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Kia Sportage Review

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2016
      Body type
      Crossover
      Fuel type
      Petrol, diesel
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
Deservedly popular and good-value crossover

Best bits

  • Well-made and good value for money
  • Practical and roomy for growing families
  • Seven-year warranty

Not so great

  • Weak petrol engines
  • Rivals are more invigorating to drive
  • Not everyone likes the styling

Read by

Kia Sportage right exterior

Overall verdict

Kia Sportage front interior

On the inside

Kia Sportage backleft exterior

Driving

Kia Sportage right exterior

How much does it cost to run

Kia Sportage central console 2

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict on the Kia Sportage

"The Kia Sportage has proven to be a real hit, thanks to a winning combination of affordability, practicality, a decent drive and stylish good looks. It’s even more appealing today, following a well-judged 2018 facelift and the introduction of efficient engines."

Kia Sportage right exterior

The Sportage success story started with its predecessor, launched in 2010. This was little short of a revelation compared to the prosaic model that came before it. The car’s launch saw the Sportage’s appeal and desirability skyrocket, and that momentum has accelerated with this version.


The Sportage is a premium-looking vehicle. Its distinctive front end was a bit of a surprise for some at launch, but is ageing well. We particularly like the latest models with their built-in LED running lights, which look a bit like those in the Porsche Macan. The side profile is very clean and upmarket, and the rear is tidy. Even some of the colours Kia offers on the Sportage ooze desirability, particularly the punchy bright blue and rich metallic red.


It has the familiar Kia appearance inside, with a large touchscreen mounted high up on the dashboard and a mass of buttons beneath. This bit, if we’re being honest, is starting to look a bit dated, but continually upgraded infotainment tech does help. The interior is largely finished in moody black plastic with chrome highlights picking out details such as the air vents and heater dials. We like the steering wheel and its clear, easy-to-use buttons.


To drive, it’s not the most dynamic of vehicles, and doesn’t offer the sporty sharpness of a Ford Kuga. But it’s a fine all-rounder, with a cushioned ride quality and reasonably accurate steering. Even models with larger wheels don’t get too irritable – fortunate, because many versions do wear the eye-catching 19-inch wheels.


For years, the Sportage range has been centred around diesel engines. Again, they’re fine, without being spectacular. Recently, 48-volt mild hybrid technology has been added to the 1.6-litre versions, giving them a little more responsiveness to the accelerator and extended ‘engine-off’ stop-start to save fuel.


You’re better off with diesel than petrol. The non-turbo entry-level petrol engine is weedy and needs revving to release its power, while the turbocharged version is far too thirsty. Most Sportages are sold with a manual gearbox, which is slick and light – and an electronic parking brake option makes life easy during fully laden hill-starts.


Kia includes a decent level of standard equipment even on base models. Instead of using trim names, the firm uses numbers from 1 to 4 instead, plus sporty-look versions called GT-Line and GT-Line S. Higher-grade models have genuinely luxurious features, including air-conditioned seats fitted to range-topping models.


The Sportage was facelifted in 2018: Kia introduced some new engines (including a better 1.6-litre diesel), a redesigned front bumper and neat full LED headlights.


Then there’s Kia’s famously superb warranty. It covers vehicles for seven-years or 100,000 miles, and really demonstrates the brand’s reliability credentials. Research shows some people really do choose a Kia over a rival car because of the warranty. With the Sportage, they’re getting a fine all-rounder thrown in, too.

 


Ready to get your top quality Kia Sportage?

  • All cars come with a warranty
  • Selected dealers only
  • All quality checked

Kia Sportage

1.6 GDi ISG 2 5dr

  • 2018
  • 16,230 miles
  • Vertu Kia Bradford
  • West Yorkshire, BD14AJ
Price:£14,499
PCP: £226.12/mo

Representative example: Contract Length: 36 months, 35 Monthly Payments: £226.12, Customer Deposit: £2,174.00, Total Deposit: £2,174.85, Optional Final Payment: £7,212.00, Total Charge For Credit: £2,802.05, Total Amount Payable: £17,301.05, Representative APR: 9.9%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 9.48%, Excess Mileage Charge: 4ppm, Mileage Per Annum: 10,000

Is the Kia Sportage right for you?

Crossovers are among the most sought-after new cars in the UK right now. Those who used to buy a family hatchback now err towards a crossover – and the fact that a Kia Sportage costs from a similar price to a mid-range Ford Focus certainly explains its appeal.


It is a practical car, with a high-up, commanding seating position for those in the front and a very impressive amount of space for those in the rear. In this regard, it is almost MPV-like in its passenger-friendliness. The boot is a decent size, too: not quite as large as an MPV, but a useful enough shape and size. Even the plastic wheelarch extensions might prove usefully scuff-resistant in car parks. 


What really gives the Sportage a boost over the competition is the value for money it offers. You get a quality vehicle and a lot of features as standard for similar to, or less than, what you’d pay for a rival from Volkswagen or Honda. This is key to the Sportage’s considerable success.


What’s the best Kia Sportage model/engine to choose?

We think the latest 1.6-litre CRDi Ecodynamics+ diesel is the best Sportage engine, particularly given the useful boost in response delivered by its 48-volt mild hybrid technology. It has a decent 134PS and is capable of averaging over 52mpg. Even the DCT auto is much more economical than earlier Kia automatics.


The latest model line-up comprises good-value 2 and 3 versions, but we like the eye-catching GT-Line variants, which offer a lot of stand-out appeal for a sensible price tag. GT-Line S is a step too far, so if you want a more luxurious model, look for a deal on a Sporatge 4.


What other cars are similar to the Kia Sportage?

This sector of car gets ever-larger. Rivals are numerous, including the Nissan Qashqai, Ford Kuga, Volkswagen Tiguan, Vauxhall Grandland X and sister-company Hyundai’s closely related Tucson


Honda’s latest CR-V is a reliable alternative, as is the rejuvenated Toyota RAV4. And the Mazda CX-5 is getting on a bit in its current guise, but still delivers a fine driving experience.


There’s even internal competition within the Kia range now – from the XCeed crossover and the all-electric Kia Soul EV.


In a nutshell

The Kia Sportage is a deserved success story. It is a family-friendly crossover built to a high standard, with plenty of equipment at a good-value price. Add in stylish good looks and a seven-year warranty, and it definitely deserves a place on your consideration list.


Learn more

Kia Sportage front interior

On the inside

Kia Sportage backleft exterior

Driving

Kia Sportage right exterior

How much does it cost to run

Kia Sportage central console 2

Prices, versions and specification

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

Is a Kia Sportage a good car?

The Kia Sportage is an exceptionally good car and an easy SUV to recommend. It is well built, comfortable and is proving reliable too, while Kia's seven-year 100,000 mile warranty gives buyers great peace of mind.

Dan Powell

Answered by

Dan Powell

What is the best Kia to buy?

The Sportage makes a case for itself as the one of the best Kia models to buy as it's very competitive with other SUVs but compared like for like with many rivals, costs less. The Kia Picanto is another great buy, representing great value for money, as with all Kia models.

Andy Brady

Answered by

Andy Brady

Is a Sportage or a Tucson better?

The Hyundai Tuscon is marketed as a more premium car than the Kia Sportage and you will find a better quality interior finish, but overall there's little to choose between them. The Kia Sportage comes with a seven-year 100,000 mile warranty whereas the Hyundai Tucson has a shorter five-year warranty but with an unlimited mileage.

heycar editorial team

Answered by

heycar editorial team