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 set-up 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 a touch 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.
0-62mph 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 non-hybridized petrol Sportage is slightly faster, and takes 9.9 seconds to reach 62mph. However, while the 1.6-litre four-cylinder motor in the purely petrol-powered Sportage doesn't lack performance, it simply sounds unpleasant when you accelerate hard. In fact, when we tested this particular version in the UK, we found there was a diesel-like roughness to its delivery.
The 148bhp mild-hybrid 1.6 T-GDi petrol variant offers a more respectable 9.3-second sprint time, but 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. The extra weight of the all-wheel drive set-up adds an extra three tenths to the full-hybrid's benchmark sprint 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
- 2Engines, performance and drive - currently readingThe Sportage is well set-up for town driving, while hybrid models provide decent pace
- 3MPG, CO2 and running costsBuyers will be tempted by the low running costs of the Sportage hybrid models, although they are more expensive to buy than standard petrol cars
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe sharp, modern-looking exterior of the Sportage may not appeal to everyone, but the new onboard technology is a standout feature
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceFamily buyers looking for a practical, spacious SUV must consider the Kia Sportage
- 6Reliability 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