Like before, purely coincidentally the new 2018 Kia Sportage was scheduled right after the previously reviewed 2018 VW Tiguan. They clearly operate in the same market segment, aim for the same audience, so it was very appropriate to do the inevitable comparison of both vehicles. To be honest, there couldn’t be be much more of a difference between these two competitors if you wanted it to.
Where the VW Tiguan is clearly showing the application of the latest VW design language, a very conservative interpretation of rather predictable lines and intersections, the Sportage seems to have gone through a much more thorough refreshing and comes out light years ahead of the VW. The previous generation Kia Sportage was already a solid base, with a very modern and fresh ‘look’ to it, and in this Sportage you can clearly see that no stone was left upturned to optimize not only the front and rear but virtually each and every surface of the car.
There is proper tension in lines and surfaces, refreshed and reworking of principle design ideas which, in all, don’t take away at all from the image the previous generation Sportage had established, but instead carry that same over to the current Kia design language in a way only the Kia Sedona seems to do yet. This is a much better upgrade than the Kia Optima, which was a very strong one already.
The exterior is a very homogeneous design, with everything in the right place and with precise balance to be just right, not too much, not too little. That same has been carried over to the interior, where I do see some parts bin items as found in the Sedona, but what a parts bin that is. Every car should be so lucky to have that to choose from. It gives the interior a very upper level feel of luxury and sportiness, feels again ‘just right’ and leaves the VW Tiguan behind.
The VW though did have a good fuel consumption, and actually bettered the Kia Sportage in that respect. The one thing that keeps nagging in my mind is how much I can trust that data provided by the car itself given VW’s history with that subject. I know, they should’ve fixed it all now, and these are not Diesels, but still, there does seem a stigma planted due to their actions that Kia clearly does not have.