Kia
Sportage

The Kia Sportage SUV is packed with top notch features including an excellent safety package, class-leading warranty and an eye-catching tough design that is ready to take on any terrain. Now in its fifth generation, the Sportage is very reasonably priced and there is a choice of petrol, diesel, mild hybrid or plug-in hybrid engines.

Kia Sportage GT-Line S side
Kia Sportage GT-Line S rear
Kia Sportage GT-Line S interior

The good

Style, technology, comfort, practicality and handling

The bad

Lots of excellent competition these days

Tech Specs

Price from
£28,360
Combined Fuel up to
54.3mpg (256.8mpg PHEV)
0-62 from
7.7 seconds (0-60mph)
max speed up to
120mph
co2 from
129g/km (25g/km PHEV)

Test Drive

Kia Sportage HEV GT-Line S (2024)

If you’re in the market for a premium-styled family SUV that’s packed to bursting with high-end tech, but won’t break the bank, then the Kia Sportage could be the perfect solution.

It’s a superb five-door family SUV that’s now in its fifth generation and available in a range of well-equipped trims, as well as being offered with a variety of powertrains to suit all needs.

And if you go for the all-singing, all-dancing range-topping GT-Line S model, it comes with all the creature comforts you would find in a premium car from the German marques. And they would ask for a lot more of your hard-earned cash in the process.

And it was that GT-Line S model that we tested powered by 1.6-litre petrol hybrid engine and matched to a six-speed automatic gearbox. It cost £40,645 which includes everything so there are no unexpected extras to factor in and the car can put in quite a performance when put through its paces.

With 212bhp at your disposal, the Sportage can complete the 0-62mph sprint in 7.7 seconds and maxes out at 120mph while delivering a combined 51.4mpg with carbon emissions of 132g/km.

The latest model boasts more dynamic styling and a stronger road presence thanks to a bolder front-end design with a very modern take on Kia’s signature Tiger Nose grille. It is also 30mm longer than its predecessor as well as being 10mm wider, 10mm higher and featuring a 10mm longer wheelbase.

Eye-catching features include a black grille that stretches the width of the front end, LED light clusters with distinctive daytime running lights, privacy glass, a panoramic sunroof, GT badging and smart alloy wheels.

Moving inside, the cabin is modern, upmarket and clutter-free featuring elegant upholstery, plus premium fixtures and fittings throughout. The main focal point and nerve centre of the car are two 12-inch screens merging together behind a single curved panoramic display. It’s very futuristic, but brings Kia bang up to speed with the layouts seen inside BMW and Mercedes models these days.

On-board tech includes a pitch perfect Harman Kardon sound system, sat nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, a 360-degree around view monitor, a reversing camera with sensors, Bluetooth with music streaming, along with a separate panel for all the climate settings.

Finding the perfect driving position is simple with powered front seats that can be heated or ventilated and the outer rear seats can also be warmed.

So, the new Sportage looks the business and is packed with tech, but how does it cope when put to the test out on the open road? The answer is exceptionally well.

With sharp acceleration through the automatic gearbox, nicely weighted steering and confident grip through sweeping bends, it’s an SUV that’s not only practical, but also very good to drive.

Drive modes called Eco and Sport alter the driving characteristics quite considerably and this is a car that is happy fizzing through country lanes, with steering wheel-mounted paddles for changing gears manually adding to the fun factor. But it’s also very capable clocking up long motorway miles or weaving through the busy city centre traffic on the dreaded school run.

Passenger space inside new Sportage has increased thanks to the slightly larger dimensions. There is more headroom and legroom for back seat occupants and the boot can swallow 587 litres of kit, increasing to 1,776 litres with the 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat.

Elsewhere, there are a number of storage compartments scattered throughout the car, including a square central cubby box, glovebox, door bins, seat back pockets, front and rear cup holders, plus a wireless charging pad on high-end models such as our test car.

There is a comprehensive list of safety features and driver assistance aids too, including a forward collision avoidance system that detects pedestrians and cyclists as well as vehicles, lane follow assist, lane keep assist, cruise control with stop & go, highway driving assist, smart blind spot collision avoidance, parking collision avoidance assist and remote park smart assist. All these features helped the car secure a maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.

And it’s always worth noting the excellent seven-year warranty package that is fully transferable if the car is sold on.

The Kia Sportage is the Korean carmaker’s best-selling model here in the UK and has notched up in excess of seven million global sales to date. And despite being around for more than three decades it has certainly moved with the times and we look forward to the next instalment in this fabulous car’s journey.

