Our Kia Sportage in Number One Beach, Seal Rocks NSW Australia
Just earlier than Covid-19 hit we test drove a Kia Seltos to Stradbroke Island close to Brisbane in Queensland, Australia. Since then, the Seltos has gone on to turn out to be essentially the most profitable current nameplate launch on this planet, taking pictures as much as #42 worldwide over the First Half 2020 and toppling the VW T-Cross (#53). The Seltos has been such a runaway success that it already threatens the bigger Sportage (#40) because the best-selling Kia on this planet, and this solely a tiny greater than a yr after its launch. It was solely logical then, that our first Test Drive after the primary Covid-19 journey restrictions lifted would develop into a Kia Sportage. Can the Sportage maintain its floor in opposition to its new child on the block tiny bro the Seltos? Let’s discover out.
Our itinerary and what caught my eye as I stepped into the Sportage.
We shall be driving a Sportage GT-Line Diesel AWD geared up with a 1995cc engine, weighing 1.736 kg and priced at AUD$50.210 (30.800€ or US$36.615). For comparability, the Seltos GT-Line AWD we drove was priced at AUD41.990 (25.800€ or US$30.600). Kia has capped kms for its Test Drives, which is as nicely, given Australian interstate borders remained closed on the time of this Test Drive in late June 2020. We will subsequently keep comparatively near Sydney and head northeast in the direction of an space well-known domestically for its browsing seashores: the Myall Lakes area. The Seltos impressed us with its up-to-the-minute security alerts, head-up show and AWD capabilities. Stepping into the Sportage, we discover the identical intuitive steering wheel instructions (audio and cruise management), very luscious seats and a few sporty pedals, all pictured above. So far so good.
The further AUD$8.000 the Sportage is charging does afford a distinctly extra premium cabin than the Seltos, other than the analogue tacho and speedo. The inside door supplies at the moment are on-par with the remainder of the cockpit, and the general high quality notion is lots increased than you’ll count on coming from a Kia. The panoramic sunroof is a welcome addition as nicely. Exterior-wise, this 4th era of Sportage has been round since 2015, however a 2018 facelift has helped hold it present. Aggressive LED headlights, excellent 19″ alloy wheels and a redesigned entrance bumper even make it look sporty. The driver’s seat place feels much more spacious than the Seltos however the boot is surprisingly quick with the spare tyre taking an inordinate quantity of house. Beware households because the Sportage might not be capable of accomodate all of your suitcases.
The “surf side” of Myall Lakes National Park
Positives inside additionally embrace a big touchscreen, Apple Car Play connectivity and a sound system of sound high quality. We love the “Smart Power Tailgate”: you simply have to stand in entrance of the boot with the important thing fob in your pocket and the boot will open mechanically. Safety alerts are there, equivalent to rear cross visitors alert and lane help, however there isn’t any street signal recognition, no head-up show and by and big the Sportage is lots much less “techy” than the Seltos on the protection side which is disappointing given its increased value. Yes that is linked to the actual fact the Sportage is an older mannequin, however these high-tech options may have been added additional into the life stage of the mannequin. Dynamically, the Sportage betrays its weight, feeling wobbly in windy mountain roads and imposing a particular lag when accelerating. It’s excessive on the street, for certain, however not as sporty as a Peugeot 3008 or as dynamic as a Toyota RAV4 hybrid and feels love an previous era SUV. The Sportage is an efficient all-rounder, it does every little thing nicely however I didn’t really feel it delights in something both.
The “lake side” of Myall Lakes National Park
We’ve taken the Sportage to one of the vital lovely spots in Australia. The Myall Lakes National Park incorporates a patchwork of lakes, islands, dense littoral rainforest and seashores. To get there, it’s 220 km (135 mi) following the Pacific coast northbound from Sydney to get to Tea Gardens. This tranquil city alongside Hawks Nest are a real hidden gem. Tea Gardens’ allure is its river tradition, and the Boatshed Restaurant (pictured above) allowed for a peaceable but spectacular sundown. The lakes help an unbelievable amount and number of chicken life together with white-bellied sea eagles. Advertising for the Tea Gardens to Nelson Bay ferry, which begins on the Myall River then crosses the Karuah River, says dolphin recognizing is assured. And certainly I noticed one huge dolphin in a short time coming as much as the floor simply in entrance of the boat.
On the Tea Gardens – Nelson Bay ferry.Drone motion
After an incursion into Mungo Brush, it’s again on the Pacific Highway to then take the Lakes Way, shadowing the northern fringe of Myall Lake to succeed in Seal Rocks. The greatest seashores and surf within the space are round Seal Rocks, notably Beach Number One, pictured on the prime of this text. The seashore has emerald-green rock swimming pools and golden sand. Why Seal Rocks? It’s truly named after a collection of islets the place Australian fur seals can typically be noticed. Humpback whales additionally swim previous throughout their annual migration however I didn’t spot any. A tiny additional north is Blueys Beach, and the weekend vibe right here is certainly paying homage to Hawaii with barely legal starry eyed surfers parking their utes crammed with surf boards close by and swarming the one espresso store on the town. You can virtually hear the Beach Boys singing alongside… We are actually taking the Sportage to a surfin’ safari.
The Myall Lakes National Park is koala habitat.
Myall Lakes National Park is a protected koala habitat and lots of street indicators kindly ask to take care when driving. Thankfully I didn’t see any suicidal koalas trying to cross the street throughout the whole week I used to be there. In any case I already patted a koala on the sexy Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary throughout our Kia Seltos Test Drive. The solely place on this planet the place the koala might be discovered is jap and southern coastal areas of Australia in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia, overlaying an space of 1 million km2 (390.000 sq mi). An estimated 30.000 koalas died through the 2019-2020 bushfire season in Australia and the species is now labeled as weak, so it’s extra essential than ever to handle these lovely creatures.
Myall Lakes National Park… native automotive parc
Although we aren’t within the outback however merely on the Pacific Coast, the one truth of leaving the massive smoke means the native automotive park already skews closely in the direction of pickup vans, and it’s a superb alternative to identify the loves of the Toyota Land Cruiser 70 pickup and Ram 2500 as pictured above. So can the Kia Sportage maintain its personal vs. the brand new Seltos? I’d say no. The Seltos brings much more security tech and isn’t confined to metropolis streets because it demonstrated some strong AWD capabilities. If you want extra cabin house the Sportage is for you, however I’d say the boot may disappoint in case you are a household. To be honest, we’re catching the Sportage at a very unhealthy time because it is because of be utterly renewed shortly, consistent with the brand new Hyundai Tucson that was simply unveiled. If it was my determination, I’d look forward to the brand new era Sportage earlier than making a selection between Seltos and Sportage.