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The car won the Drive Car of the Year 2022.

The winning car of the esteemed Drive Car of the Year 2022 award represents automotive excellence and innovation at its finest.

The car won the Drive Car of the Year 2022.
drive car of the year 2022

Introduction to the Drive Car of the Year 2022

The 2022 Kia Sportage has won Australia’s most prestigious new car award, the 2022 Drive Car of the Year Overall award, beating out all-electric Hyundai and Porsche models, as well as a hybrid Toyota family SUV.

This marks Kia’s second consecutive year receiving the top prize and is a testament to the impressive advancements in quality, design, driving engagement, and value that are apparent in their new-generation vehicles.

In the medium SUV segment – Australia’s biggest selling market – the Kia Sportage sets new standards for safety, technology, refinement, and affordability.

With 11 affordable variants available – starting at $32,445 for the Sportage S manual and ranging up to $52,370 (excluding on-road costs) for the feature-packed Sportage GT-Line diesel – there is a Sportage model suitable for all medium SUV needs and budgets.

Evaluation process Drive Car of the Year award.

The Sportage has not only beaten the incumbent Best Medium SUV winner, the Toyota RAV4, to take this year’s category prize, but it has also managed to surpass two other worthy contenders: the deeply impressive Porsche Taycan electric sports car and the reliable, practical and affordable Toyota Kluger seven-seat family SUV – to claim our top accolade: Drive Car of the Year Overall winner.

Judges have lauded the Kia Sportage in a number of areas, but chief among them was its benchmark-setting safety features. All of these features come as standard from the cheapest Sportage S to the most expensive Sportage GT-Line.

The Kia Sportage boasts a long list of standard safety equipment that includes everything its rivals offer such as autonomous emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-keeping assist. Moreover, it goes further by giving systems such as blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert the ability to not only warn drivers but also intervene to keep them out of harm’s way.

Additionally, one standout feature is that the Kia Sportage has a new center front airbag that prevents front seat occupants’ heads from clashing during an accident. While this feature is already familiar with some luxury car owners, the Sportage is one of only a few cars in its class with one.

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To begin with, the Kia Sportage has increased in size this time around, being 175mm longer and riding on an 85mm longer wheelbase. This translates to more usable space inside, especially in the back seats and cargo bay.

The cabin of the Sportage is a very classy affair, with markedly better technology integration and effectiveness than before. It is best-in-class in terms of visual impressiveness and ease of use.

While the flagship Sportage GT-Line offers the most equipment, even the Sportage S is generously equipped. It features a touchscreen entertainment system, wireless smartphone connectivity, LED headlights and tail-lights, alloy wheels, and a full-size spare.

During the Drive Car of the Year testing, judges tested all three mechanical packages in the Sportage range. The more potent 132kW 1.6-liter turbocharged petrol engine and 137kW 2.0-liter turbo diesel engine are both undeniably good and take attention away from the most affordable powertrain -the entry-level 115kW petrol four-cylinder- which is competent and economical.

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On the road, driving the Sportage is a treat. Variants equipped with smaller wheel and tire packages provide the most comfortable ride, but even the GT-Line diesel delivers a relatively smooth ride while adding a touch of sportiness with its suspension tune.

The steering in the Sportage is light and well-weighted, striking a balance between higher-speed feedback and low-speed maneuvering. Kia undertakes dedicated steering and suspension development work for the Australian market, which proves effective with its stable yet comfortable ride over some of Australia’s worst road surfaces.

These days, much is made about hybrid powertrains and their fuel efficiency; however, the Sportage does not offer such an option yet as it doesn’t need to – its suite of petrol and diesel engines are surprisingly efficient. In testing, the Sportage GT-Line diesel (the heaviest and most powerful variant) returned a 6.5L/100km fuel average – exactly the same as one of its competitor’s hybrid powertrains on the same roads with the same drivers.

The Kia Sportage sets new standards in safety, affordability, and refinement in Australia’s biggest-selling vehicle category. That is why it was awarded Drive Car of the Year Overall winner for 2022.

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