Test Drive

Kia Sportage ‘3’ 1.6 T-GDi manual (2023)

The Kia Sportage needs very little introduction having graced our roads since 1995 and the latest fifth-generation model has been developed specifically for European roads.

The popular five-door compact SUV line-up starts from £28,360 and customers can select from trim levels called 2, GT-Line, 3 and GT-Line S. In addition, there is the option of two- or four-wheel drive, along with manual or automatic transmissions.

We tested the Sportage 3 powered by a 1.6-litre T-GDi petrol engine matched to a six-speed manual transmission and with front wheel-drive, costing £32,560.

With 148bhp and 250Nm of torque, it could reach 60mph from a standing start in 9.9 seconds and topped out at 113mph, while delivering a WLTP-tested 41.5mpg with carbon emissions of 154g/km.

The stylish Sportage has a strong road presence stretching just over 4.5 metres in length. It features the latest grille design with the new Kia badge sitting proudly on the front of the bonnet. There are sweeping light clusters including LED daytime running lights and a high-mounted stop light, LED front fog lamp, rear privacy glass, a silver rear skid plate and smart alloy wheels.

Moving inside, the cabin is modern, clutter-free and upmarket in its design and layout. There is black cloth and faux leather upholstery and the seats are powered and can be heated, along with the steering wheel, to fend off the winter blues.

And on-board technology also impresses with a 12.3-inch infotainment navigation screen merging seamlessly with the 12.3-inch driver display. It boasts sharp graphics and is very simple to operate.

There is full smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with a DAB radio, Bluetooth with music streaming, a six-speaker sound system, front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera and plenty more besides. And special mention to the separate panel for all the climate control settings which helps prevent driver distraction.

When it comes to performance, the Sportage is an exceptionally comfortable cruiser, effortless eating up motorway miles and it is nicely balanced when driven enthusiastically through twisting country lanes with next-to-no sign of any body sway. It’s quite refreshing these days to test a car with a manual gearbox too which gives the driver full control of the gear switching to maximise acceleration when needed. This is ideal if you are planning to overtake a slower-moving vehicle and want to keep the revs high.

And then, with the elevated driving position resulting in excellent driver visibility, city centre motoring feels much safer.

There are drive modes called Eco, Normal and Sport that alter the driving characteristics of the car and all dials, controls and readouts are perfectly positioned for ease of use on the fly.

With active families in mind, the Sportage needs to tick all the practicality boxes and it does just that with bundles of room up front for a couple of six footers to stretch out. In the back, two adults will easily fit and they will be happy enough provided the front seats are not pushed too far back.

With Isofix fixtures to the outer rear seats, fitting a child seat is a simple task. Back seat passengers also benefit from heated seats and have their own charging points to keep devices connected too. Seat back hooks are a great idea if you want to hang up a bag or coat.

The boot is accessed via a manual tailgate and it can hold 591 litres of luggage, a limit that increases to 1,780 litres with the 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat. And elsewhere, there are a number of practical storage options, such as a glovebox, door bins, cup holders, a deep cubby box, trays, plus USB and USB-C ports.

Safety systems to help protect occupants and other road users are comprehensive with the likes of lane keep assist, forward collision avoidance, downhill brake control, intelligent speed limit assist, lane following assist, trailer stability assist and plenty more besides.

When you also factor in Kia’s excellent seven-year, 100,000-mile fully transferable warranty, it becomes clear just why the Sportage has become such a firm favourite amongst family car drivers. It simply keeps getting better.

Test Drive

Kia Sportage PHEV – First Drive (2022)

Kia’s all-new fifth-generation Sportage line-up is now complete with the arrival of a model with plug-in hybrid technology.

It joins the already launched new Sportage with diesel, petrol, mild-hybrid and hybrid powertrains and it is the ideal choice for business drivers with Benefit in Kind ratings as low as eight per cent.

As well as offering excellent tax savings, the Sportage PHEV can deliver a combined 256.8mpg with carbon emissions of just 25g/km under WLTP testing. This fuel economy figure would only be achievable if the vehicle was driven in EV-only mode for the vast majority of its miles and charged regularly.

The Sportage PHEV combines a 1.6-litre T-GDI petrol engine with a 66.9kW electric motor and 13.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack. It delivers 261bhp and 350Nm of torque and this results in a 0-60mph sprint time of 7.9 seconds and top speed of 119mph. It has an electric driving range of 43 miles between charges.

