TRIPPING TO KRUGER WITH THE KIA SPORTAGE IGNITE PLUS
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,