Skip advert
Advertisement

Kia Sportage 2006 - long term test

Road-works and potholes are an ever-present nuisance, so thank goodness our Sportage can cut through the distractions with relative ease

  • Durable plastic boot, smart dashboard design, high seating position, motorway manners, opening tailgate glass, easy-to-fold rear seats
  • Still no fix for the cheap stereo’s skipping discs, wind noise at speed, short first gear
Find your Kia Sportage
Offers from our trusted partners on this car and its predecessors...
Or are you looking to sell your car?
Customers got an average £1000 more vs part exchange quotes
Advertisement

The chunky 4x4 has coped with everything thrown at it during my two-hour, 20-mile commute. Roadworks often appear overnight, so nippy steering and keen acceleration help navigate the tailbacks.

The short first gear means a hasty switch to second when pulling into heavy traffic, but a sixth ratio lets you zip along motorways with minimum engine intrusion. However, wind noise increases with speed, possibly due to the bulbous body panels which lend the Kia a Tonka Toy appearance.

Off-roading has been limited to wet farm tracks during family bike rides. Nothing too taxing; press the 4WD button and rutted verges get the same treatment as city potholes. I'm looking forward to testing the 4x4 system in winter conditions.

Generally, friends seem surprised and impressed with the cabin quality. The dash looks smart and is easy to use, while the plastic boot space and leather seats are durable and simple to clean. The only really annoying thing is the stereo. It looks cheap and, as we've reported before, the CD player jumps, especially when pulling away from a stand-still. While the suspension takes care of the worst bumps around town, the stereo highlights each one as it skips tracks. I love my music and find it infuriating when the Sportage remixes my tunes - yet so far no solution has presented itself.

The only other problem is the small dent which has mysteriously appeared on the left side of the rear bumper. The ding is small, but the way the colour-coded fender has rippled makes it appear worse than it is. It looks like someone has reversed into a bollard. I was annoyed that none of my col-leagues claimed responsibility, until I inflicted exactly the same dent on the right-hand side of the bumper. Maybe life around town is beginning to take its toll on the Sportage after all...

Second opinion
I took the Sportage on a weekend trip to the Lake District. Packed with four adults and a fair amount of luggage, it proved comfortable and roomy, while it easily topped 30mpg on the motorway. But, as with Darren, I found first gear runs out of steam too quickly, plus there's not much of an armrest. Also, you have to turn up the stereo to block wind noise at high speed.
Paul Slater, designer

Skip advert
Advertisement
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

Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

No more EV! New BMW X3 gets petrol, diesel and PHEV power only
BMW X3 - front
News

No more EV! New BMW X3 gets petrol, diesel and PHEV power only

The all-new premium BMW X3 SUV has a sharp new look and cutting-edge tech, but no iX3 EV this time around
18 Jun 2024
New Citroen C3 Aircross gets seven-seats to fight Dacia Jogger, plus £25k pure-electric version
Citroen C3 Aircross - front reveal
News

New Citroen C3 Aircross gets seven-seats to fight Dacia Jogger, plus £25k pure-electric version

Citroen has somehow managed to cram seven seats into its new compact SUV, although the pure-electric e-C3 Aircross is only available with five
19 Jun 2024
Ford Explorer review
Ford Explorer 2024 - front
In-depth reviews

Ford Explorer review

Ford’s long-awaited electric SUV drives well, has some neat touches and impresses for efficiency
18 Jun 2024