The arrival of my new Sportage raised a few eyebrows among my friends. “An SUV?” they said, “what do you need an SUV for? You don’t have kids!”.
They’re right, I don’t. But I do like a big car, and being a keen cyclist, I do lug lots of stuff around on a regular basis. So on paper, at least, Kia’s mid-sized SUV should be right up my street.
I’ve opted for the Sportage 2, which as the name suggests is the second model within the range. It should offer me everything I need, and a few things I want, without costing the earth. It rides on big – but not massive – 17-inch alloy wheels, has some chrome bits for extra bling on the outside, and some high-powered LED headlights.
Engine-wise, I’ve opted for the diesel-powered 1.7 CRDi. Despite diesel’s current bad reputation, modern diesel engines are as clean as they come, and as I do hundreds of miles on motorways each week, I need the improved fuel economy that diesel offers over petrol.
Colour-wise, white is perhaps not the most exciting of the palette that Kia offers. I could tell you that I chose it because of its neutral appeal, with an eye on the car’s resale value, but actually, Kia had a white one in stock, which meant we didn’t have to wait for one to be built. So we went with that.
Kia loads its cars with plenty of equipment as standard, and my Sportage has plenty of toys that I’m looking forward to playing with. The obvious stuff is the folding rear seats, which I’m hoping give me enough boot space to hold my bike and associated accessories, for some planned jaunts around the country. Once I’m on the move, I’ll be plugging my phone into the infotainment system via USB, to keep it charged and stream music and podcasts (I’m not much of a radio guy). There are six speakers in the sound system as standard, and as a bit of an audiophile I hope they’re up to the task.
The headlights might not seem like obvious features to get excited about, but in the winter months I’m looking forward to having extra power to light the way. I live on the outskirts of town and drive through unlit countryside at night, and will take all the visual help I can get to watch out for wildlife and other rural hazards. The Sportage 2 comes with High Beam Assist, which will automatically dip full beam headlights when it senses an oncoming car, to avoid dazzling them. No more flipping the stalk for me.
Stay tuned to hear how I get on.