The car features a six-speed automatic transmission and there is a new 7.2kW on-board charger which means the vehicle can have its power levels boosted quicker than rival models – a 10 to 100 per cent charge takes between 1 hour 45 mins and 5 hours 27 minutes depending on the charger.

The five-door Sportage PHEV is priced from £38,395 to £44,595 and customers can select from generously-equipped trim levels called GT-Line, 3, 4 and GT-Line S. All models are very easy on the eye and all-wheel drive is standard across the line-up but customers can specify duo-tone paint work as an option.

The latest Sportage was recently launched and it boasts a bolder, more muscular look than its predecessor with a longer, wider and higher stance, plus a modern interpretation of Kia’s distinctive Tiger Nose grille. There are chrome front and rear skid plates, a panoramic sunroof, distinctive LED lighting and rear privacy glass.

The Sportage PHEV is offered with a choice of alloy wheel designs and the GT-Line S can be specified with an optional black roof for bi-tone colour schemes.

The interior is premium and upmarket with twin 12.3-inch screens behind a curved panoramic glass display and there is plenty of high-end tech to explore, including a Harmon Kardon sound system on top models, Bluetooth with music streaming, sat nav, a reversing camera with sensors, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity with voice control.

We tested the range-topping GT-Line S model costing £43,795 and this vehicle also featured a 10-way powered driver’s seat, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, heated outer rear seats, suede-leather upholstery, three-zone climate control and some GT-Line badging.

When it comes to performance, the Sportage PHEV is a pure delight to drive. The elevated driving position results in excellent all-round visibility and all controls and readouts are easy to operate on the fly in the driver-focussed cockpit.

The acceleration out the starting blocks is instant and the Sportage can cruise effortlessly at 70mph on motorways with plenty more to spare. It is well balanced on twisting country lanes and the grip is assured too meaning you can attack curves with confidence.

The steering is perfectly weighted with ample driver feedback and there is the added reassurance that the AWD system brings to the mix. The steering wheel-mounted paddles mean you can change gears manually for added fun.

A dial offers easy access to the drive modes called Eco and Sport. These alter the responses of the car and also the instrumentation with Sport gaining a red glow and a rev counter dial.

In addition, there are EV and HEV modes to flick through. EV will prioritise the battery power and HEV blends power from the engine too which is more efficient on longer journeys.

And the AWD means there are terrain modes called Snow, Mud and Sand to help cross rougher ground, and this vehicle is also capable of towing a trailer weighing up to 1,350kg.

The Sportage is a family SUV and needs to cover all the practicality bases well. And it does just that with ample space in the back of the car for a trio of passengers to sit comfortably. The boot, which is accessed via a powered tailgate, can swallow 540 litres of kit, increasing to 1,715 litres with the 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat and there is a practical centre console storage box, a glovebox, deep door pockets, seat back pockets and adjustable cup holders for added convenience.

When it comes to safety, the Sportage is packed with features and driver assistance aids to protect occupants, other road users and also help prevent accidents from happening in the first place.

Our car was equipped with anti-lock brakes, downhill brake control, electronic stability control, forward collision avoidance assist with city, pedestrian, cyclist and junction turning. There is blind spot collision avoidance, highway driving assist, intelligent speed limit assist, parking collision avoidance and remote smart parking that allows you to move the car forwards or backwards using just the key fob. This is a fabulous feature if you have a narrow garage or get blocked in by other drivers in a car park.

These are just a few of the many safety features on the car and it’s worth remembering that every Kia comes with an outstanding seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty package as standard.

All in all, the PHEV is the perfect addition to the Sportage line-up, which is the best-selling Kia in the UK. As yet, there are no plans to launch a fully electrified version, but never say never.

Test Drive

Kia Sportage fifth generation – First Drive (2022)

Kia has launched the fifth-generation version of its best-selling UK car – the Sportage – and it boasts a muscular new look, a wealth of high-end technology and lots of choice for customers.

It’s hard to believe the Sportage has been around since 1995, but this latest model has been designed especially for the European market with our dodgy old roads in mind.

The five-door SUV is available in trim levels called 2, GT-Line, 3, 4 and GT-Line S. And, at launch, Sportage is on sale powered by a choice of petrol, diesel, mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid engines.

Prices range from £26,745 to £43,795 and, as is the Kia way, there are very few optional extras to come back and haunt you later on.

New Sportage looks more dynamic in its styling with greater road presence. This is mainly down to a bolder front-end design with a very modern interpretation of Kia’s signature Tiger Nose grille. There is the option of a two-tone black roof, sweeping light clusters with LED daytime running lights, plus a selection of 17, 18 or 19-inch alloy wheels.

