Kia Sportage review - Engines, performance and drive
The Sportage is well set-up for town driving, while hybrid models provide decent pace
Comfort and refinement are the Sportage’s key strengths, with a soft suspension setup meaning the family SUV is able to deal effectively with bumps in the road and reduce any unpleasant jolts intruding into the cabin.
There is a feeling that you’re not particularly well-connected to the road at times, particularly over uneven surfaces and mid-corner undulations, while the Sportage will lean heavily into faster corners. If you’re after a sportier drive then you may wish to consider the Mazda CX-5 or even the SEAT Ateca, as both offer a better pedigree for tackling the twisty stuff.
You’ll find the steering light and lacking in feel, but the payoff is that the Sportage is easy to pilot around town and in heavier urban traffic – where it’s likely family buyers will be doing most of their driving. Kia has done a good job in reducing wind and road noise from the cabin, too. Even at higher speeds, it’s all very civilised.
Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed
The advantage of opting for a Sportage diesel model means you’ll benefit from plenty of low-down grunt, which is useful for towing and carrying heavier loads. This comes at the expense of sprinting ability, though, with both (113bhp and 134bhp) CRDi versions needing more than 11 seconds to complete the 0-62mph benchmark.
The 148bhp mild-hybrid 1.6 T-GDi petrol variant offers a more respectable 9.3-second sprint time, while the non-hybridized model is a touch slower, taking 9.9 seconds.
Keen drivers may appreciate the extra punch of the 226bhp full hybrid which, in front-wheel-drive guise, is able to dispatch 0-62mph in 7.7 seconds – making it the quickest Sportage you can buy, although the extra weight of the all-wheel-drive setup adds an extra three tenths to this time.
The most expensive plug-in hybrid model has more power at 261bhp, but has a bigger, heavier battery and standard four-wheel-drive, which means a 7.9-second time from 0-62mph.
In this review
- 1Kia Sportage reviewFeaturing plenty of space, the latest on-board technology and a comfortable ride, the Kia Sportage is a first-rate family SUV
- 2Kia Sportage review - Engines, performance and drive - currently readingThe Sportage is well set-up for town driving, while hybrid models provide decent pace
- 3Kia Sportage review - MPG, CO2 and running costsBuyers will be tempted by the low running costs of the plug-in hybrid, although it is the most expensive Sportage model to buy
- 4Kia Sportage review - Interior, design and technologyThe sharp, modern-looking exterior of the Sportage may not appeal to everyone, but the new onboard technology is a standout feature
- 5Kia Sportage review - Practicality, comfort and boot spaceFamily buyers looking for a practical SUV must consider the Kia Sportage
- 6Kia Sportage review - Reliability and safetyThe Kia Sportage boasts superb levels of standard safety kit, a generous seven-year warranty and there’s reassuring customer feedback from our Driver Power survey, too