Review Of Kia Sportage - When crossover SUVs hit the mainstream, the Nissan Qashqai was the poster boy, but, alongside the Qashqai were models like this, the Kia Sportage. This crossover has been an integral part of the south Korean-manufacturers success in the UK over the last few years, along with models like the Picanto city car and Rio supermini. With a minor facelift back in 2014, the Sportage is in its third-generation, and judging by the sheer amount of them you will have seen on the road, it’s clear to see that it’s Kia’s bestseller. I just want to start by showing off the Sportage’s practicality, which is really important as some vehicles in the crossover segment tend to forget this and go for style over substance. The boot for example offers 564 litres with the seats up and 1,353 with the seats down, meaning its bigger than the Honda CR-V – it’s just a shame those seats down fold flat. Still, very practical. Sitting in the back feels more like a large saloon than an SUV as there is plenty of space from head to toe, particularly important if you plan on going on long distance journeys.
Inside, the Sportage is pretty swarve. It may not quite have the German manufacturing edge of VW or Audi, but you’ll pay a premium for that anyway. On a whole, the materials used are good quality and the dashboard layout is very logical. Standard Kia Sportage models come with essentials like Bluetooth and air con, as well as luxury features like cruise control and leather trimmings. The flagship KX-4 model we have has a handy 7-inch touchscreen with sat nav and a reversing camera display as well as a panoramic sunroof. There is even a parallel park assist system which analyses your surroundings and steers the car for you, which is a bit strange at first, but, it really does work. Right, enough of the robotics, let’s do some actual driving.
Just like the Hyundai ix35 that it shares its blueprints with, the Sportage is very much built for comfort, with a supple suspension that makes everything from city to motorway driving a breeze. What it fails to offer though is high levels of engagement as the steering lacks feedback and weighting. There’s also a fair amount of body roll when you chuck it into corners and the diesel engines can be noisy. But before we get too critical, let’s not forget, the Nissan Qashqai hasn’t really got the X factor in the driving dynamics department either and in fact, apart from the likes of the Ford Kuga, crossover SUVs tend to struggle when it comes to excitement behind the wheel. Although there is an entry-level 1.6-litre petrol with 133bhp available, it is the diesel options that will most likely get people’s attention, and these come in two forms, a 1.7-litre and 2.0-litre.
With power outputs including 114, 134 and 181bhp, it is pretty easy to find a diesel to suit you. It is however a bit disappointing that the most efficient engine, which is the 114bhp 1.7-litre diesel, emits 135g/km and returns a claimed average of 54mpg. This still remains the best overall pick in the engine range though. If you really want to spruce your Sportage up, then there is an AWD model available with the 181bhp 2.0-litre diesel, which is what we are testing. This will allow you to explore more of the countryside, with the ability to split power evenly between all four wheels, so you don’t slip in the mud, along with a hill descent assist feature. Word of advice though, go for the manual box, because the automatic is rather sluggish when changing in-between gears. While the Sportage might lack some driving excitement, its good levels of kit, impressive practicality and comfort definitely warrant it a place on your shopping list of crossover SUVs. It’s also cheaper than the Nissan Qashqai and Ford Kuga, plus you get Kia’s seven-year warranty, which in itself is worth a great deal, especially if you’re a family car buyer. Thanks for visit Review Of Kia Sportage.