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In-depth reviews

Kia Sportage - Practicality, comfort and boot space

Family buyers looking for a practical, spacious SUV must consider the Kia Sportage

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

Practicality, comfort and boot space Rating

4.6 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
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With the Kia Sportage needing to fulfil its daily brief of providing practical, family transport, Kia has included lots of useful touches to help smooth things along. The electric parking brake is located to the right of the steering wheel, which has freed up more storage space, while large hooks are integrated into the front headrests for hanging items. The extra cubby space under the boot floor of the petrol version is particularly useful for stowing oddments on longer journeys. Both the hybrid and plug-in hybrid models have reduced underfloor storage because the battery pack takes up some of this space. 

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There are plenty of places for your odds and ends in the Sportage's cabin. For instance, there's a wide, open shelf ahead of the gear selector that's big enough for even large smartphones. The central cup holders are wide and deep, and the armrest behind hides another deep bin. The glovebox is a decent size, and the door bins can hold a one-litre bottle.

There are USB-C sockets fitted in the side of the front seats on all but the entry-level ‘2’ models, allowing rear seat passengers to easily charge portable devices. There are cup holders in the back, too, while a three-zone climate control — standard on GT-Line, GT-Line S, and all hybrid and plug-in hybrid models — means occupants in the back can also specify their own temperature setting.

Size

At 4,515mm long and 1,865mm wide, the fifth-generation Sportage is a fraction bigger than the previous model. It’s also larger than the Skoda Karoq and Nissan Qashqai.

Leg room, head room and passenger space

The Sportage offers plenty of room up front, as you’d expect from a family SUV, and buyers will also appreciate that the rear is spacious enough to accommodate three adult passengers. In our three-way test between the Sportage, Mazda CX-5 and SEAT Ateca, we found the Kia to have the roomiest cabin.

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When we tested the Kia Sportage against the Vauxhall Grandland, we measured the cabins and found they offer very similar amounts of rear seat headroom and knee room, although the Kia stretches ahead by quite a margin in terms of elbow room — door to door.

Boot

Mid-size SUVs can sometimes sacrifice a little luggage space for more passenger room in the cabin, but the Sportage provides a decent 562-litre boot, which can be super-sized up to 1,751 litres if you fold the rear seats. Kia has also included extra tray space underneath the boot floor. 

The full-hybrid and plug-in hybrid models have a loadspace of 587 litres and 540 litres, respectively. In comparison, the Mazda CX-5 provides a 506-litre boot, and the Nissan Qashqai has 504 litres of space.

Our own measurements of the Kia Sportage's boot show it's a similar length and width to the Vauxhall Grandland's, although it’s the Kia that has the edge here due to its larger luggage capacity and a significantly lower lip height.

Towing

The mild-hybrid petrol sportage models have a 1,650kg maximum braked trailer rating. The full-hybrids have a higher 1,500kg limit, while the plug-in hybrids have the weakest towing ability at just 1,350kg.

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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.

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