Kia Sportage SUV (2010-2014) - Engines, drive & performance

Kia Sportage has road manners that are a big improvement over Kias of old, but still trails rivals for driving satisfaction

Carbuyer Rating

4.1 out of 5

Engines, drive & performance Rating

3.5 out of 5

First off, if performance is a priority, then your best bet is to opt for a Ford Kuga or Mazda CX-5 – both of which offer a sporty driving experience and are more fun to take down a twisty road. The Sportage has a softer, more comfortable suspension set-up, although this can make it a bit bouncy on rough UK roads.

Kia Sportage petrol engine

The Kia Sportage is an average performer for the crossover class. The basic 1.6-litre petrol engine will do 0-62mph in 10.7 seconds, but feels quite hard-pushed at high speeds. It’s best avoided if you spend a lot of time on the motorway.

Diesel engines

The 1.7-litre diesel is slower than the petrol on paper, but actually seems faster on the road due to its characteristics – it feels more powerful from lower speeds, so it’s much better at safe overtaking.

The 2.0-litre diesels are more impressive still, offering decent performance and low running costs. The 134bhp version goes from 0-62mph in 11 seconds, while the 181bhp engine takes 9.5 seconds to do the same. They’re only available with four-wheel drive, but despite improved performance, we’d still recommend the 1.7-litre engine, because it’s several thousand pounds cheaper to buy and costs less to run.

The entry-level 1.6-litre petrol engine comes with a six-speed manual only, so if your budget only stretches this far, then you’ll have to make do. All the diesel engines get a six-speed manual, but the 2.0-litre versions can be specified with an automatic. But we recommend the manual: it suits the car better, is much smoother around town and far cheaper to run.

Have You Considered

Hyundai Bayon SUV review
Hyundai Bayon SUV
Hyundai Bayon SUV
16 Apr 2021

Hyundai Bayon SUV review

Vauxhall Mokka SUV review
2021 Vauxhall Mokka - front 3/4 dynamic
Vauxhall Mokka
6 Apr 2021

Vauxhall Mokka SUV review

Most Popular

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
13 Apr 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Best new car deals 2021
Skoda Fabia
Deals
16 Apr 2021

Best new car deals 2021

New 2022 Nissan X-Trail makes debut
2022 Nissan X-Trail - front 3/4 view
Nissan X-Trail
19 Apr 2021

New 2022 Nissan X-Trail makes debut

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
13 Apr 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Tips and advice
10 Nov 2020

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?
Tips and Advice
23 Mar 2020

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
24 Feb 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Best car interiors
Best cars
10 Mar 2020

Best car interiors

Best electric cars
Best cars
24 Dec 2020

Best electric cars

Best cheap-to-run cars
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
1 Feb 2021

Best cheap-to-run cars

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Hot hatches
9 Apr 2020

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks