align with the rest of their line-up, a longer body mixed with a modern and athletic style, and an aggressive front and rear – the 2022 Kia Sportage S is here to set new benchmarks in the medium SUV space.
The S is the entry level Sportage, followed by the SX, the SX+ and the range-topping GT-Line. All four trims are available in a petrol or diesel variant, with ours, a Dawning Red coloured gasoline offering with an automatic transmission, making us do a double take.
At first glance, the styling can almost be described as out of this world. It’s a look you’d expect on a concept car. Compared to the previous generation, it’s hard to believe they carry the same Sportage badge.
The new Kia logo on the front and back, as well as the Sportage in the accompanying font, pop straight away. It’s a good look. The 17-inch wheels however, with the larger profile tyre to compensate for rolling diameter, looks much too small in the huge wheel wells.
Boomerang shaped DRLs that arch around the headlight housing add to the aesthetic, while inside, you’re greeted by a nice leather steering wheel. Unfortunately, the S is the base spec so you can’t expect a sea of the stuff – it’s all comfortable cloth trim here.
Behind the wheel, you’ve got an 8.0-inch instrument cluster, with an adjoining 8.0-inch media unit. Higher spec Sportage variants offer a twin 12.3-inch setup.
The instrument cluster works well though, and has all the information you’d need when driving. The tacho and speedo are both digital and all the settings can be controlled from the steering wheel.
The infotainment system feels a tad dated but does feature wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Satellite navigation has however been kicked to the kerb in the S, so you’ll have to rely on your smartphone to not get lost.
Other than that, the cabin is fairly minimalist in design, with the only other buttons and dials being the climate controls, parking sensors and camera, as well as hill descent and auto hold. There are blank button covers here and there, which cheapens the experience.
The Sportage S is powered by a 2.0-litre inline 4-cylinder producing 115kW and 192Nm of torque. A small turbocharger would make a big difference here but you’re not looking at the S for performance – let’s be honest.
This is mated to a 6-speed conventional torque converter automatic gearbox which is quite smooth and rows through the gears well. There are no flappy paddles, so you’ll have to let the car do all the shifting work for you.
There’s plenty of space though, so you won’t be worrying about legroom or headroom in the Sportage S. We even had enough space in the second row to place a rear-facing child seat without compromising the seating position in the front.
Practicality is one of this car’s strong points, with a 543-litre boot, which can be extended to 1829-litres with the second row folded down. If that doesn’t get you going, there are two cup holders front and rear, with bottle holders in all four doors.
Safety comes in the form of autonomous emergency braking, rear cross traffic alerts, blind spot monitoring, and lane keep and guidance assist, among others. There’s two ISOFIX anchor points and three top tether points as well.
You get plenty of car too at $28,390 excluding on-road costs. It may not be the fastest thing on the road, but it’ll get you where you need to go comfortably. As an added bonus, it looks a little like a spaceship.
Kia offer a 7-year unlimited kilometre warranty on top of a ridiculously good price point, so if you’re on the hunt for a mid-sized SUV that gets the job done, you’ve found it. You can build your own on the Kia Australia website.
Our 2022 KIA Sportage S (2.0L Petrol) was supplied by KIA Australia. To find out more, contact your local KIA dealer. Pictures courtesy of J_Hui Design / Photography.