Kia’s crossover was a huge hit and is still popular despite its age.
If any car in the Kia range could be described as a signal that the Korean company has arrived then the Sportage is surely it. Stylish, capable and desirable even, the Kia Sportage may be due for imminent replacement, but it's still good.
What is it?
Six years old now, but the Kia Sportage’s design was so right that it still looks fresh today. It’ll be radically restyled early this year with an all-new model, but that should mean run-out bargains for canny buyers. Kia pitched the Sportage firmly at Nissan’s Qashqai, and it’s been fairly successful, too. Good value, well-equipped and effortless to drive, the Sportage’s advancing years means it’s bettered on economy and emissions by newer rivals, while the cabin’s not quite as commodious as some, either.
What is it like?
It might be due for replacement, but don’t ignore it. Unable to match the sub-100g/km of the cleanest Nissan Qashqai, the lowest-emitting Sportage is the 1.7 CRDi turbodiesel in manual front-wheel guise with 135g/km. There’s a 1.6-litre direct injection petrol engine that runs that close, though the diesel’s better suited to the car, thanks to its greater torque. If you want four-wheel drive you’ll need the 2.0 CRDi turbodiesel, which gains 20hp over the 114hp 1.7 CRDi. All drive well, with decent ride comfort and refinement, too.
Carzone verdict: 3.0/5
A few years back the Sportage would have had a solid four-star result here, but its age plays against it. Still, there’s plenty to recommend, the Sportage still looking good, it's well built and decently priced and equipped across the entire range. The cabin is slightly lacking in space, while the most telling facet revealing the Sportage’s need for replacement is its emissions and economy. They’ll improve with the next one, as will everything else, which will make it one to watch out for later in 2016.