The Kia Sportage remains as ever a strong seller for the brand. The tested model – fourth generation - has seen a continued rise in sales since going on sale in February 2016 with well over 32,000 sold since launch. Kia is showing a near 14% rise on 2015 figures and with good reason. This is a very good car.
A Quality Interior
As mentioned, the quality quotient has been ramped up in the Kia Sportage. On the cascading dashboard the controls are neatly laid out, clearly marked and easy to use. The infotainment touch-screen is bright and simple to operate with all the usual array of technology.
All the passengers without exception absolutely loved the black and grey leather upholstery. The Kia Sportage offers ample family space with room aplenty for two adults to get comfy on the back seats and indeed squeeze in a third should the need arise.
Children will find it even better with loads of room to create back-seat mayhem. You know what they're like. The driver is well catered for thanks to very adjustable seat/column. The leather covered steering wheel has the important functions available in the button array.
The rear seat-backs recline - a nice touch - and the boot is an impressive size at 491L. The rear seat-backs split-fold almost flat (the system here is a bit fiddly it has to be said) to more than triple the available space so load-carrying duties from Homebase and the like can be fulfilled.
In summary, the Kia Sportage has a fine interior that rivals the best for this mainstream segment.
With eighteen possible variants to choose from plus the option of intelligent four-wheel drive (as tested) on some models, plus manual or auto 'boxes, all buyers should be happy. I really liked the 1.6L petrol on our test car which would, I'd suggest, be the right choice for an urban user. It manages the traffic-light sprint in less than ten seconds and under my steerage delivery mpg in the early thirties. Some might achieve better.
For longer distances and more robust use the 1.7L Diesel (67 mpg) is by far the most popular selection among those sensible enough to have already bought this car.
The Kia Sportage is a good steer with plenty of grip when it matters through corners and the suspension deals comfortably with all but the worst of surfaces although inevitably for a tall car there is some body roll.
I found the steering to be accurate and crisp. Moreover, to my surprise in this modern era, I actually experienced some steering feedback, allowing me to cop a feel of the road surface. I wish manufacturers would wake up to the idea that drivers like feedback because it helps when cornering speeds and placing the car on the road.
2017 will herald further updates to this evergreen motor. GT-Line models now get an GT-Line S variant. The 1.7L Diesel will get the option of a new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic which is said to improve mpg whilst lowering emissions. On the higher trim levels the infotainment centre is upgraded and offers a number of key improvements such as 3D Mapping, SD map updates, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The Kia Sportage has traditionally been one of the most popular family SUVs and very much a best-seller for the brand. This latest version just goes to augment that reputation just like the bigger Sorento we tested HERE.
The Sportage is thankfully a good driver's car. It is practical and well equipped, offering a high standard of quality. Although some reviewers have a small reservation about the new face we found it to be an attractive proposition. Decide for yourself in our images. Overall, couple these positive attributes with the legendary seven-year warranty and buyers are onto a winner.
Author: Geoff Maxted