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After first launching the Kia Sportage in 1995, the latest model, born last year, is aiming to keep up with the extremely successful Nissan Qashqai.
The entry-level petrol Sportage, the 1, as tested, is well-specced with alloy wheels, cruise control, MP3 connectivity and Bluetooth as standard, making this £16,835 1.6 GDi car a savvy option. Its equivalent Qashqai, the 1.6 Visia, is slightly cheaper at £15,815, but lacks touches like cruise control.
It does, however, outdo the Sportage on emissions at 130g/km compared with 149g/km. Still, where space is paramount, the Sportage has 564 litres compared with a meagre 410 litres in the Nissan. The latter's excellent reputation means good RVs of 36%, which results in a cost-per-mile figure of 42.8p, beating the Sportage at 44.9p. While the Qashqai remains the natural choice, fleet managers should still consider the Kia as a good value leftfield alternative.