Looks good and rides well

This medium-sized num­ber’s only draw­backs are head­room and over-the-shoul­der vi­sion, CHRIS RI­LEY writes

Geelong Advertiser - Motoring - - CARSGUIDE -

WE turn the spot­light on the car world’s new­est and bright­est stars as we ask the ques­tions to which you want the an­swers. But there’s only one ques­tion that re­ally needs an­swer­ing — would you buy one?

Kia’s top of the line small four-wheel-drive (sorry, make that medium size).

Prices start from $25,990 for the en­try level, two-wheel drive petrol Si. Plat­inum is $38,390, which also gets you all-wheel drive, while the Plat­inum with a diesel is $41,390.

Toy­ota RAV4, Holden Cap­tiva 5, Ford Kuga, Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, Mit­subishi Out­lander, Nis­san X-Trail, Suzuki Grand Vi­tara, Subaru Forester — to name a few.

A 2.0-litre di­rect in­jec­tion four re­places the pre­vi­ous 2.4-litre multi-point unit. The en­gine pro­duces 122kW of power and 205Nm of torque, com­pared with 130kW/227Nm pre­vi­ously, and is paired with a six-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

Good but not out­stand­ing. It’s prob­a­bly a lit­tle heav­ier than be­fore and misses the ex­tra torque, but on the up­side it is smoother and more eco­nom­i­cal. We also found that the trans­mis­sion hunts a lit­tle, un­able to set­tle and stay in one gear.

Fuel con­sump­tion has been re­duced from 9.2 to 8.6 litres/100km with the new en­gine.

We were get­ting 12.6 after 130km but we’d ex­pect it to do much bet­ter than this over a longer dis­tance.

Gets 3.5 out of five stars from the Green Ve­hi­cle Guide.

Yes. Gets a full five stars for safety. It comes with six airbags, trac­tion and sta­bil­ity con­trol, anti-lock brakes, elec­tronic brake­force dis­tri­bu­tion and brake as­sist.

Hill-start as­sist and down­hill brake con­trol are also stan­dard, along with ac­tive front head re­straints.

Yes. The seats are com­fort­able, with good for­ward vi­sion. Its con­trols and in­stru­ments are large and easy to use.

En­try and exit is easy. Head­room is com­pro­mised by the sun­roof. Phone pairs eas­ily and can stream mu­sic to the pre­mium audio sys­tem. Over the shoul­der vi­sion re­mains ter­ri­ble. The lights, wipers and rear view mir­ror all op­er­ate au­to­mat­i­cally. There’s a rev­ers­ing cam­era with front and rear park­ing sen­sors, too.

The top of the range Plat­inum scores 18-inch wheels, smart key and push-but­ton start, driver’s power seat, leather trim seats, pri­vacy glass, HID head­lights and satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion.

You bet. It looks amaz­ing, is well equipped and rides very well.

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