The car is 30mm longer than its predecessor as well as being 10mm wider, 10mm higher and featuring a 10mm longer wheelbase. These new dimensions add to the athletic styling and all-round appeal of the family SUV.

Moving inside, there is a modern, clutter-free cabin featuring an elegant layout with upmarket upholstery, fixtures and fittings. The main focal point and nerve centre of the car are two 12-inch touchscreens with a curved panoramic display. It’s very futuristic, but delightfully easy to operate and get accustomed to.

Creature comforts are plentiful with the likes of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, an upgraded Harmon Kardon premium sound system on top models, a reversing camera with sensors, Bluetooth with music streaming, sat nav and much more besides.

We had the opportunity to put a couple of Sportage models to the test and they didn’t disappoint.

First up was the Sportage 1.6 GT-Line S HEV with six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. This model costs £40,245 and was powered by a 1.6-litre, four-cylinder petrol hybrid engine developing 226bhp and 350Nm of torque. It could power from 0-60mph in 8.0 seconds and topped out at 120mph while delivering a combined 44.1mpg with carbon emissions of 146g/km.

When it comes to performance, the new Sportage certainly packs a punch with good acceleration through the automatic gearbox and paddles to change gear manually. The precise steering delivers plenty of feedback and drive modes called Eco, Normal and Sport alter the characteristics quite considerably, along with the layout on the information screen.

The road holding is nice and grippy through twisting B roads and it cruises quietly and effortlessly at 70mph on motorways too.

There is plenty of power on tap for quick bursts of pace to overtake and, with the elevated seating position, the driver benefits from excellent all-round visibility.

In city centres, the car is agile and easy to manoeuvre, plus the wealth of parking aids will make you look an expert when squeezing into a tight space.

The car is built in Slovakia on a new platform called the N3 architecture which has been specifically designed to develop vehicles for European roads. With that in mind, the levels of refinement have also improved on the latest car with less noise intrusion and more comfortable ride quality for all occupants.

We also took to the road in the Sportage 1.6 T-GDi 3 petrol model with a six-speed manual gearbox and front-wheel drive. This car, with 148bhp and 250Nm of torque, was priced at £30,945 and could reach 60mph from a standing start in 9.9 seconds and had a top speed of 113mph. It could achieve a combined 41.5mpg with carbon emissions of 154g/km.

Despite being lesser-powered than the first model, this Sportage also delivered the goods when faced with the open road. It was balanced, grounded and there was plenty of zip from the engine.

The interior was not quite so flashy and a few of the mod cons were missing too, but this car is almost £10k cheaper so it really does depend on the individual’s budget and requirements.

Space within the new Sportage has improved thanks to the slightly larger dimensions. There is greater headroom, legroom and boot space than the outgoing model.

The boot can swallow 591 litres of luggage and that capacity increases to 1,780 litres with the 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat.

The battery pack for HEV models is positioned beneath the back seats, so it does slightly impact on storage limits with a boot that ranges from 587 to 1,776 litres.

There are numerous storage compartments scattered throughout the car, including a deep glovebox, a square central cubby box, door bins, seat back pockets, plus front and rear cup holders. High-end models also get a wireless charging pad. When it comes to family breaks, the new Sportage can tow a trailer or caravan weighing up to 1.65 tonnes.

The latest vehicle features a comprehensive range of Kia’s DriveWise safety systems and driver assist aids to protect occupants and also help prevent accidents happening in the first place.

These include forward collision avoidance assist which now includes sensors for city, pedestrians, cyclists and junctions on all models. There is highway driving assist, smart cruise control with stop & go, lane follow assist, lane keep assist, blind spot collision avoidance with parking collision, avoidance assist on 4 and GT-Line S versions and these also gain remote park smart assist for autonomous parking in tight spaces.

A Kia Connect app can be used by owners to check all doors have been locked and even to locate exactly where the car is parked.

When you factor in Kia’s outstanding seven-year warranty, then the latest Sportage really is the complete package in an ever-growing SUV segment.

Test Drive

Kia Sportage 2.0 CRDi 48v AWD GT-Line S (2018) – first drive

There’s no denying the success of the stylish, practical and feature-rich Kia Sportage and now that all-round appeal has increased further with a midlife refresh and, perhaps most importantly, the arrival of a mild hybrid powertrain.

Now in its fourth generation, the 2018 Sportage gets a redesigned front bumper and new fog lights, a fresh take on the ‘tiger nose’ grille, additional black or chrome trim, plus full LED headlights with distinctive daytime running lights. At the back, the slim combination lights retain their horizontal shape but feature a new C-shaped LED light signature. There are new 16, 17 and 19-inch wheel designs and a choice of five extra paint colours. The vehicle is 5mm longer, but the wheelbase, width and height remain the same.

