PROS: Not only does this car have great looks but it is also well equipped. On top of that you get Kia’s great warranty, adding reliability and security.
CONS: The diesel engine lacks power and the interior disappoints on quality.
The 1.6 litre engine delivers a decent power output of 133 bhp at 6300 rpm which is capable of handling most terrains, although steeper hills can be a bit of a struggle. Acceleration is decent for a car of this size and weight, achieving 0-62 mph in around 11 seconds with an impressive top speed of 111 mph. The car is quiet when driven around town but at motorway speeds it can produce a bit of a racket.
Drive wise, the Kia is not as much fun as the Skoda Yeti but does compare well to its other rival, the Nissan Qashquai. The quality of ride is good and the suspension manages to soak up bumps and imperfections in the road well.
In terms of efficiency, the model boasts a fairly average fuel consumption of 44.1 mpg with carbon emissions of 149 g/km - putting it into road tax band F.
The Kia Sportage has a strongly sculpted bonnet and LED daytime running lights which enhance its overall aesthetics. A crease running along the side gives the appearance that the Sportage is lighter and smaller and the shape is a lot more aerodynamic than its predecessors.
Kit wise you get: power steering, central locking, alloys, air-conditioning, electric windows, daytime running lights, automatic wipers, cruise control, an advanced stereo with CD player and MP3 connectivity as well as Bluetooth connectivity as standard.
The option of a metallic paint finish is also available for an extra £475, whilst leather seats and climate control are unfortunately not an option.
The interior is pleasing but lacks the excitement and quality of the exterior. The raised seating position is a great addition, however, and controls are laid out simply to make operation easy. They glow red at night to increase visibility and to add to the sporty look.
The Sportage also comes with a black skirt around the bottom of the bumper and sills which supposedly protects the body from damage when off-roading. The boot is similar to a hatchback, so it is low and has a wide loading bay. The capacity with the seats up is 564 litres but this is expanded to 1,353 litres when the seats are folded down.
Kia has a really good reputation for reliability and overall this model feels well built and secure. All Kias come with a seven year, 100,000 mile warranty, so any problems should be dealt with easily - giving customers plenty of reassurances.
The Sportage also comes with a great safety kit which includes stability control, driver, passenger and front side airbags, as well as an immobiliser and alarm to deter thieves.
Priced at £17,295, this is far from the most expensive 4x4 on the market. The 1.6 litre petrol model gives fuel efficiency of 44.1 mpg and emits 149 g/km of carbon dioxide, placing it under road tax band F.
For its class, these figures make it fairly economical and insurance premiums are also likely to be fairly low, coming under insurance group 10. Those looking for long-term ownership of a reliable 4x4 are likely to be impressed by the Kia but it is worth remembering that the quality of the interior and the handling will be compromised slightly.
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