Here at CarSauce, we have typically loved the Kia Sportage range. In fact, the base model Kia Sportage S, with the same 2.0L Turbo Diesel powertrain as the one we are talking about today is one of our highest-rated cars in terms of “Saucey Score”. We even went as far as to say that sometimes the “base model is the best model”.
That’s why I thought I’d see what it’s like to own a top-spec Kia Sportage GT-Line and live with one for three months. During this time, this car acted as my daily driver; to and from the shops, around town, and some long stretches too, and after three months I’m now well positioned to attest to its strengths and weaknesses.
Has my opinion on the Kia Sportage changed? Is it worth the extra cash to get the upgraded interior, extra safety features, and driver assistance aids? Let’s find out.
How much does the 2024 Kia Sportage cost?
The 2024 Kia Sportage range is available in the following trim levels, and engine options:
2.0L Petrol, 6 spd manual: $32,795
2.0L Petrol, 6 spd auto: $34,795
2.0L Petrol, 6 spd manual: $35,350
2.0L Petrol, 6 spd auto: $37,350
2.0L Diesel, 8 spd auto: $40,195
2.0L Petrol, 6 spd auto: $41,850
2.0L Diesel, 8 spd auto: $42,750
1.6L Petrol, 7 spd auto dual clutch: $43,850
2.0L Diesel, 8 spd auto: $47,250
1.6L Petrol, 7 spd auto dual clutch: $49,720
2.0L Diesel, 8 spd auto: $52,720
All pricing is excluding on-road costs
Are you looking to buy this or any other car? Let us get you the best finance deals, pre-approved within 2 minutes with no impact to your credit score! Click here now!
What do we think of the exterior looks of the 2024 Kia Sportage?
One of my favourite things about the Kia Sportage is how it looks! The sharp, angled daytime running lights look great all day around and compliment the wide grille nicely. In the GT-Line spec, you also get full LED headlights and turning signals which you would definitely expect at this price.
I will say that in terms of exterior looks, the GT-Line doesn’t look super different from the Kia Sportage S we previously reviewed.
This is certainly not a bad thing; you get a slightly different, sportier bumper on this car, as well as larger 19-inch alloys with a cool design, and some blacked-out highlights including the side mirrors.
As we come to the side, I have to say this “Vesta Blue” paint looks beautiful - my personal favourite though is the “Jungle Wood Green”, and in fact, both of these colours are $520 options which is something I would definitely add over the base “Clear White” paint.
You’ll notice some roof rails, tinted privacy glass for the rear passengers, and an intricate geometric pattern on the C and D pillars creating the “floating” roof effect.
The rear is once again very similar to the base model Sportage, except the bumper is a darker colour and you get some vertical reflectors that somewhat mirror the taillights in the Kia Sorrento.
It is also more understated compared to the front of the car, with just two badges, again nothing to differentiate this as the top-of-the-range Sportage.
You do get a “4X” badge which means it is all-wheel drive, and the taillights are nice LED units that integrate nicely with the shape of the rear.
What’s the interior and connectivity like of the 2024 Kia Sportage?
I’m impressed by how well this thing held up over my three months of usage. I intentionally didn’t do any proper cleaning of the interior - apart from vacuuming - to give myself a realistic picture of what this interior looks like under everyday usage.
The back seats were surprisingly clean given the fact that I would occasionally lug around my Groodle “Willie”, I’ll come back to that.
One thing I noticed that I wasn’t a big fan of is the “Piano” black plastic used extensively throughout the interior, particularly in the centre console. It gets smudgy with fingerprints and shows dust very easily making it a nightmare to keep clean.
Another minor complaint specific to the higher trim levels of the Kia Sportage is the new multimedia/climate control “switcher” screen. Essentially, you can press a button to switch between climate controls or media controls. At first, this really impressed me because it is a great way to save space and seemed intuitive. However, it did start to become annoying over my three months of usage, as I found myself having to switch back and forth constantly and would have just preferred both sets of physical buttons there - without having to perform that extra step. Add in the fact that there is no haptic feedback of any sort, it makes it a little difficult to press while driving.
Coming to the infotainment system, another thing that was frustrating and is actually a downgrade over the Kia Sportage S, is the lack of wireless Apple Carplay or Android Auto. This is something that will be fixed, but currently, there is some legal dispute taking place that means if you get inbuilt satellite navigation on your infotainment system, that means you can’t get wireless phone mirroring. You still get wired Apple Carplay and Android Auto which work flawlessly, it is just a little bit ridiculous that Kia customers are still being inconvenienced by this legal battle.
Apart from these minor drawbacks, the technology in the GT-Line is a pretty significant step up from the lower trim variants. You get dual curved 12.3-inch displays, which is a massive upgrade over the 8-inch infotainment display and 4.2-inch digital instrument cluster in the S trim.
The digital instrument cluster is sharp and bright, with some customisation options, and works without fault. It is not any more functional than the display you get on the lower spec, but certainly a lot more aesthetically pleasing and modern.
