TRIPPING TO KRUGER WITH THE KIA SPORTAGE IG­NITE PLUS

Driven - - Drive Leisure -

WITH SOUTH AFRICA’S CAR PARC AWASH WITH SUVS IN ALL SHAPES AND SIZES – RANG­ING FROM TINY SUZUKI JIMNYS TO HUGE SEVENSEATERS – IT WAS A PLEAS­ANT SUR­PRISE WHEN KIA SOUTH AFRICA RE­CENTLY OF­FERED BERNARD HELLBERG SR A MEDIUM-SIZED 1.7-LITRE TURBO-DIESEL SPORTAGE FOR A TRIP TO HOEDSPRUIT AND THE KRUGER NA­TIONAL PARK.

With South Africa’s car parc awash with SUVs in all shapes and sizes – rang­ing from tiny Suzuki Jimnys to huge sevenseaters – it was a pleas­ant sur­prise when KIA South Africa re­cently of­fered BERNARD HELLBERG SR a medi­um­sized 1.7-litre turbo-diesel Sportage for a trip to Hoedspruit and the Kruger Na­tional Park.

AND OFF WE WENT

With the Lowveld beck­on­ing, and the dra­mat­i­cally-styled Sportage all set up and packed – with a spe­cialised MTB slapped onto the rear end – to make room in­side the car for sup­plies of litchis, pa­payas, and other good­ies grown in the fer­tile Hoedspruit val­ley – we headed out of Pre­to­ria on the N4 to­wards the Panorama Route.

Granted, the ini­tial trip along SA’s fourth na­tional high­way is not the most scenic, al­low­ing one time to re­flect on the at­tributes of the ve­hi­cle, in­clud­ing the ro­bust rub­ber mat in the boot stopped lug­gage from slid­ing around when cor­ner­ing, while the hard­wear­ing cloth-cov­ered seats of­fered ex­cel­lent side sup­port and pre­vented longdis­tance fa­tigue in the glu­teus max­imus re­gion.

Cruis­ing at an in­di­cated 120 km/h (the Garmin said 115), the Sportage av­er­aged 7.8-litres/100 km – de­cent,

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