Skip advert
Advertisement
In-depth reviews

Kia Sportage - Engines, performance and drive

The Sportage is well set-up for town driving, while hybrid models provide decent pace

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

Engines, performance and drive Rating

4.3 out of 5

Price
£28,615 to £40,315
  • Spacious cabin
  • Impressive infotainment setup
  • Refined
  • Polarising looks
  • Not that fun to drive
  • Top-spec models are expensive
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

​Comfort and refinement are the Kia Sportage’s key strengths. Its soft suspension set-up means this 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, especially over uneven surfaces and mid-corner undulations, while the Sportage will lean heavily into faster corners. If you’re after a sportier drive, 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.

Advertisement - Article continues below

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 reducing wind and road noise from the cabin. Even at higher speeds, it’s all very civilised.

0-62mph acceleration and top speed

The mild-hybrid petrol Sportage is the least powerful member of the line-up, but it still returns a respectable 157bhp. This results in a 0-62mph sprint time of 9.8 seconds for the manual and a slightly swifter 9.3 seconds for the dual-clutch automatic. The manual has a top speed of 119mph, while the auto is marginally slower at 117mph. Unfortunately, if you want the most out of it, this engine 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. 

Those after a bit more performance may be attracted to the extra punch of the 212bhp full-hybrid, which can dispatch 0-62mph in 8.4 seconds. The extra weight of the all-wheel drive set-up increases the full-hybrid's benchmark sprint time to 8.7 seconds. Top speed stands at 113mph.

The most expensive plug-in hybrid model has more power at 261bhp, but has a bigger, heavier battery and standard four-wheel drive, so it doesn’t get from 0-62mph any faster than the full-hybrid’s 8.4 second time. The top speed is slightly reduced at 112mph.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.6 GDi ISG 1 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £19,490

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.6 CRDi ISG 2 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £28,320

Fastest

  • Name
    1.6T GDi ISG GT-Line 5dr DCT Auto [AWD]
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £28,800

Shane is responsible for looking after the day-to-day running of the Auto Express website and social media channels. Prior to joining Auto Express in 2021, he worked as a radio producer and presenter for outlets such as the BBC.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

Mercedes says ‘no thank you’ to EQ: EV brand to be axed
Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 - EQS badge
News

Mercedes says ‘no thank you’ to EQ: EV brand to be axed

Mercedes will roll back EQ branding for its electric cars as the first generation of EV models reaches the end of its lifecycle.
15 May 2024
UK faces “epidemic” of young uninsured drivers
Car crash
News

UK faces “epidemic” of young uninsured drivers

The number of young people convicted of driving without insurance has tripled since 2021, due to sky-rocketing premiums
17 May 2024
Skoda Scala vs Citroen C4 2024 twin test: which is the best-value family hatchback?
Skoda Scala and Citroen C4 - front tracking
Car group tests

Skoda Scala vs Citroen C4 2024 twin test: which is the best-value family hatchback?

The revised Skoda Scala takes on Citroen’s C4 in the battle to be the best-value family hatchback
18 May 2024