Kia Sportage (2016-2021) review
The outgoing Kia Sportage is well-equipped, stylish and practical, making it a solid all-rounder for family buyers
The Kia Sportage is a great all-round family SUV with a combination of good engines, strong build quality, a keen driving experience and plenty of interior space. Now in its fourth generation, the Sportage also boasts a unique look, up-to-date infotainment and decent value. Standard equipment is generous and Kia’s famous seven-year warranty only adds to the appeal.
Rivals like the Mazda CX-5 and Peugeot 3008 are better to drive and offer a more premium feeling package, but both carry much larger price tags; the Sportage stands as a good-value family SUV with much to recommend it.
About the Kia Sportage
The fourth generation Kia Sportage was launched in 2016, into a marketplace packed with more high quality rivals than any of its predecessors were ever forced to contend with. The seemingly unstoppable rise of the SUV/crossover class means Kia now pitches the Sportage against models as varied as the Hyundai Tucson, Nissan Qashqai, Ford Kuga, Renault Kadjar, Suzuki Vitara, Mazda CX-5 and SEAT Ateca.
Kia offers the Sportage for sale in two- and four-wheel drive guise as before. The engine lineup for the model range has been realigned, with a 1.6-litre petrol available in two power outputs and a same capacity diesel unit with mild-hybrid technology.
Visually, the latest Sportage has what it takes to turn heads in a fashionable sector, especially if you can afford a higher-spec model with the classier trim finishes. Trim levels have been streamlined to include 2, 3, GT-Line and GT-Line S variants and all are well equipped.
The now entry-level 2 equipment level brings 17-inch alloy wheels, heated leather seats, cruise control, dual-zone air-conditioning, and an eight-inch touchscreen with sat nav, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a reversing camera.
Paying extra for the 3 trim level nets you 19-inch alloys, a panoramic sunroof, electric adjustment for the front seats, a heated steering wheel and black exterior trim. GT-Line and GT-Line S variants add fancy extras like 19-inch alloy wheels, a power tailgate and an enhanced audio system.
Former Audi designer, Peter Schreyer, remains in charge of design at Kia and is responsible for the second-generation Sportage’s stylish look. In our opinion, there are hints of premium SUVs like the BMW X1, Volkswagen Tiguan and even – from some angles – the Porsche Cayenne in this design.
However, very few of the Sportage's rivals can get close to this Kia’s seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty that also applies to all models in the Kia line-up. Only the SsangYong Korando (seven years and 150,000 miles) and Toyota RAV4 (up to 10 years or 100,000 miles) beat Kia's generous offering.
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In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe outgoing Kia Sportage is well-equipped, stylish and practical, making it a solid all-rounder for family buyers
- 2Engines, performance and driveThanks to sharp steering, the Sportage drives well and hides its high stance with good composure in the bends
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe Sportage offers average running costs, but is predicted to hold its value well
- 4Interior, design and technologyBold exterior styling is complimented by a spacious, well-made cabin and a great infotainment setup
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceA spacious interior and decent boot make the Sportage a good choice for families
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe Sportage offers good safety kit, while the seven-year warranty is generous