Are well-made Korean cars? 5,000 km make a Kia Sportage to find out

The aim is to assess the actual quality of Korean cars and look for the first signs of aging

Just as the Kia Sportage is at the end of its life cycle, we wanted to dismiss this seller with a severe test of 5,000 km has led us to Madrid, Castilla-Leon, Galicia , Asturias, Cantabria, Basque Country and west coast of France to the north of Brittany and Normandy border. Return, of course.

The goal is not only to test the car, but to try to shed light on the exact status of Korean cars, their actual quality and way of aging. Let’s get the magnifying glass to see if it makes sense to buy a Kia before a European or Japanese equivalent model , and we will make it blow kilometers family trip loaded to the brim. We started for France.


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The vehicle being tested is a Kia Sportage 1.7 CRDi 115 hp in Emotion finish , which already has almost 20,963 km of previous evidence at the time of collection and will be returned with 26,126 km at the end of our tour. It is the top of the range finish and the smaller diesel engine in terms of counting only with front-wheel drive, which we will take a brief look before entering the theme of quality and aging.

Kia Sportage 1.7 CRDi: engine, consumption and behavior

The 115 hp diesel engine showed sufficient to move the car at all times , to the point that I would recommend it as rational version and against all odds. The power was sufficient to bring the Sportage at legal speeds (up to 130 km / h in France) even uphill loaded with two adults and two children with all their luggage, while acceleration and recoveries require a degree of patience.


is frustrating fall between turbo and reverse

In acceleration, namely frustrating fall between turbo and reverse. If we accelerate further in the second to win the maximum speed and passed to third, releasing the clutch we find totally dead engine and have to wait a second timeless to regain steam in each upward march, as if the turbo frenase in dry when you release the throttle. The result is an acceleration stumbled awkward when joining a motorway or fast out of a parking space to achieve the flow of traffic.

The average consumption stood at 6,780 l / 100km, a rather high figure for constant speeds kept virtually the entire trip, which hardly touched the city, and for the limited power motor. Partial refueling ranged from 5,914 l / 100km and 7,502 l / 100km.


The engine has more agricultural than modern

The engine, meanwhile, is more agricultural than modern and refined, with a powerful idling with which we can start and drive without touching the accelerator, but accompanied by a cla-cla-cla especially cold other times reminiscent of diesel engines. That said, it is also true that no vibrations are transmitted inside the vehicle in no time. The car not have start-stop system, which penalizes consumption in the city and reduce the acoustic comfort.

Regarding the dynamic response, the low rate Sportage with a direction not absolutely transmit any information to the driver , imprecise at all times and does not allow clean drawn even highway where we’ll have small corrections to keep the car in the lane. Nothing alarming, but seems designed to maneuver than to circulate .

Kia_Sportage-mdm-00007 In turn, going as high and have no information on the remaining gripping, always opt for quiet speeds betting it safe, while we eliminate all driving pleasure. Dry dynamics is regular for this reason, but in wet steering becomes even more light, giving the feeling of driving on ice although the car grip perfectly .

The three set-address (Comfort, Normal and Sport) provide no more than a point of resistance artificial solves nothing. Definitely this is a quiet family without pretensions dynamic , despite its attractive and muscular image.


Kia Sportage: life on board

A very large, comfortable and quiet interior upholstered in black leather

not easy to 5,000 km with two children on board, let alone without a team of DVD in the rear seats, but the Sportage did his part a very large, comfortable and quiet interior leather upholstery black. He had to settle for the only seat configuration, since rear bench can not move , a limitation that puts at a disadvantage with respect to a minivan equivalent.

The large trunk, which exceeds 550 liters , it could swallow all our luggage with some effort, so that every time we packed everything became a game of Tetris. The height of the trunk is small, it is compensated by a great depth. The retractable tray was extremely practical and useful.


is a born wheeler, feeling particularly comfortable straight circulating

Once underway, the Sportage became a born wheeler to tackling roads and highways, feeling particularly comfortable with the programmer connected circulating speed and straight. Infiniti highlights music equipment, slightly above average in quality and power of sound, and powerful and efficient dual zone automatic climate control , able to cool the passenger compartment within minutes after an afternoon in the sun.

The driving position is too high for my taste even in the lowest position, and it seems conditioned by the external shape of the car, also very high waist. The ergonomics of the seat is not particularly bright, which is very comfortable the first two hours away but lacking in lumbar support thereafter. The main reason is that lumbar adjustment is not well resolved , offering support too high and some low.


The slurry showed a nice compromise between comfort and control of inertia and is among the best car

The front seats have a limited lateral grip , behaving more like cinema seats backets that as competition, but are consistent with the little car predilection for curves and strong support.

The suspension is among the best of the car, a nice compromise between comfort and control of inertia . The Kia tilted very little bend but never gets to be uncomfortable for passengers, giving a good sense of aplomb. If the address accompany if only a little win many points.

