2023 Kia Sportage 2.0D Diesel Review

By Alexi Falson on 05 Mar 2023
image for 2023 Kia Sportage 2.0D Diesel Review Until the Kia Sportage Hybrid arrives next year, Kia’s Sportage Diesel remains the best fuel-economy pick within the company’s family-friendly Sportage range.

In its latest form, the Sportage has picked up an impressive new styling package and a heap of standard equipment to match, atop Kia’s outstanding ownership program, making it one of the most compelling value propositions within the midsize SUV segment.

With that in mind, just how does the Sportage diesel stack up against the rest of the range, and its competitors, when it comes to fuel efficiency and driving enjoyment? Let’s find out.

Starting Price: $40,195

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Kia Sportage - GT-LINE (AWD) Specifications

Model Date 2023
Make KIA
Series NQ5 MY23
Variant GT-LINE (AWD)
Fuel type DIESEL
Transmission 8 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive AWD
Engine TCDI
Engine capacity 1998
Engine configuration DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 4000 / 2000
Cylinders DT4
Torque 416
KW 137
Fuel tank size 54.0
Fuel usage specs 6.3 / 0
CO2 163
ANCAP security rating 5

For more details and other variants, check Kia Sportage car page.

How Much Does It Cost?

Kia’s entry-level Sportage S can be fitted with the company’s 2.0-litre diesel engine, with prices for the most affordable Sportage diesel standing at $40,195.

From here, the step up to the Sportage SX 2.0D brings the price to $42,750, while the Sportage SX+ is priced at $47,250.

Kia’s range-topping Sportage GT-Line, powered by a diesel engine, is priced at $52,720.

Keep in mind that prices listed here are subject to change, and do not include on-road costs.

How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You?

Using OnlineAuto’s car buying service, our car sourcing specialists can help you find the best value model for you.

What Features Does the Kia Sportage Diesel Have?

Kia’s entry-level Sportage S comes riding on a set of 17-inch alloys, and receives LED headlights and daytime running lamps and part-LED tail lights, as well as a reversing camera with rear-mounted parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and an 8.0-inch infotainment system with DAB+ radio and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Moving to the Sportage SX adds a set of 18-inch alloys, as well as dual-zone climate control, leather gear lever, automatic wipers, power-adjustable driver’s seat, remote folding rear seats and an upgraded 12.3-inch infotainment system with satellite navigation.

The Sportage SX+ adds to the package with 19-inch alloys, LED fog lights, heated front seats wrapped in vegan leather, keyless entry and start, front-mounted parking sensors, a powered boot lift, wheel-mounted paddles and an upgraded Harman Kardon sound system.

Finally, Kia’s range-topping Sportage GT-Line comes packaged with heated and ventilated front seats, leather and suede upholstery, Bi-LED headlights and tail lights, wireless smartphone charging, LED ambient lighting, a panoramic sunroof, surround-view camera, remote parking assistance and a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display.

Range Features:

  • 17-inch alloys

  • LED headlights and daytime running lamps

  • Part-LED tail lights

  • Rear-view camera with parking sensors

  • Adaptive cruise control

  • 8.0-inch infotainment system with DAB+, wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto

  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel

  • 18-inch alloys (Sportage SX)

  • 12.3-inch infotainment system with satellite navigation (Sportage SX)

  • Dual-zone climate control (Sportage SX)

  • Power-adjustable driver’s seat (Sportage SX)

  • 19-inch alloys (Sportage SX+)

  • LED fog lights (Sportage SX+)

  • Powered boot lift (Sportage SX+)

  • Harman Kardon sound system (Sportage SX+)

  • Bi-LED headlights with LED tail lights (Sportage GT-Line)

  • Panoramic sunroof (Sportage GT-Line)

  • Leather & suede upholstery with heated & ventilated seats  (Sportage GT-Line)

  • 12.3-inch digital driver’s display (Sportage GT-Line)

Kia Sportage Diesel Colours

The Kia Sportage diesel range is available in a choice of eight colours, including Clear White as a no-cost colour, while Snow White, Dawning Red, Gravity Grey, Vesta Blue, Fusion Black, Jungle Wood Green and Steel Grey remain optional colour finishes.

Is it Comfortable to Drive?

The Kia Sportage diesel comes powered by an updated 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel unit that produces 137kW of power and 416Nm of torque that offers a significant torque boost over its predecessor, and feels great on the road.

There’s a healthy amount of power on offer combined with a generous amount of torque to help push you up to speed, with power thrown to all four wheels via Kia’s slick eight-speed automatic that works seamlessly as you pick up the pace.

The Sportage diesel’s braked towing capacity stands at 1900kg, which is significantly larger than the 1650kg towing cap for the rest of the range.

