Review

Kia Sportage SUV

Price  £17,500 - £29,510

Kia Sportage SUV

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Spacious interior
  • Seven-year warranty
  • Great value for money
Cons
  • Some cheap-feeling trim
  • Lifeless steering
  • Bouncy ride

At a glance

The greenest
1.7 CRDi 2 2WD 5dr £21,200
The cheapest
1.6 GDi 1 2WD 5dr £17,500
The fastest
2.0 CRDi KX-4 (181HP) AWD Auto 5dr £29,510
Top of the range
2.0 CRDi KX-4 (181HP) AWD Auto 5dr £29,510

"The Kia Sportage is a good value, practical and smart competitor in the crossover market."

It looks like a compact SUV – and indeed it is – but look beyond its chunky profile and high driving position and you’ll see the Kia Sportage is closer to a regular hatchback when it comes to usability and running costs.

If that isn’t tempting enough, there's also Kia's attractive support package designed to keep the costs of ownership down further still, including fixed-price servicing and a generous seven-year/100,000-mile warranty.

But the Sportage offers more than just reasonably low running costs in a trendy SUV body. It's also an attractive and distinctive-looking car that's packed with standard equipment. What's more, the four trim levels it comes in are called, simply, 1, 2, 3 and 4, with four-wheel-drive versions identified by a KX prefix.

Two-wheel-drive versions are powered by a choice of 1.6-litre petrol and 1.7-litre diesel engines. A more powerful 2.0-litre diesel, available in two power outputs, is reserved for models with four-wheel drive. This engine is also offered with an optional six-speed automatic gearbox.

The diesels are relatively cheap to run, but newer rivals such as the Nissan Qashqai and Mazda CX-5 are more affordable still. With that in mind, we’d advise choosing the smaller 1.7-litre diesel.

Sportage drivers want for very little, with alloy wheels, air-conditioning and LED daytime running lights all provided as standard from trim level 1 upwards. On top of these, there are also rain-sensing wipers and a USB connection for music players and mobile phones.

Just moving up to trim level 2 brings rear parking sensors and half-leather seats while level 4, the highest, has the kind of kit you’d expect to find in a car costing twice the price: xenon headlights, sat nav, heated seats and a panoramic sunroof.

Well equipped and easy to own, the Kia Sportage is also a safe car, receiving the maximum five-star rating from the crash-test experts at Euro NCAP to prove it. Look deeper and you’ll find a full set of airbags, electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, anti-whiplash headrests and ISOFIX child-seat mounts.

However, despite the Sportage's long list of attributes, its brilliant rival the Nissan Qashqai remains our favourite mid-size SUV. Even then, if you can do without an SUV's high seating position and occasional off-road ability, you might be better off looking at conventional hatchbacks such as the Ford Focus, VW Golf and Honda Civic.

Not sure what you're looking for? Find out what we think is the best SUV by watching our video below.

 

MPG, running costs & CO2

4 / 5

Fuel economy and CO2 emissions aren’t a match for rivals, but the Kia Sportage’s servicing costs will be low

Engines, drive & performance

3.5 / 5

The Kia Sportage’s road manners are a big improvement over Kias of old, but it still trails rivals for driving satisfaction

Interior & comfort

3.8 / 5

The Kia Sportage boasts an interior that’s quiet and well built, if not as stylish as the best that rivals can offer

Practicality & boot space

4 / 5

The Kia Sportage has a large boot and the interior is spacious, but its rear window is small, making park sensors a must

Reliability & safety

4.4 / 5

An excellent seven-year warranty shows Kia has a lot of faith in the Sportage’s reliability. The car has a very good safety rating, too

What the others say

3.4 / 5
based on 4 reviews
4 / 5
"If you opt for the front-wheel drive entry-level diesel model, you’ll benefit from low emissions and more the 54mpg fuel economy, which although isn’t as impressive as the faster Mazda CX-5, it's worlds ahead of the Land Rover Freelander."
3 / 5
"The Sportage isn’t as classy as a Nissan Qashqai or VW Tiguan because some of the cabin plastics are comparatively lightweight, and the switches don’t move with the same precision."
3.5 / 5
"The Sportage is Kia's best-selling model in the UK and keen to keep it that way, Kia has tweaked the design and fine-tuned equipment lists for 2014 to help keep the model in-line with the competition."
6 / 10
“Kia's funky crossover is good-looking, but a bit disappointing to drive.”
What owners say 
4.0015625
4 /5 based on 128 reviews
61%
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
2 Feb 2015
Own this car? Leave your review.