Kia_Sportage-mdm-00028 The browser was very helpful at all times, although mapping was somewhat obsolete and some other towns in France that burst should be at fault, and kilometers of motorways in Spain for more than a year that are open to traffic.


Kia Sportage: interior and exterior design after 5 years on the market

The exterior of the Kia Sportage is fully in force today

Entering the issue of aging and aesthetics beginning, I would say that the exterior of the Kia Sportage is fully in force today. The minimum restyling which was submitted in 2014 is barely perceptible, another sign that original design was profoundly right .

Inside, we find dashboard design in which enough over the years shows. The perceived quality was superb when it came to market, but the market has moved a lot since then and the combination of plastic and colors that came dazzling the segment SUV , is now commonplace among his rivals.


is a tough car (childproof) but with few facilities for children

I especially like the position of the conditioner with an inclination angle up that allows us to press its controls in a comfortable and ergonomic, much more than in a vertical center console (curiously, this position is lost in the new Sportage). All controls are in a very logical and understandable symbols feature for management position.

As a family, the Kia is a very hard car (childproof) but with few facilities for children lacks rear seatback trays, equipment DVD integrated storage compartments no more than the doors and center console, no surveillance mirror rear seat, the rear seat can not move to win trunk …

Kia_Sportage-mdm-00040 Yes I thought car childproof by the resistance of the leather seats, the lining of rigid plastic of the front seatbacks and on the strength of everything that can touch the rear passengers bound a very accomplished ease of cleaning and much appreciated. The completely flat floor for the rear seats is another added value.

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Kia Sportage: build quality and aging

The Kia brings to the table quality bombproof construction

In a test car for journalists with more than 20,000 km are already beginning to notice signs of aging clearly, giving an idea of ​​what you can take and hold a car and where to begin to fail. In this sense, the Kia brings to the table quality bombproof construction.


There has finished noises or disturbances anywhere

The interior finishing no noise or disturbances anywhere, even in heavily bumpy ground, and not be surprised one vibration in a vehicle that has passed through the hands of many journalists before us.

Satellites, buttons and knobs have a really nice cushioned feel. No luxury materials but plastic everywhere are solid, many quilts, and high-quality sounds .


2016 Kia Sportage: open your eyes and looks the new generation Sportage

The closing of doors, and an important indicator that makes work a lot, scores very high. No signs of wear or at closing, which remains tight and muffled, or handles, lacking clearances to blink. The tailgate also has a strong finish line first, and draws attention to the great weight of the hood on the engine, which has no gas cushion.

The operation of the door handles is impeccable and is a feeling of durability . The opening and closing windows is fast and quiet, as the sunroof that had occasion to blink countless times during the trip, giving a overall feeling of tightness .

Kia_Sportage-mdm-00018 As indicated above, the engine has a clearly perceptible from inside, but does not transmit the vibrations to the cabin under any circumstances, which also seems to me an important sign of quality diesel, or this.

Kia Sportage: strong, weak points and conclusions

deserves special mention overall quality feel of the vehicle

Starting with the strengths of the Kia Sportage, I think that deserves special mention overall quality feel of the vehicle, in which we have not found a single mismatch despite kilometers. Everything works like the first day in the Korean and everything seems built to last .


Nobody has succeeded in deprecating the exterior design of the Sportage

With regard to design, also called my attention the life of the exterior aesthetics after all these years and having renovated many of its rivals, especially the Qashqai. No one has rendered obsolete the exterior design of the Sportage.

The negatives Kia can be summarized in two: mechanical (for sound system usable twist and cold start) has seemed a little farm of more, although this type of car is a sense of brutality that I like so far. Perhaps the slump between turbo and reverse, which prevents a continuous acceleration without jerks, be the straw that breaks the camel of a motor clearly behind the market average, and that is the Achilles heel Korean for the time .


dare to recommend without hesitation the family car Kia Sportage as high quality construction

Another clearly negative element is the question of the leadership and dynamic behavior . The car is comfortable and stable, but the wheel is a light and mute control that prevents us from enjoying the car in turn, feel the sense of security necessary in the wet, or even indulging in a circular freeway small trajectory corrections.

As a conclusion, I would recommend without hesitation the Kia Sportage as a family vehicle high quality construction and have the feeling that their 7 years full warranty are a sure sign of strength that has been demonstrated during the test. Judging by this show, I dare say that the quality of Korean cars is not behind, but at or before any European or Japanese rival of similar price and format.

DCIM105GOPRO With a more modern engine and a minimally communicative steering would be almost perfect.

This trip was conducted between July 30 and August 18, 2015, traveling a route from the following locations: Madrid – A Coruña – Bilbao – Urt – Celle-L’Evescault – Plouagat – Mont Saint Michel – La Rochelle – San Sebastian – A Coruna – Madrid and totaling 5,163 km, mostly by motorway, but also including roads, country roads and city promptly

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