It’s worth noting that all Sportage diesel variants, regardless of the trim, come fitted with an all-wheel-drive platform over the base front-wheel-drive system, which offers a significant amount of grip for the rear axle and gives the Sportage a smooth and stable nature.

This gets even better when you consider the fact Kia takes the time to test and refine the ride and handling characteristics specifically for Australian roads, which pays dividends around town and on the open road.

Around town, the suspension works well to iron out small bumps and irregularities, while offering a heap of stability as you pick up speed, with a very impressive ride quality on offer thanks to Kia’s local tuning.

The Sportage remains exceptionally user-friendly for new and experienced drivers alike, with the platform offering a featherweight steering rack that is easy to turn at low speeds, while offering the driver some usable feedback as you pick up the pace.

As a complete package, the Sportage diesel range is a fabulously smooth midsize SUV that offers decent torque figures and an extremely comfortable ride quality thanks to Kia’s Australian tune for its vehicles.

Is it Practical and Spacious?

At its core, the Sportage has been designed with family buyers in mind, which means Kia has spared no effort in making the Sportage a particularly practical midsize SUV.

Up front, the driver and front passenger gain a heap of forward visibility and headroom, with an adjustable driving position that accommodates drivers of all shapes and sizes.

Kia’s styling refresh for the Sportage range extends to the cabin design, with the Sportage gaining a sleek interior design that is stylish, even in the base model, and offers a heap of practical touches that make it perfect for growing families.

The base Sportage S gains an 8.0-inch infotainment system while the higher-spec variants pick up a pair of 12.3-inch displays for the instrument cluster and infotainment system that make a single, seamless screen and add to the premium feel inside the cabin.

In the front of the cabin you’ll find a large storage tray behind the rotary gear dial, as well as a pair of cupholders with additional storage space, a heap of storage inside the massive folding armrest and in the sizable door bins on either side of the cabin.

Move to the second row of the cabin and you’ll find a comfortable bench seat with a heap of headroom for rear passengers, even with the panoramic sunroof fitted in higher-spec variants.

The Sportage offers a spacious rear cabin with a generous amount of legroom that can comfortably accommodate tall adults, with the added benefit of USB ports, air vents and a folding armrest with in-built cupholders for passengers in the rear.

The Sportage’s second row comes fitted with a pair of ISOFIX anchors and three top tether mounts for forward and rear-facing child seats, while the boot is rated at 543L, expanding to 1829L with the rear seats folded.

With all of these elements combined, Kia’s clever interior packaging designs makes the Sportage a true performer when put to the test by Australian families.

Is it Safe?

The Kia Sportage range has picked up ANCAP’s maximum five-star safety rating, scoring 87% for adult and child protection, 66% for vulnerable road user protection and 74% for its safety assist technologies.

As standard, every member of the Sportage range comes fitted with autonomous emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alerts, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assistance, adaptive cruise control, a rear-view camera with parking sensors, speed limit assistance and curtain airbags throughout the cabin.

Is it Fuel Efficient?

Turbo-diesel engines are known for their fuel economy figures, with the Kia Sportage’s 2.0-litre turbo-diesel returning combined cycle fuel economy figures of 6.3L/100km, putting it right on par with its diesel-powered midsize SUV rivals.

For reference, Kia’s 2.0-litre petrol engine is rated at 7.7L/100km on a combined cycle, while the Sportage powered by a 1.6-litre turbo petrol returns fuel economy figures of 7.2L/100km.

Our Verdict: Is the Kia Sportage Diesel Worth it?

Until the Sportage Hybrid arrives at some point next year, the most fuel-efficient member of the Sportage range remains the Sportage diesel, which is an over-performer in pretty much every aspect.

With its impressive driving nature, practical and well-appointed interior, exceptional safety equipment lists and one of Australia’s best ownership programs combined, the Sportage remains one of the most compelling offerings within the midsize SUV segment.

As a result, we can’t help but recommend you add it to your midsize SUV shortlist, and on that note,  if you’re in the market for a new car, you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty with capped-price servicing 

  2. Five-star ANCAP safety rating 

  3. All-wheel-drive platform for Sportage diesel range 

  4. Fuel economy figures of 6.3L/100km 

  5. Hybrid Sportage arriving in Australia some time in 2024


  • Smooth engine and transmission combination

  • Well-appointed and practical interior design

  • Comprehensive safety package as standard


  • Lack of hybrid engine option

  • Pricey capped-price servicing costs

OnlineAuto Rating: 8/10

Kia Sportage Competition

Kia Sportage 2.0D Diesel

Toyota RAV4
Mazda CX-5
Hyundai Tucson
Ford Escape


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

Have any questions? Call us on 1300 719 925

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