Used Kia Sportage review: 2016 to 2021 (Mk4)

“The Kia Sportage is a practical, well equipped and easy-to-drive SUV with an impressive warranty covering it for seven years”

Carbuyer Rating

3.6 out of 5

Owners Rating

3.2 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Pros

  • Roomy interior
  • Lots of standard equipment and tech
  • Long warranty

Cons

  • Average fuel economy
  • Not very exciting to drive
  • Styling isn't for everyone

The Kia Sportage is very easy to recommend as a used family car, because it ticks all the boxes that most people will be looking for. Most importantly, it’s really practical - there’s a big boot and plenty of room for people in the back seats - and nice and easy to drive no matter which engine and gearbox you choose. It’s also well equipped and most used models will have all the technology you need, plus the Sportage came with a seven-year warranty from new so many used models will still have plenty of cover left over even if they are a few years old.

The Kia Sportage is a family SUV that’s practical, good to drive and comes with an excellent warranty that means it’s a top used buy. There are both petrol and diesel engines, manual or automatic gearboxes and even four-wheel-drive versions, although we’d avoid these if you care about running costs.

Top 10 best used SUVs 2022

Alternatives on the used market include the Ford Kuga, Mazda CX-5, Nissan Qashqai and Peugeot 3008, so if you’re shopping around then you should check those models out as well. The Sportage’s main selling point in that company is its seven-year warranty, meaning even three-year old models have four years of cover left.

The fourth-generation model we’re covering in this review came out in 2016 but there were some changes to the model over the years. Kia added some different petrol engines, mild-hybrid diesel engines, and tweaked interior and exterior styling. In 2020 the car was updated with some differences in the equipment you get, too.

What’s the history of the Kia Sportage?

The Kia Sportage Mk4 first arrived in 2016, following an unveiling at the Frankfurt Motor Show in late 2015. The initial version can be spotted by its more rounded styling on the front bumper, with a smaller grille area. Both petrol and diesel models were available.

In 2018 Kia updated the car with a new look – it’s easy to spot because of the larger grille at the front and the trim pieces on the sides of the front bumper had a new bit of silver detailing that links to the number plate area. The main reason to go for a later model isn’t the exterior look, but the improved interior and more efficient engines, including a mild-hybrid diesel.

In 2020 there was another update but this was mainly for the trim range, changing which equipment was available in which versions - it was pretty minor but it’s worth checking to see if a model you’re interested in is part of the updated range or not.

Which is the best Kia Sportage to choose?

We’d go for a post-2018 model with the 134bhp 1.6-litre diesel engine, which is a mild hybrid. This means it has a 48-volt electrical system to provide a small amount of power assistance when accelerating. In practice, it’s not noticeable while driving but it means fuel economy is 47.9mpg for the front-wheel-drive version, which is the one we’d go for (the four-wheel-drive model is less efficient).

If you don’t do a lot of miles, the 174bhp turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine could be a decent alternative to the diesel. It’s smooth and quiet, but doesn’t feel as fast as we would expect from a 174bhp engine.

What are the alternatives?

There are absolutely loads of family SUVs that are of a similar size and price to the Kia Sportage. The most closely aligned ones are the Nissan Qashqai, Peugeot 3008 and Skoda Karoq, which all have a similar focus on practicality. 

If you want something that’s more enjoyable to drive, then a Ford Kuga or a Mazda CX-5 could be worth considering, or if you want something with lower running costs there’s the Toyota C-HR or RAV4, both of which are full hybrids.

Recommended

Mercedes GLE SUV review
Mercedes GLE driving
Mercedes GLE
19 May 2022

Mercedes GLE SUV review

Vauxhall to revive Manta as electric coupe-SUV
Manta front
News
19 May 2022

Vauxhall to revive Manta as electric coupe-SUV

Toyota C-HR SUV review
Toyota CHR
Toyota C-HR
19 May 2022

Toyota C-HR SUV review

Audi A6 saloon review
Audi A6
Audi A6
19 May 2022

Audi A6 saloon review

Have You Considered

Ford Kuga SUV review
Ford Kuga Titanium
Ford Kuga
18 May 2022

Ford Kuga SUV review

Honda HR-V SUV review
2021 Honda HR-V
Honda HR-V
19 Apr 2022

Honda HR-V SUV review

Most Popular

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Nissan Leaf front
Best cars
3 May 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers
Honda CR-V deal
Deals
13 May 2022

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers

Top 10 best cheap cars 2022
Dacia Duster SUV
Best cars
13 May 2022

Top 10 best cheap cars 2022

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
23 Mar 2022

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Car buying
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
25 Apr 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Nissan Leaf front
Best cars
3 May 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
3 Feb 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022