As promised, Naza Kia Malaysia (NKM) has introduced a diesel variant of the Sportage SUV. The new Kia Sportage 2.0 AWD GT CRDi joins the GT Line and KX Line 2.0 litre Nu MPI petrol versions that have been available since mid 2016.

The two existing petrol variants are front-wheel driven, so the new diesel is the sole “Dynamax AWD” option in the local range. With all-wheel drive and in sporty GT Line trim, the 2.0 AWD GT CRDi is in fact the highest spec combo available for the Sportage QL, even in Europe.

UPDATE: Live gallery of the Sportage 2.0 AWD GT CRDi added

Our Sportage CRDi is powered by a 2.0 litre turbodiesel engine in the highest available state of tune, which is 185 PS and 400 Nm of torque from 1,750 to 2,750 rpm (there’s also a 134 hp/373 Nm version in Europe). The oil burner is mated to a six-speed conventional automatic gearbox.

The CRDi should be significantly livelier to drive than its petrol sibling, which pushes out 155 PS and 192 Nm at 4,000 rpm. Yes, the diesel has more than double the amount of torque. NKM says that the range is close to 1,000 km on a full tank, while Kia’s official claimed combined fuel consumption is 6.5 litres per 100 km (15.4 km/l).

This top spec Sportage comes with a long list of kit. Standard equipment include HID headlamps, LED DRLs/”ice cube” fog lamps/rear lamps, 19-inch rims with 245/45 tyres, Supervision 4.2-inch TFT colour LCD meter, electrochromic rear view mirror, reverse camera, dual-zone auto air con, leather seats and electric front seats with electric lumbar for the driver.

Also in are keyless entry and push start, a flat bottomed steering wheel with paddle shifters, Drive Mode Select (Eco, Normal, Sport), front/rear parking sensors, cruise control, electronic parking brake with auto hold and a tyre pressure monitoring system. Six airbags and ESC are standard on this Euro NCAP five-star rated model.

Available in Cherry Black, Mercury Blue, Fiery Red, Snow White Pearl and Mineral Silver, the Sportage 2.0L AWD GT CRDi is priced at RM159,888 on the road including insurance. As usual, the NKM warranty is five years with unlimited mileage. For detailed specs and to compare the Sportage’s vital stats against its rivals, head to CarBase.my.

The oil burning Sportage joins the Mazda CX-5 SkyActiv-D (launched in July 2016) in offering a diesel option. The Hyundai Tucson will soon be available with the Korean group’s 2.0L CRDi engine as well. In Thailand, the new Honda CR-V is officially available with an i-DTEC diesel option for the first time. Should Honda Malaysia follow suit with the upcoming CR-V?

GALLERY: Kia Sportage 2.0 AWD GT CRDi