Move inside and the interior boasts upgraded infotainments systems, a new steering wheel and instrumentation layout with either a seven or eight-inch touchscreen offering smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto as standard.

As is the Kia way, all trim levels are generously equipped and there are six grades to choose from called ‘1’, ‘2’, ‘Edition 25’, ‘4’, ‘GT Line’ and ‘GT Line S’ with prices starting from £20,305 and rising to £34,545. The Edition 25 model is a limited-run version to celebrate 25 years of the Sportage.

The Sportage engine line-up has also been improved to meet Euro 6d TEMP emissions standards. The 1.7-litre CRDi turbo diesel engine is replaced by a new 1.6-litre engine delivering 114bhp or 134bhp and Kia claims it’s the cleanest engine they have ever produced. On the petrol front, there is a cleaner 1.6-litre unit delivering 130bhp or 174bhp.

But the powertrain that’s gaining all the attention is the mild hybrid engine that sees a 2.0-litre diesel unit supplemented by a 48-volt battery and starter generator. This delivers 182bhp and the compact size of the mild-hybrid powertrain made it relatively simple to integrate into the Sportage’s existing architecture with the 48-volt battery located beneath the boot floor. The boot capacity has not been compromised, but the full-size spare is replaced by a tyre repair kit.

We tested the Sportage 2.0 CRDi 48v eight-speed automatic model with AWD in range-topping GT-Line S specification costing £34,545. This car can sprint from 0-60mph in 9.2 seconds, maxes out at 125mph and, according to official figures, can deliver combined fuel economy of 48.7mpg with carbon emissions of 152g/km.

I always think one of the best compliments you can make about any hybrid model is to claim it drives and feels quite normal and that’s exactly the case with the Sportage. Yes, you do feel a slight braking sensation as it recuperates energy when you take your foot off the gas but that’s it.

We drove the car on a variety of mountain roads with sharp hairpin bends and dual carriageways in Slovakia and it was certainly up for the challenge. The acceleration through the automatic gearbox is well-timed with a constant supply of power at your disposal. The steering wheel-mounted paddles offer extra control over the gear shifts if the mood takes you.

The 2.0-litre engine delivers all the oomph needed to climb twisting mountain roads and there is ample power on tap for short bursts of acceleration when slower moving vehicles are clogging up your path.

Our range-topper boasted a wealth of on-board technology and was premium in its styling and layout. The dashboard is split into two horizontal sections – the upper half houses the floating touchscreen infotainment system and the lower level is where the audio, heating and ventilation controls are located.

Techno treats are plentiful and include black leather upholstery with red piping and stitching, 10-way power-adjustable driver and eight-way power adjustable front passenger seats, an eight-inch touchscreen sat nav system with European mapping, an eight speaker JBL premium sound system, wireless mobile phone charger, full smartphone connectivity plus lots more besides.

And with a maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, the Sportage offers excellent protection for occupants and pedestrians alike. There are also a number of driver assist features to help prevent accidents happening in the first place or at least reduce the severity of any impact.

The Kia Sportage is the second best-selling car in its class in the UK and with the latest upgrades customers can now choose from an exciting 21-model line-up which is based on five engines, three transmissions and six trim lines. So, there should be something to suit all budgets, tastes and requirements.

Test Drive

Kia Sportage fourth generation (2016) – first drive

Finding a winning formula in the ever-competitive motoring stakes is difficult enough, but improving upon it takes some real nerve and courage.

And that’s exactly what Kia has done with its best-selling model – the sporty SUV Sportage.

The Sportage first graced UK roads back in 1993 it has gathered momentum and gained a loyal and dedicated fan base over the years. And now Kia is hoping its latest fourth generation model will build on the company’s best-ever sales figures in 2015 and generate new interest from customers looking for a stunning vehicle that is packed with technology and is offered with a reasonable price-tag.

Customers can select from 18 differing versions of the new Sportage based on four powertrains and five trim levels called ‘1’, ‘2’, ‘3’, ‘4’ and GT-Line. In addition, at launch a limited-run First Edition model with some eye-catching design cues, is available which sees the Sportage breach the £31k barrier for the first time.

However, potential buyers will be very relieved to hear that the competitively-priced Sportage has an entry price of £19,995. There is also a choice of three transmissions and the option of two or all-wheel drive.