Another inclusion worth mentioning is the full 360-degree camera setup you get on the GT-Line, which is a pretty big improvement over the standard reversing camera you get on the S grade.
An area in which I am happy to report seeing a big improvement over the lower grades is the quality of materials in several areas. You get a thin faux wood highlight across the interior and on the doors, plenty of soft-touch materials on the dash, and soft leather in most places you frequently touch. It does feel like a step up in terms of luxury.
The seats are another massive improvement, they are nice and plush with a leather and Alcantara design, they have power adjustment and both front seats are heated and cooled.
Notably, there is no heating for the steering wheel - instead, you get a big blank button in the middle of the centre console, on the top of the range Sportage…
Speaking of the steering wheel, it is a nice leather unit that feels great to hold onto and you have your multi-function controls, including your adaptive cruise control and semi-autonomous driving controls laid out in a familiar way.
I haven’t had any problems with the shift-by-wire shifter in my three months of usage, I was wary due to the fact that some owners online had reported issues with it, but it never got stuck for me and worked perfectly.
Something that didn’t work for me that well is the Harmon Kardon-branded sound system on this GT-Line - I found it very tinny under the default EQ settings and had to turn the highs and mids to basically zero, with the bass all the way up in order to be able to listen to music - just something to keep in mind!
Connectivity is great in the front, you get a USB-A port, USB-C port, 12V socket, and wireless phone charger - that would have been great to use with wireless Apple Carplay if that option was available Kia!
Storage is also excellent, with a large open area in the centre console that can quickly be converted into a couple of cupholders with the touch of a button, a large glovebox, and some decent-sized door bins.
I want to give a shoutout to the absolutely massive panoramic sunroof, it really brightens up what is otherwise a very dark interior.
I would go as far as to say that the Kia Sportage, for its price, has one of the most refined interiors in the segment, it has all the technology and convenience features you could need, and the packaging is intelligent, practical, intuitive, and built in a way that honestly gives it “Euro” levels of refinement.
What about the Back seats of the 2024 Kia Sportage?
Given that we are in the extended wheelbase Sportage, the back seat legroom is amazing - in fact, space in the rear is fantastic in every dimension, with plenty of toe room and headroom too.
I would go as far as to say that the comfort and space in the back of the Sportage is segment-leading, with the same beautiful leather and Alcantara seats that, as I mentioned earlier, held up really well over my three months of usage, and stayed clean despite taking my big Groodle for a drive occasionally. They don’t have any sort of heating or cooling despite that being available in some competitors, but I can forgive it because they recline quite far back!
Amenities in the back are awesome, you get two USB-C ports that can be found on the insides of the front seats, some air vents, and a few well-thought-out convenience features such as grocery hooks and a tablet holder on the front headrests that have some rubber padding on the inside so that tablets can stay put.
Material quality is slightly worse in the back compared to the front, though you do still get the same faux wood on the doors, and some soft leather on the door armrests.
You also get a nice soft leather armrest with a couple of cupholders, and some leather mat pockets. Storage space is good with a small area below the air vents, and well-sized door bins.
How much can the 2024 Kia Sportage fit in the boot?
The Kia Sportage is one of the most practical cars in its segment, especially given the fact that we get the long-wheelbase version exclusively in Australia.
The high and wide aperture of the boot is fantastic for loading larger items, which is made even easier by the absence of a boot lip.
You get a pretty massive 543L of boot space across the Sportage with the rear seats in place, which extends to 1829L with the second row folded flat.
If you compare it to the previous 5-seat version of the Sportage, it’s an increase of about 80L or almost 20%.
Underneath the floor is a full-sized spare wheel which is a really great addition.
What’s under the bonnet of the 2024 Kia Sportage?
Our model here comes equipped with a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder Turbo Diesel engine that pumps out 137kW of power and 416Nm of torque to all four wheels via an 8-speed torque converter automatic transmission.
This is our pick of drivetrain when it comes to the Sportage, and as you’ll see in the driving section, it is genuinely quick!
Also available are the following engine/transmission options:
2.0L Inline petrol 4-cylinder (115kW/192Nm) FWD only with:
6-speed manual transmission
6-speed automatic transmission
1.5L Turbo petrol 4-cylinder (132kW/265Nm) AWD with:
7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission
How does the 2024 Kia Sportage drive?
If you have already read/watched our review of the 2023 Kia Sportage S, you’ll know that we were wholeheartedly impressed with the way it drives, and that this 2.0 Diesel AWD powertrain is what we would recommend for anybody in the market for a Sportage.
During my long-term stint with the Kia Sportage, this fact was only cemented in my mind for numerous reasons. Firstly, the 8-speed automatic transmission is worlds better than the 7-speed dual-clutch for around-town purposes, it is smooth and responsive at slower speeds, and you barely get any engine noise in the cabin, unlike the previous CVT.
Next, I have to mention that the power and torque figures are very healthy, combined with the fact that you get the trademark Diesel torque down-low in the rev range, meaning it feels quite spritely when you take it for a drive on the back roads and proved very capable at takeover maneuvers on the highway.
