Kia Sportage

The Sportage does exactly what it says on the tin...

  • Wipe-clean plastics, high seating position, motorway manners, brushed metal dash, leather seats, opening tailgate glass, straightforward layout
  • Distracting compass in mirror, body shows dirt easily, engine noise at idle, small glovebox
Find your Kia Sportage
Offers from our trusted partners on this car and its predecessors...
Or are you looking to sell your car?
9/10 sellers got the price they expected
Advertisement

Need a hard-working 4x4 with a punchy diesel? How about a great-value off-roader boasting individual styling? Or maybe you want to take your kids for countryside bike rides? Well, the Sportage is the answer. It “does exactly what it says on the tin”, and although the slogan may come from an irritating paint advert, it sums up LB55 ZZA perfectly.

As far as I am concerned, the interior is comfortable and good looking. And while some colleagues have questioned the handling, suggesting it doesn’t match that of rivals, I’ve found the Kia to be more than capable of handling speed bumps and potholes during the week, and motorways and country lanes at the weekend.

My previous long-term car was a Toyota Corolla Verso, and I still miss its versatile seating, but the Sportage’s 2.0-litre diesel engine and six gears more than make up for it. Motorway journeys used to be a noisy affair in the 1.8-litre petrol MPV – but not any more. The SUV’s extra ratio means you can cruise along at high speed with very little noise from the motor, and the lofty seating position makes you feel like you’re flying! Our car has cruise control, and although I tested it on a recent late-night journey, I didn’t use it for long... as falling asleep at the wheel was a distinct possibility.

The rear is spacious for my two children, and the back seats fold down easily to create a size-able load area that’s ideal for a couple of bikes or a week’s worth of bottles for the recycling centre. I really like the durable, wipe-clean plastic on the back of the rear chairs – good thinking, and a godsend after a muddy family countryside cycle.

My only major dislike is the compass which is set into the rear view mirror. It’s a simple black panel, but I find it distracting and, when I check to see what’s behind me, my eyes are drawn to the compass, not the road. That aside, I’m finding the Sportage copes with my mix of urban and country motoring very well indeed.

Extra Info

Second opinion
The Sportage might not be Kia’s biggest 4x4, but it certainly looks the part – and it boasts plenty of chunky handles for passengers to hold on to inside should the going get tough. I also rate the firm’s diesel engine more highly than I expected to. It is surprisingly responsive, and just the sort of frugal unit you want in a compact off-roader. Gary Lord, production editor

Creative director

As Creative director, Darren predominantly looks after the Auto Express magazine; whilst consulting for LRM, Evo and Enzo. He manages everything from photography briefs to layout and logo design. Darren has worked in the motoring industry for over 25 years and loves it.  e-mail: darren_wilson@dennis.co.uk

Most Popular

Government in major U-turn on pick-up truck tax changes
Ford Ranger - side
News

Government in major U-turn on pick-up truck tax changes

HMRC scraps its plan to axe the benefit-in-kind ‘loophole’ for pick-ups, a week after announcing it
19 Feb 2024
“Some manufacturers are losing their appetite for electric cars”
Opinion - Ford Explorer
Opinion

“Some manufacturers are losing their appetite for electric cars”

With EV market share shrinking, Mike Rutherford thinks there might be delays to the proposed 2035 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars
19 Feb 2024
Car Deal of the Day: Land Rover Defender looks the business at £324 per month
Defender Hard Top - downhill off road
News

Car Deal of the Day: Land Rover Defender looks the business at £324 per month

The current Defender is a fantastic SUV van for businesses and is our Car Deal of the Day for 20 February
20 Feb 2024