In the past, some manufacturers have been guilty of releasing a new generation model and it’s pretty difficult to spot any notable differences from an outgoing vehicle. That’s certainly not the case with the Sportage which is all-new from the ground up.

The most radical changes are up front with a complete redesign – the new grille and light clusters are the headline grabbers. On the third gen Sportage the car almost smiled at you as you approached, but this one seems to be snarling which adds to the vehicle’s more muscular and athletic styling and character. Add in a sculpted bonnet which sweeps up to cover the elongated headlamps, a low roofline and a more chiseled rear end and the Sportage is an instant attention-seeker. Another stylish feature of note is the ice-cube fog lights on the GT-Line which really stand out and some special decals on the First Edition models.

Move inside and the interior build quality has been stepped up a notch with plenty of soft-touch materials and on-board technology to be explored. The car is 40mm longer than its predecessor with a 30mm greater wheelbase. This adds to the cars sporting profile but also increases leg room for occupants meaning there is easily enough space for five adults to travel in comfort.

The dashboard is horizontal in its layout and split into an upper section housing the clear and easy-to-use touchscreen and a lower part that is described as the ‘control area’ and features buttons for systems such as the heater and audio system.

Kia has always delivered well-specced cars and the Sportage is a perfect example of that with even the entry level model featuring the likes of 16-inch alloys, LED daytime running lights, air conditioning, DAB digital radio, leather trim, Bluetooth and plenty more besides.

Then as you step up through the grades you can expect to see the addition of touch-screen navigation, roof rails, privacy glass, electrically-folding mirrors with LED indicators, reversing sensors, a cooled glovebox, lane-keep assist, an upgraded sound system, powered seats, a heated steering wheel, autonomous emergency braking and blind spot detection.

Kia believes the most popular model, especially amongst the business and fleet markets, will be the economical 1.7-litre 114bhp diesel model. And they have every reason to be confident in that model as last year 84 per cent of all Sportage models sold in the UK were diesel variants.

So it was this particular Sportage in mid-range ‘2’ trim level that we put through its paces in Southern France. The car, priced at £22,050, has a six-speed manual gearbox and can sprint to 60mph from a standing start in 11.1 seconds and onto a top speed of 109mph. According to official figures it can deliver combined fuel economy of 61.4mpg with carbon emissions 119g/km.

Good first impressions are crucial and the new Sportage doesn’t disappoint. The styling is exceptionally modern and the interior has a premium feel to it. There is still quite a lot of hard plastic on display, but that aside, the controls, dials and read-outs are all perfectly positioned for ease of use in a very driver-focused and feature-rich cockpit.

The road route included some long stretches of fast motorway driving and the Sportage was beautifully composed as it accelerated smoothly and efficiently through the gears. Another area that has been improved is noise and vibration whereby even at higher speeds the cabin remained beautifully quiet and the excellent suspension system ironed out many of the bumps and dips along the way.

There were also many twisting mountain roads which tested the car’s agility, road-holding and engine power. And once again, it proved an absolute delight to drive with the excellent all-round visibility proving another worthy factor of note.

The acceleration was continuous with a constant supply of power on tap which meant overtaking at short notice posed no problems. The road-holding was assured and the steering nice and precise.

We also had the opportunity to test out the new GT-Line Sportage powered by a 1.6 T-GDI 174bhp petrol engine. In my opinion, this model is the real looker of the line-up and costs £24,350. It can reach from 0-60mph in 9.2 seconds, tops out at 126mph, has combined fuel efficiency of 37.2mpg and carbon emissions of 177g/km.

Admittedly, the economy is not as impressive as its diesel counterpart, but the driving experience seemed much sharper with a more sporty and dynamic feel.

Finally, a run out in the First Edition model powered by a 2.0-litre 182bhp diesel engine costing £31,645. This range-topper with an automatic transmission can reach 60mph in 9.2 seconds and redlines at 125mph. It can achieve 44.8mpg with emissions of 166g/km.

Despite boasting more bite and clearly delivering a faster and more responsive performance than the 1.7-litre diesel model, this car does carry a hefty price-tag and it will be interesting to see how many customers opt for the top-of-the-range model with all its additional bells and whistles – only time will tell.

The new Sportage, which is on sale now and will be competing up against the likes of the Nissan Qashqai, Ford Kuga, Renault Kadjar and Hyundai Tucson, has been awarded the maximum five stars in the Euro NCAP ratings.

And don’t forget, like all Kia cars, it carries that impressive seven year warranty.

