Kia Sportage SUV
- Good to drive and decent performance
- Practical and spacious inside
- Impressively well-equipped
- Running costs are only average
- Styling may put some buyers off
- Some rivals are more entertaining to drive
"The new Kia Sportage is a real contender in the mid-size crossover class. It’s high-quality and spacious, while the seven-year warranty is tempting, too."
No longer is the Kia Sportage the cheap-and-cheerful family crossover. Instead, it's evolved into a serious contender in a class filled with talented rivals. These include the ever-popular Nissan Qashqai, the Mazda CX-5, the Ford Kuga and the Hyundai Tucson.
This new model isn’t a quantum leap over the previous generation – that would be tricky, given that was a pretty impressive car anyway. Instead, it offers a little bit more of everything, as well as radical new styling. As you can tell from the photos, this is one distinctive-looking car. Some may find it a little too distinctive for their tastes, though.
The new Sportage is bigger in every way than its predecessor, so there's plenty more space inside – both for passengers and in the boot – while all the materials used are of a much higher quality than those in the previous model.
Under the bonnet, there's a familiar choice of petrol and diesel engines. There are three diesels – one 1.7-litre and two 2.0-litres, putting out 114, 134 and 182bhp respectively, while there are two 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrols, too. The naturally aspirated version puts out 130bhp and the turbocharged version 174bhp.
Only the 2.0-litre diesel and turbocharged petrol are available with an automatic gearbox – the diesel gets a six-speed, the petrol a seven-speed (both are optional) – while the rest come as standard with six-speed manual transmission.
The cheapest version to run will be the 1.7-litre diesel, which returns around 61mpg and emits 119g/km of CO2. This equates to an annual road tax bill of just £30 and puts it in the 21% Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) company car tax bracket. The 134 and 182bhp diesels are the next best, while the naturally aspirated petrol will be the second-most expensive to run. Returning the worst efficiency figures is the turbocharged petrol, fitted with the manual gearbox. This’ll only manage 37.7mpg and emits 175g/km of CO2 for an annual tax bill of £225.
In true Kia tradition, the new Sportage comes loaded to the gunwales with standard equipment. Even basic 1 and KX-1 models come with 16-inch alloys, LED daytime running lights, Bluetooth phone connectivity and cruise control.
In terms of reliability and safety, the Sportage should impress. The previous model finished in the top half of our Driver Power customer satisfaction survey for reliability and this new model boasts much-improved interior quality.
Safety-wise, Euro NCAP has awarded the new Sportage the full five stars and it comes with a load of safety equipment as standard.
Running costs for the new Kia Sportage are about on par with rivals’
The new Kia Sportage offers a good balance between fun and comfort
The new Kia Sportage interior may not excite design-wise, but its quality impresses
Kia has given this Sportage a bigger boot and more interior space than its predecessor
Plenty of standard safety kit makes the new Kia Sportage a very safe car