I have to admit – P1,820,000 for a compact crossover might sound steep for a lot of car buyers, considering that midsize 7-seater SUVs are priced within that range. But like I always say, this segment is a niche market, aimed for people who value comfort, style, and convenience over passenger capacity.
The Kia Sportage is a perfect example of an underrated crossover that warrants more attention than what it currently receives. The features it offers match its hefty price tag, but its lackluster safety features balanced out the what could have been a stellar score on tech & safety.
Here’s a closer look.
Technology: Ticking the right boxes
I’m all raves for the Sportage’s tech features, primarily because Kia has done a great job in putting the appropriate toys in the right places. The features aren’t perfect, but they’re doing their job as needed; much like a rank and file employee who sticks to the job description and goes home on the dot – except maybe for the LED lighting that the car has for its exterior lighting.
Beyond the great-looking LEDs, the features include power adjustable front seats but without memory function even for the driver. The range-topping Sportage also has passive keyless entry, push-start ignition, auto-folding side mirrors when the car’s locked, speed-sensing door locks, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, automatic headlights but without auto-leveling, rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone climate control, and standard cruise control.
As for the head unit, the Sportage GT-Line (and the mid-variant) comes with an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system that employs an effective monochrome display. The six-speaker setup delivers an average-sounding unit, but it’s enough for you to enjoy a wide range of music genres. Even better, it has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
However, Apple CarPlay has become both its strongest and weakest point. While having this feature should employ seamlessness in smartphone integration, my time with the Sportage proved otherwise as the connection was intermittent. With this inconsistency, it somehow defeats the purpose of having this feature.
Safety: Could be better
The Kia Sportage GT-Line has a lot of safety features to boot: dual front, side, and curtain airbags, stability control, downhill brake control, hill start assist, and a reverse camera with front and rear parking sensors. All thumbs up if you’ll go for the range-topper.
However, choosing the entry-level and mid-variants would mean sacrificing a lot in terms of safety as you’ll only get driver’s airbag, ISOFIX child seat anchors, standard ABS, and driver/front passenger seatbelt reminders. Also, only four occupants get a 3-point seatbelt system, with the rear middle passenger having to make do with a lap belt only.
If Kia gave the lower variants better safety equipment, it would have scored higher in terms of safety in my review.