Test drive

Kia Sportage 2.0 CRDI KX-4 Auto AWD

Demand for crossover vehicles has never been greater and that means manufacturers have to offer something a little bit special to attract the attention of potential buyers.

Whether it’s an appealing price-tag, great spec and trim features, eye-catching economy stats or simple handling and dynamics, it has to stand out from the crowd and the Kia Sportage certainly does just that.

Historically, the South Korean brands were viewed with an air of dismissiveness and in fairness it was pretty well deserved. But those days are long gone. For today’s Kia models are beautifully designed, packed to bursting with classy technology, they handle superbly and remain very competitively priced too. Add in that seven-year warranty and impressive running costs and it’s easy to see why Kia’s success story is going from strength to strength.

For me the stand-out vehicle in the Kia line-up is the stylish Sportage with its sleek lines, bold and athletic stance, LED daytime running lights, 18-inch alloys, one-touch panoramic double sunroof, privacy glass, roof rails, chrome detailing and black side sill and wheel arch mouldings.

It’s a vehicle that looks ready for action and the all-wheel-drive capabilities mean it will keep going when Mother Nature introduces the first signs of the annual winter freeze.

And it’s certainly hard not to be wowed by the classy interior with a build quality that wouldn’t be out of place on a high-priced premium model. The heated leather seats offer plenty of support and can be adjusted electrically on the driver’s side.

Elsewhere, there is a whole host of techno treats and creature comforts to be explored, especially in the range-topping KX-4 model supplied for the test. These include a six-speaker sound system which is compatible with modern media devices, Bluetooth connectivity with voice recognition and music streaming, ambient lighting, reversing sensors, dual-zone air conditioning, plus a multi-function leather steering wheel that can be heated.

Thanks to that massive sunroof, the interior is bright and welcoming with ample room for five adults to travel in comfort. And there need never be any restrictions on luggage either, as the boot is generously sized and the capacity can be increased further thanks to 60:40 split folding rear seats.

So the Kia Sportage looks the business and is crammed with technology, but how does it handle when put through its paces? The answer is exceptionally well indeed.

Despite its large size, the vehicle is beautifully agile and the high seated driving position is another plus factor as it results in excellent all-round visibility. This is a feature that is vitally important on any family vehicle.

The acceleration through the six-speed automatic transmission is smooth and responsive and road surface and engine noise is kept to a minimum even when the car is pushed quite hard.

In busy city centre traffic, the Sportage weaved effortlessly through the crowds and then out on the open road it easily kept pace with faster moving motorway traffic with the 2.0-litre diesel-powered engine delivering plenty of bite. Corners can be attacked with confidence and the all-round handling and driving dynamics are very hard to find fault with.

The Sportage can sprint to 60mph from a standing start in 9.4 seconds and redlines at 121mph. According to official figures it can deliver 39.2mpg on a combined run with carbon emissions of 189g/km. An eco mode helps to achieve the impressive economy.

And as one would expect, the vehicle also boasts a comprehensive range of safety features, including anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, hill start assist control, emergency stop signalling, electronic stability control with downhill brake control, numerous airbags and plenty more besides.

All in all, the Kia Sportage is quite the all-rounder. It comes with an asking price of £29,505 which isn’t cheap but the beauty is there are no hidden added extras to be factored in. What you see is what you get and that is a very notable crossover vehicle.

Test Drive

Kia Sportage 2.0 CRDi KX-4

It seems every car has a starting price these days which is generally bumped up quite considerably by a raft of optional extras.

But one company prides itself on offering outstanding value with no hidden extras and that company is Kia.

A perfect example of that policy was my recent test car – a top-of-the-range Sportage which was packed to bursting with techno treats and creature comforts all for the original starting price of £27,195.

This included 18-inch alloys, privacy glass with chrome trim, a seven-inch colour touchscreen with sat nav, cruise control, parallel park assist, panoramic sunroof, roof rails, LED daytime running lights, full leather upholstery with heated seats, rain sensing wipers, dual-zone climate control and lots more besides.

And then there is the incredible seven year warranty as standard too.

With the 2.0-litre diesel engine delivering plenty of power, the Sportage can sprint from 0-60mph in 9.4 seconds which isn’t bad for a vehicle of its size and acceleration through the six-speed manual transmission is smooth and responsive. There is also a gear change indicator on the dashboard to help maximise fuel efficiency.

All occupants are treated to plenty of leg, head and shoulder space and there won’t be any restrictions on luggage allowances either as the generously-sized boot can easily accommodate large suitcases. Its capacity can be increased further thanks to 60:40 split-folding rear seats.

