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.

Recommended

All-new 2022 Kia Sportage: UK prices and specs revealed
2022 Kia Sportage
Kia Sportage SUV
1 Dec 2021

All-new 2022 Kia Sportage: UK prices and specs revealed

Top 10 best medium size and family SUVs 2022
Tucson
Best cars
14 Oct 2021

Top 10 best medium size and family SUVs 2022

Kia Sportage SUV review (2016-2021)
Kia Sportage SUV front 3/4 tracking
Kia Sportage SUV
6 Sep 2021

Kia Sportage SUV review (2016-2021)

Have You Considered

Toyota Yaris Cross SUV review
Toyota Yaris Cross
Toyota Yaris Cross
24 Dec 2021

Toyota Yaris Cross SUV review

Ford Kuga SUV review
Ford Kuga Titanium
Ford Kuga
10 Dec 2021

Ford Kuga SUV review

Most Popular

UK road tax 2022: VED tax rates and bands explained
2021 Road Tax explained
Car tax
20 Jan 2022

UK road tax 2022: VED tax rates and bands explained

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
17 Jan 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

Top 10 best economical 4x4s, SUVs and crossovers 2022
Peugeot 3008 SUV front cornering
Best cars
6 Jan 2022

Top 10 best economical 4x4s, SUVs and crossovers 2022

Tips & advice

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

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
21 Jan 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
19 Jan 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
17 Jan 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
21 Jan 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022