1.6 CRDi 48V ISG 1 5dr
£20,680 - £35,360
8.8 - 11.6 seconds
109 - 127 mph
114 - 182 bhp
108 - 179 g/km
Fuel Economy (Combined)
36.2 - 68.9 mpg
Good equipment levels, stylish looks, covered by Kia's 7 year warranty
Handling isn't great - particularly on country roads, bland interior
No point in pretending otherwise – the Kia Sportage is not the most exciting SUV on the market and driving it is unlikely to raise adrenalin levels. It does, however, come very well-equipped from entry level up, and has the affordability factor along with Kia’s standard very generous warranty. Essentially a family vehicle with bags of cabin and stowage space; and sufficiently competitive with its main rivals – the Ford Kuga, Nissan Qashqai and VW Tiguan – for Kia to be confident of its place in the league of crossover models currently on offer.
Kia are offering a range of four engines – two petrol and two diesel – with the Sportage. Petrol selections are 1.6 (133 bhp) and 2-litre (161bhp), with diesel choices of 1.7 (114 bhp) and 2-litre (134bhp). The entry levels of each come with front-wheel drive only, while all-wheel drive is available with both 2-litre engines. You can move off at a rate of 0-62 mph in around 11 seconds with all engines on offer, and maximum speed across the range is about 110 mph.
Although the Kia Sportage would probably not be your first choice for going on safari or driving over sand dunes in the Sahara, it is a pretty good drive on our motorways and in town – but disappointing on smaller, bendy country roads. The steering feels a little vague and cornering isn’t brilliant, with a little bit too much body roll for comfort. This is somewhat compensated for with a very efficient braking system, a hill descent system, hill start assist and the optional four wheel drive system giving enhanced stability in slippery conditions. Suspension is good but not great, and those carrying passengers with sensitive tummies might need to think twice before embarking on a long bumpy ride.
Designer Peter Schreyer has come up trumps with the Kia Sportage, giving it head turning appeal. Tinted rear windows, LED daytime running lights and alloy wheels come as standard; the headlights are large and distinctive and the overall shape is sleek and swooping. Those hoping to see evidence of the ‘sporty’ bit of the Sportage shouldn’t be disappointed.
The Sportage cabin is more utilitarian than exciting. The control panel, with its red glow at night, is attractive and thoughtfully laid out and feels reassuringly solid. The Sportage has most things you would want in terms of versatility; drivers of all shapes and sizes will be able to adjust the steering wheel and their seat to suit, there’s plenty of room for long legs and high heads and the 564 litres of luggage space expands to 1,353 litres if the rear seats are folded down. Disappointingly though, they don’t fold flat. A nice touch is the inclusion of deep door bins with cut outs for bottles and a large lidded storage box in the centre console.
Kia have moved away from inventing original trim names and have brought in the more simple 1,2 and 3 models for two wheel drives and the ‘KX’ trims for four wheel drives. All trims are generously equipped, with 16 inch alloys, air-con, four electric windows, automatic wipers, cruise control, leather steering wheel, Bluetooth and iPod connectivity as standard. Go for the 2 and KX2 if you would like part leather upholstery, roof rails, privacy glass, reversing sensors, sunroof, 17 inch alloys, and trip computer as part of your package; and treat yourself – and your passengers – to a 3/KX-3 if you would like the full range of goodies, to include full leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, dual zone climate control, Xenon headlights with washers, auto light control, auto dimming rear view mirror and 18 inch alloys.
Kia have not held back when it comes to safety features in the Sportage. This NCAP Five Star awardee has front, side and curtain airbags, Isofix child seat mountings and is equipped with electronic stability control. A roll-over sensor will kick in if the car is in danger of rolling over, releasing the side and curtain airbags and deploying the seat-belt pre-tensioners. Should anyone decide to try to break into and/or make off with your Sportage –or bits of it – they will be faced with deadlocks, an immobiliser and alarm, locking wheel-nuts and a visible VIN.
In terms of what you get for your money, this well-equipped car offers good value. Across the range the engines are fuel efficient and economic, as well as emitting relatively low CO2. The 1.7 diesel engine is particularly good in this respect, with an impressive 50 mpg and 135g/km CO2. As always, Kia’s standard seven-year warranty is a reassuring buffer against any nasty surprises; and when you want to sell it on there is a good chance that you will be able to pass on a remaining year or two of this.
Reviewed by cars2buy
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