The Sportage seemed very at home in busy city centres where the high seated driving position is a real bonus.

It also coped well on the faster more open roads, although there was a little engine and road surface noise. However, this can easily be counteracted by the impressive six-speaker sounds system.

Kia has fitted a very comprehensive list of safety specifications to the Sportage, such as anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, hill start assist control, emergency stop signalling, electronic stability control, numerous airbags and plenty more.

And when you take into consideration the Sportage’s intelligent all-wheel-drive system, it means you will be prepared for any unexpected weather fronts too.

All in all, the Kia Sportage is a superb all-rounder that’s economical, feature-rich with technology, offers impressive performance credentials, boasts eye-catching good looks and, above all, has no hidden extras.

Test Drive

Kia Sportage 2.0 CRDI KX-2 AWD Automatic

With a reputation for quality, value for money and reliability, Kia continues its march from strength to strength.

And the latest generation Sportage is another example of the company’s determination to supply vehicles packed with quality features and on-board technology that are affordable, attractive and fun to drive.

With dynamic, eye-catching streamlining, the Sportage looks great from all angles thanks to 17-inch alloys, LED daytime running lights, roof rails, a rear spoiler, panoramic sunroof and chrome front grille.

And you won’t be disappointed once you take your seat behind the leather multi-function steering wheel with all controls and read-outs perfectly positioned for driver usability.

Creature comforts include a six-speaker sound system compatible with all modern day music devices, cruise control, Bluetooth with voice recognition control and rear parking sensors.

There is a real sense of quality at every turn and the large windows and panoramic sunroof allows light to flood into the spacious cabin which can easily accommodate five adults.

Storage will never be a problem either as the generously-sized boot can cater for all luggage requirements and the 60:40 split-folding rear seats mean capacity can be increased even further.

In and around busy, congested city centres, the Sportage ambles along with ease and the high seated position means the driver benefits from excellent all-round visibility, which is vital these days with pedestrians and other motorists darting out from all directions.

Then out on the faster country roads and motorways, the 2.0-litre diesel-powered engine really bursts into life as it accelerates smoothly, effortlessly and rapidly through the six-speed automatic transmission.

The road-holding is excellent in the wet and on tighter bends and even strong winds can’t shift the vehicle off course.

Cabin noise is relatively quiet and the suspension absorbs all the bumps and dips along the way making comfort levels exceptionally high.

As one would expect these days, Kia has packed a comprehensive list of safety features into the Sportage, such as anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, impact sensing auto door unlock, electronic stability control, hill start assist, six airbags and plenty more besides.

These factors helped the Sportage achieve a maximum five stars in the Euro NCAP safety ratings.

And don’t forget that the Sportage comes with that ever-appealing seven-year/100,000-mile Kia warranty.

All in all, the Sportage is a super all-rounder which offers plenty to the family who enjoy an active lifestyle but also appreciate value for their money along the way.

Test Drive

Kia Sportage 2.0 CRDi Titan 5dr

When the Kia Sportage first arrived on the scene all those years ago, its impact was immediate.

Here was a quality 4×4 packed to the rafters with top spec and all for a price that caused many a double take. Nowadays, the Sportage name is well and truly established but with every new model that is launched, rival manufacturers still wait with anticipation to see what the Korean manufacturer has up its sleeve.

The vehicle supplied for my test drive, the top-of-the-range Titan model boasted privacy glass, 17-inch alloys, aluminium door scuffs with “Sportage” etched along them, an electric tilt and slide sunroof, leather upholstery, full climate control and, believe me, a whole lot more.

And when you include the seven-year or 100,000 miles warranty, it seems almost unbelievable this vehicle is priced at just £18k.

But surely there has to be a catch? In fairness, not really.

It’s true the Sportage is never going to beat up the big guns in the off-road playground and maybe there is a little too much plastic on the dashboard, but those minor gripes aside, it would be hard to find a 4×4 that offers such value for money.

The high seated drivers position means excellent visibility both in and around town and out on the open road. And the 2.0-litre engine delivered plenty of power in both driving situations.

Comfort levels are very good for front or rear occupants and the rear seats have a 60:40 split and can easily be folded flat to open up a massive storage area which enables the Sportage to transport larger and more awkwardly-shaped items with ease.

Safety features on the Sportage are very comprehensive with anti-lock brakes, electronic brake force distribution, ESP stability control, airbags galore and an immobiliser and alarm system.

So, anyone who loves an adventurous lifestyle but still wants to be able to afford one after laying out for a car should really look no further than the Kia Sportage.

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