Review - 2021 Kia Sportage

By Alexi Falson on 19 Apr 2021
image for Review - 2021 Kia Sportage Did you know that nearly one in every two cars sold in Australia is an SUV?

It’s a car segment that has absolutely exploded in popularity since manufacturers began turning their attention to making SUVs more affordable, comfortable, technologically advanced and family-friendly.

One of the major contenders in the space is Kia, who has five different types of SUV, from the small, compact Stonic, all the way to the largest of people movers, in the form of the Sorrento. The Kia Sportage sits smack-bang in the middle of the lineup, and promises all the benefits of a high-riding, family-swallowing SUV without the hefty price tag.

Starting Price: $28,990

OnlineAuto Savings: $4,525.01

Kia Sportage - S (FWD) Specifications

Model Date 2021
Make KIA
Series QL PE MY21
Variant S (FWD)
Transmission 6 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive FWD
Engine MPFI
Engine capacity 1999
Engine configuration VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 6200 / 4000
Cylinders 4
Torque 192
KW 114
Fuel tank size 62.0
Fuel usage specs 7.9 / 0.0
CO2 182
ANCAP security rating 5

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

How Much Does It Cost?

The Sportage lineup starts at just $28,990 for the base ‘S’ model, and increases as you move through the more expensive ‘SX’ model which is priced at $30,790, and range-topping GT-Line which is priced from $45,290.

How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You?

Using OnlineAuto’s car buying service, you could save between $1,800 and around $5,000 by sourcing one of our car specialists to help you find the best value model for you.

What Features Does the Kia Sportage Have?

As per usual with a manufacturer like Kia, the Sportage is a feature-packed offering that will not leave the average buyer disappointed. For your money, an entry level Sportage offers features like 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, a huge raft of safety equipment, 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, automatic headlights, leather-looking steering wheel, as well as a full-sized spare tyre.

All this is on top of the Sportage’s 5-Star ANCAP safety rating, thanks in part to the huge raft of safety equipment that Kia is bundling in, even on the base model that we’ll cover in the safety section.

Stepping up to the mid-spec Sportage ‘SX’ variant adds satellite navigation, 18-inch alloy wheels, DAB radio and some LED daytime running lights, while the range-topping GT-Line adds niceties like a panoramic sunroof, adaptive cruise control, sports steering wheel and wireless charging for smartphones.

Sportage Range Features:

  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Multiple safety, driving functions, sensors and cameras
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support
  • Full-sized spare tyre
  • JBL Premium Sound System (SX variant)
  • Leather appointed seats & hands-free tailgate (GT-Line variant)
  • Seven-Year Warranty with Capped-Price Services 

Kia Sportage Colours

Clear White Sparkling Silver
Steel Grey Cherry Black
Fiery Red Mercury Blue

Is it Comfortable to Drive?

The Kia Sportage is exceptionally comfortable to drive, both around town and on smaller B-roads that begin to test out its suspension. Thanks to tonnes of experience and tweaks, Kia has created a car that is effortlessly easy to drive, but responsive enough to keep the driver engaged on anything from a family road trip to a supermarket dash. The steering is lightweight, the suspension is comfortable and the acceleration is on-point for this segment of the market.

Driving the Sportage, you could quite easily fool yourself into thinking you’re driving one of Kia’s smaller cars; it’s just that easy to drive. That however, comes at a slight cost, as you’re about to discover.

Is it Practical and Spacious?

It is, indeed, both practical and spacious - but it’s not a class-leader in this regard. That’s not to say it’s small, though. The front of the cabin is spacious thanks to its modern design and the seats are comfortable for longer road trips. Passengers in the back will be impressed by the rear leg and headroom, for even the tall of occupants, while those with a family will find the 466L boot perfectly acceptable. This boot space increases to a sizable 1455L with the rear-seats down, but it is worth considering that some of the Sportage’s competitors offer more in terms of practicality and space.

Is it Safe?

The Kia Sportage is extremely safe, and has been awarded the maximum 5-Stars in the ANCAP safety rating system. Safety is one area that the Sportage excels, thanks to Kia including autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning systems, lane keep assist and driver alerts on even the base Sportage variant.

If you’re willing to pay extra for the range-topping Sportage variant, you’ll get the following safety equipment:

  • Blind Spot Detection (BSD) and Lane Change Assist (LCA)
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
  • Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)
  • Forward Collision Warning System (FCWS)
  • Intelligent Parking Assist System (IPAS)
  • Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)
  • Six Airbags Including Curtain Airbags

Is it Fuel Efficient?

Official figures for the four-cylinder petrol found in the S-variant stand at 7.9L/100km, while the SX and GT-Line offer up economy of between 6.4L/100km and 11.2L/100km, depending on your choice of engine. That means that for the majority of the Sportage lineup, fuel economy figures are competitive, but lacking at times compared to its competitors like the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5 or the Toyota RAV-4.

Diesel engines are the most fuel efficient Sportage offering.

  • S Petrol: 7.9L/100km
  • S Diesel: 6.4L/100km
  • SX Petrol: 7.9L/100km
  • SX Diesel: 6.4L/100km
  • GT-Line Petrol: 8.5L/100km
  • GT-Line Diesel: 6.4L/100km 

Our Verdict: Is the Kia Sportage Worth It?

Considering the fact that the Sportage is up against the likes of the Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Toyota RAV-4 and Mazda CX-5, purchasers stand to benefit from the intense competition. We’ve seen the midsize SUV market as a whole throw in more technology and safety equipment and more competitive price tags in order to undercut and overcome the competition.

The Kia Sportage is no exception, and Kia looks more than happy to throw their hat in the ring and continue to offer up some of the most appealing consumer choices out there. Considering that Kia has one of the best warranty and servicing packages currently on the market, the Sportage is a very attractive proposition for a growing family.

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Five Star ANCAP Safety Rating
  2. Fuel Economy Rated Between 6.4L/100km (S, SX diesel) and 8.5L/100km (GT-Line petrol)
  3. Transmission: Option of six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic
  4. 0-100km/h time: 9.5-10.4 seconds
  5. 466L of boot space (1455L with the rear-seats folded)


  • Slick interior design
  • Safety equipment bundled as standard
  • Running costs, affordability and great warranty


  • Smaller interior than competitors
  • Average fuel consumption from four-cylinder petrol

OnlineAuto Rating: 8.0/10

Kia Sportage Competition

Kia Sportage

Mazda CX-5
Toyota RAV4
Kia Seltos
Mazda CX-3
Hyundai Tucson


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.

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