In-depth reviews

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.

Next Steps

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.6 GDi ISG 2 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £23,530

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.6 GDi ISG 2 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £23,530

Fastest

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

Most Popular

Best motorhomes 2022: the top 5 picks for all budgets
Chausson motorhome
Tips & advice

Best motorhomes 2022: the top 5 picks for all budgets

In the market for a new motorhome? Here are our top-five recommendations...
18 May 2022
New all-electric Volkswagen Aero B saloon to rival Tesla Model 3
Volkswagen Aero B exclusive image - front
Volkswagen

New all-electric Volkswagen Aero B saloon to rival Tesla Model 3

The new four-door VW Aero B EV could come with up to 435 miles of range and our exclusive images preview how it could look
20 May 2022
New all-electric Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider shapes up
Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider - watermarked front
Alfa Romeo

New all-electric Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider shapes up

Alfa Romeo bosses have confirmed that a new two-seat electric roadster is in the company’s rejuvenation plans and our exclusive images preview how it …
19 May 2022