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Kia Sportage (2021 - )

When it was launched back in 1995, who could have predicted the overwhelming success story that is the Kia Sportage?

Starting price:

Why we love it:
  • It has evolved into one of the finest family SUVs on the market
  • Easy to drive and packed with first-class technology as standard
  • Practically-sized with room for all the family and their luggage
Where it could be better:
  • The price has crept up over the five generations, but so has Kia’s reputation
  • The styling, especially the Tiger Nose front end divides opinion
  • It’s no longer the go-to budget car of yesteryear
Secure your test drive today
Request a Kia Sportage test drive


Kia Sportage

When it was launched back in 1995, who could have predicted the overwhelming success story that is the Kia Sportage? Fast forward almost 30 years and the vehicle has developed into a global success with in excess of seven million worldwide sales. Now in its fifth generation, the Sportage has evolved from a bargain-basement model into a high-end, five-door family SUV that is very big on style and packed with technology. There are trim levels called 2, GT-Line, 3 and GT-Line S and customers can select from a petrol 48v mild hybrid (MHEV), hybrid (HEV) or plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrains. We opted for the Kia Sportage 3 powered by the mild-hybrid engine with front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is available on some versions if that is a priority. All cars are generously equipped as standard. You simply choose the trim level you want to suit your budget and that way, there are no nasty add-on costs at checkout. And it’s always worth mentioning the excellent Kia warranty package that stretches to seven years or 100,000 miles.

Kia Sportage

The five-door Kia Sportage is a great looking family car that is very easy on the eye and boasts a strong road presence without being overly aggressive in the process. The front end features a black grille that spans the width of the car flanked by sweeping light clusters and signature boomerang-shaped daytime running lights. For those in the know, it’s the latest interpretation of Kia’s Tiger Nose design and it looks really upmarket and far bolder than the outgoing model. There is a black bumper with silver accents, a rear spoiler, rear privacy glass, silver painted roof rails and snazzy 18-inch alloy wheels. The interior is modern, clutter-free and boasts upmarket black cloth and faux leather upholstery. The seats are power-adjustable and, together with the outer rear seats and steering wheel, can be heated to fend off the winter chill.

Twin 12.3-inch screens merge seamlessly together behind a curved display panel and these are the main focal points within the car offering access to the many on-board features, along with the vital driving data. Creature comforts are plentiful and include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connection, a six-speaker sound system with DAB radio, sat nav, a reversing camera, Bluetooth music streaming and lots more besides. There is a separate panel to adjust all the climate settings, push button controls for seat and steering wheel heating, along with dials for the various drive mode settings and to select a gear. All controls, dials and readouts are perfectly positioned for ease of use and the slightly elevated driving position results in excellent all-round visibility.

On The Road

Kia Sportage

Handling & Performance

Powering our Sportage 3 test car was a 1.6-litre 48v self-charging engine delivering 148bhp and 250Nm of torque. It could complete the 0-60mph dash in a decent enough 9.4 seconds and maxed out at 117mph. So, not the most dynamic in its sprint times, but it’s worth reminding ourselves that this is a family SUV that caters to the needs of an active family. That said; it’s no slouch either and can happily cruise at 70mph on motorways and proved composed and well-balanced when pushed on through twisting country lanes where there was next-to-no sign of body movement on the front-wheel drive vehicle. The acceleration through the seven-speed automatic transmission is beautifully smooth and there are drive modes called Eco, Normal and Sport to alter the driving characteristics of the car to suit your mood.

The vehicle’s impressive agility, together with the great all-round visibility and all manner of sensors make driving in busier town centre settings trauma-free and help ease the pressure of squeezing into a tight parking space.  The steering is nicely waited offering ample driver feedback and, if you do fancy a weekend break in the country, this model can tow a trailer or caravan weighing up to 1,650kg (braked). However, if you are venturing into more challenging terrain on a regular basis, the all-wheel drive Sportage could prove more suitable.

Kia Sportage

Space & Practicality

The Kia Sportage is a practical five-door SUV that is ideal for any active family thanks to its well-sized cabin and accommodating boot proportions. The car stretches 4,515mm long, 1,865mm wide and is 1,645mm in height. With a wheelbase of 2,680mm there is plenty of space inside the car for passengers and their luggage. Up front a couple of six-foot-plus adults can sit very comfortably and provided the front seats are not pushed right back, there is space in the rear for another two adults or three children. The boot can hold 562 litres of luggage and this capacity can be increased to 1,751 litres with the 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats lowered. This offers more flexibility than the more common 60:40 split. Then throughout the cab, there are numerous convenient storage options to tuck away bits and pieces. These include an illuminated glovebox, a central cubby bin, some non-slip trays, front and rear cup holders, narrow door bins, seat back pockets, coat hooks, along with boot net hooks to prevent items rolling around. There are USB and USB-C ports throughout the vehicle, including in the sides of the front seats offering easy access to back seat passengers. Thanks to its raised seating, gaining access to child seats is easy and there are Isofix anchors to the outer rear seats.


Kia Sportage

The success of the Kia Sportage really speaks for itself and its outstanding reputation for reliability and value for money has helped propel the Korean carmaker to a whole new level over the years.  While there are rivals vying for sales in this sector, only the Nissan Qashqai has had a similar level of success as the Sportage. But separating those two could be down to badge preference as both cars are exceptionally good.

Secure your test drive today
Request a Kia Sportage test drive
By Maxine Ashford
Apr 23, 2024

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