The suspension is fantastic in all conditions, thanks to the bespoke Australian tune we receive down under, meaning it handles disturbances and undulations with ease, while maintaining a sporty rigidity around corners that allows it to perform quite well.
This is particularly apparent when you switch it to Sport mode - the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster changes to a racing theme, the steering tightens up, and the transmission holds lower gears giving you decent pulling power out of corners. It is not a sports car by any means but I would say that you can definitely have some family-friendly fun in a Kia Sportage!
When we previously tested the identically powered Kia Sportage S in the 0-100km/h sprint, we clocked it at 8.46 seconds. This time, I managed a time of 8.61 seconds minus a Jacob in the passenger seat, though I don’t doubt that all those extra heating, cooling, and power-adjustable seat components add some weight, so that could account for the slight difference in times.
In terms of driver convenience and safety features, you do get quite a few notable additions of the S grade, including improved lane-keep assist with road line detection, and blind-spot view monitoring which is a great inclusion - you can see the full list of safety features below.
Is the 2024 Kia Sportage Safe?
This latest generation Kia Sportage has achieved a 5-Star ANCAP Safety rating for 2022 onwards, scoring 87% for both Adult and Child Occupant Protection.
The 2024 Kia Sportage Range has the following safety features, by grade:
ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System) with EBD and BA
BCW (Blind Spot Collision Warning)
BCA (Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist) - Automatic Only
ESC (Electronic Stability Control) with TCS
DBC (Downhill Brake Control)
LFA (Lane Following Assist)
LKA (Lane Keeping Assist)
HAC (Hill-Start Assist Control) - Automatic Transmission (A/T) Only
TSA (Trailer Stability Assist) - Automatic Only
MCB (Multi-Collision Braking)
High Beam Assist - Automatic Only
Rear Parking Sensors with Dash Display
Rear View Camera with Dynamic Parking Guidelines
3-Point ELR Seatbelts on All Positions
ROA (Rear Occupant Alert) - Basic Type
Dusk-Sensing Automatic Headlights
Child Restraint Anchorage Points (3 x Top Tether Anchors + 2 x Isofix Positions)
Driver & Front Passenger SRS Airbags
Front Side SRS Airbags
Curtain SRS Airbags
Centre Side Airbag (Front)
Front Seatbelt Pre-Tensioners with Load Limiters
Remote Central Locking with Boot Release
Haptic Steering Wheel Feedback
Front only Parking Sensors with Dash Display
DAA+ (Driver Attention Alert with Lead Vehicle Departure Alert)
BCA (Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist) with RCCA (Rear Cross Traffic Collision Avoidance) - A/T Only
Additional Smart Key Remote with RSPA (Remote Smart Park Assist) - Petrol and Diesel variants
How much can the 2024 Kia Sportage tow?
The AWD Turbo Diesel Kia Sportage has a braked towing capacity of 1900kg.
Here is a breakdown of towing specs by model grade:
2.0 MPI Petrol Models (both Manual and Automatic)
Unbraked: 750 kg
Braked: 1650 kg
Maximum Tow ball Download: 100 kg
1.6 T-GDI Petrol Model (Dual Clutch Transmission)
Unbraked: 750 kg
Braked: 1650 kg
Maximum Tow ball Download: 100 kg
2.0 CRDI Diesel Model (Automatic)
Unbraked: 750 kg
Braked: 1900 kg
Maximum Tow ball Download: 100 kg
These values indicate the maximum weight that the Kia Sportage can tow safely. It's important to note that "unbraked" refers to trailers without their own braking system, and "braked" refers to trailers equipped with their own brakes. The maximum tow ball download is the maximum vertical load that can be applied to the vehicle's tow ball.
How much does the 2024 Kia Sportage cost to service?
All Kia Models are covered under a 7-year unlimited KM warranty.
Service costs will vary depending on the model and powertrain, Kia offers the following service pricing for the Turbo Diesel Sportage:
1 year/15,000km - $346
2 years/30,000km - $537
3 years/45,000km - $416
4 years/60,000km - $790
5 years/75,000km - $389
6 years/90,000km - $675
7 years/105,000km - $413
Final thoughts - should you buy a 2024 Kia Sportage?
This is probably the most emotional I’ve been returning a long-term loan, and the reason is simple; if I were in the market currently for a mid-sized SUV, my pick would be the 2024 Kia Sportage.
Does that mean I would go all the way for the GT-Line? Probably not. I would absolutely get the 2.0-litre turbo Diesel powertrain without a second thought, but my money would likely be on the S or SX grade - as the value proposition there is out of this world.
The inclusions and additional safety features may tip you over the line on the GT-Line though, especially if you are a fan of those bigger curved displays, beautiful leather and Alcantara seats, and panoramic sunroof you get on this top-spec Sportage.
Matt Brand, the esteemed car critic from Car Sauce, offers unparalleled expertise on all things automotive. From new car releases to pre-owned options, he provides in-depth analysis and honest evaluations to guide readers through the car-buying process. Join us as he delves into the exciting world of motoring.