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Kia Sportage: Test Drive Review

Date: 17 December 2010   |   Author:

Category: Small 4x4
P11D price: £22,570
Key rival: Hyundai ix35

Although Kia's product line-up has been improving in recent times, the cars have still been on the sober side. Not so with the new Sportage, which is striking and modern in a sector not known for its extravagant design.

The small off-roader should certainly bump Kia up the awareness ratings. Inside and out it looks cutting edge and stylish, and the version Kia thinks will most appeal to the corporate sector, the front-wheel drive 114hp 1.7 CRDi, offers an emissions figure of 143g/km and economy of 52.3mpg. There are also 1.6- and 2.0-litre petrol engines and a 2.0-litre diesel, with both 2.0 units coming attached to four-wheel drive, rather than the smaller engines' front-wheel arrangement.

The Sportage is smooth and comfortable to drive, and controls body roll well for a tall vehicle. It's spacious enough although not vast, treading the line well between maximising interior space without being too large a vehicle for city driving and manoeuvring. The 1.7 diesel is adequate rather than sparkling, with 114hp just about proving enough to haul the car around without feeling asthmatic.

KwikCarcost predicts a good 36.4% RV for this Sportage, which leads to a cost per mile figure of 50.3p. That's impressive in isolation, but suffers slightly against parent company Hyundai's new ix35, which is based on the same underpinnings but has a lower P11D and better residuals at 37.1% retained, leading to a 47.0p per mile figure.

It looks great, is well equipped, efficient and cost efficient to run and far from lets itself down in the drive department. The brand cachet is yet to come, and is the only major problem the Sportage doesn't overcome, but if Kia keeps producing cars like this, it will surely follow in time.

Kia Sportage 1.7 CRDi 3 Sat Nav manual
P11D price£22,570
Model price range£16,645-£25,195
Fuel consumption52.3mpg
CO2 (tax) 143g/km (20%)
BIK 20/40% per month£75/£149
Service interval20,000 miles
Insurance (1-50)group 12
Warranty7yrs/ 100,000mls
Boot space min/max564/1353 litres
Engine size/power1685cc/114hp
Top speed/0-62mph107mph/11.9secs
On sale November 2010
VerdictImpressive, striking and
competitive new model
from a brand on the rise


Impressive, striking and competitive new model from a brand on the rise