4x4 Off Roading ›› Sport Utility Vehicles ›› Kia ›› Sportage

Kia Sportage 4x4 ReviewKia Sportage 4x4 Review

Kia Sportage Compact SUV Report - Kia's budget priced and stylish junior 4x4 is an eye catcher with lustrous styling and ultra-smooth running engines. The Sportage is also dubbed a baby SUV by many car reports.

Despite this, it is surprisingly compact and sporty, perhaps mainly because it of its association with Hyundai, and design lines linked to the Audi TT.

What's New for Kia Sportage 2016 4x4?

In fact, an in-depth review of the latest version Kia Sportage reveals that it shares chassis and engines with the new ix35, which are actually built by Hyundai - the car manufacturer from Korea.

The Kia Sportage continues the company's morphology to provide their car owners with general decency, from what was once fairly mediocre offerings. However, the sense of excited emotion by its design and styling is notably filtered when you take it for a drive on the roads.

The sharp contours are not matched by its response on tarmac and, as a general overall verdict, it feels distinctly average when you compare Kia's Sportage 4x4 to its dynamic rivals in our list of top ten small 4x4s.

Kia iconKia Sportage Handling and Performance

Kia Sportage 4x4When the new Kia Sportage arrived in the UK for the first time, it was reviewed as having a good balance between comfort and safety, whilst also being a fun car to drive.

It sits reasonably tall for a crossover SUV. Therefore, during the road test, we didn't expect the handling and performance of the Kia Sportage compact to be the most enthralling car to drive - and we were proven to be right.

This was when the test pilot noticed an unpredictable twitchy movement over the usual lumps and bumps on the highway.

It seemed to exaggerate even further if you attempted any sharp or sudden steering maneuvers.

The Sportage comes with a choice of either two-wheel or four-wheel drive, depending on which engine you go for?

It probably goes without saying but the two-wheel drive model performs better on fuel economy, and the 4WD soft roader version is more practical. It has plenty of grip for driving on soggy wet roads in the United Kingdom and winter snowstorms in northern Europe.

Sportage Manual Gearbox

The manual gearbox is generally sweet-shifting and the SUV's body lean is fairly well controlled through the corners. The car will probably be used in front-wheel drive for the majority of the rides, but whenever it detects a loss of grip, it can smoothly transfer up to 40% of its power to the rear wheels.

Having completed the Kia Sportage 4x4 review and awarded it some leniency for its size, perhaps this model should remain in the comfort-orientated driving range. It clearly lacks the sharpness of larger rivals such as the Ford Kuga and the Mazda CX-5. Perhaps another disappointment for some is that the entry-level Sportage 1 and KX-1 are not available with an automatic gearbox.

Kia Sportage Diesel Engines

In total, there are four engine options - two diesels and two powered by petrol. Despite lagging behind by far on economy and emissions (34.4mpg and a whacking 195 g/km CO2), the 2.0-litre petrol is easily the liveliest of all four engines. By comparison, we considered the 1.6-litre a little too sluggish to be a serious contender.

If you are into diesel engines, the 2.0-litre power house is pricey compared to the 1.7. Nevertheless, even though the smaller diesel engine 2WD version can return 54.3mpg, the bigger engine probably offers Sportage drivers the best overall compromise between a brand new 'OTR' economic price tag and a sufficiently pacey performance.

There is no doubt that the 182bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine with four-wheel drive is a keen and flexible performer, especially at motorway speeds. Our test car never hesitated through the rev range and showed an excellent turn of speed with effortless overtaking performances. The same execution seemed to be unaffected between both the six-speed manual and the six-speed automatic gearbox.

Kia claim that the Sportage will sprint through from 0-60mph in 9.2 seconds, reaching a top speed of 125mph. The less powerful 134bhp version takes almost one second longer at 10.1 seconds and even slower for the automatic range. Even so, the top speed remains around 114mph for the auto versions.

Petrol Engines

The petrol-driven lineup are likely to be less popular as the diesels, but if your annual mileage is low then maybe they are worth a second look. The turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine is undeniably smooth and quiet, even though it feels rather tame in speed, by comparison. It becomes the quickest model in the range when the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox has been installed. Kia's figures suggest it will do 0-60mph in 8.8 seconds with an impressive top speed of 125mph.

The other petrol engine also displaces 1.6 liters, but lacks a turbocharger. Facts and figures appear to suggest that the six-speed manual gearbox produces 130bhp, does 0-60mph in 11.1 seconds, and has a top speed of 113mph.

Kia iconKia Sportage Interior Trim

Kia Sportage Interior Comfort and TrimThe latest Kia Sportage's interior design and trim styling shows enough quality to impress most auto reviews.

The efforts of the little-known car manufacturer have been steered towards a more desirable, and higher-quality cabin.

In short, the car is well-equipped, it has extremely comfortable driver and passenger seats, and the dashboard goodies are positioned logically.

If you were being super critical, you could argue that it feels slightly dull and drab inside. This is most likely due to the shallow door windows and the dark palette dashboard materials. The interior cabin is relatively roomy for a small size compact SUV and the hi-tech gadgets and instruments are definitely functional. Even the loftiest adults are unlikely to be disappointed with the amount of head and leg room.

Sportage Dashboard Layout

Although the Kia Sportage dashboard layout is straightforward, the superior quality of the materials used inside the car more than make up for any lapse of equipment. All the switches on the center console are nicely put together and they are laid out as logically as they could be. In simple terms, the interior kit and dash controls are simple to use and hard to fault - even though we would struggle to describe them as stunning.

Sportage Equipment

Sportage entry-level 1 and KX-1 models, (KX signifies four-wheel-drive) all come equipped as standard with;

An upgrade to level 2/KX-2 provides you with

You will get full leather upholstery, 19-inch alloy wheels, an eight-inch sat-nav screen, an upgraded stereo, climate control and xenons if you buy level 3/KX-3 from Kia.

Stepping up to the 4/KX-4 model means your car will be equipped with front parking sensors, bi-xenon adaptive headlights, power-adjustable front seats, a panoramic sunroof, and LED rear lights. Kia Sportage 4/KX-4 models come with additional safety technology including rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, and autonomous emergency braking.

Kia iconConclusions of Kia Sportage 4x4 Review

The Kia Sportage features a sleek aerodynamic body, an enviable assembly of safety gadgets, and high quality cabin equipment. It is a funky crossover which is powerful, yet efficient. But perhaps the biggest plus point is the standard seven-year warranty adding extra reassurance into any Kia new car deal. It would also be a welcome boost to its second hand value if you decide to sell it.

Car Review Conclusions - Plus PointsPlus Points

Car Review Conclusions - Minus PointsMinus Points

Kia iconKia Sportage Price List and Specs

Sportage Model Engine and Specifications Tax Fuel CO2 Price Guide
Sportage '1' 1.6 GDi Petrol 130bhp 6-speed manual Band G 32.8 mpg 156 g/km £18,000
Sportage 'KX-1' 2.0 CRDi Diesel 134bhp 6-speed manual Band E 47.1 mpg 139 g/km £21,995
Sportage 'GT-Line' 2.0 CRDi 134bhp 6-speed auto (AWD) Band G 47.1 mpg 154 g/km £25,655
Sportage 'First Edition' 2.0 CRDi 182bhp 6-speed auto (AWD) Band H 47.1 mpg 166 g/km £31,645
*Kia Sportage 'On the Road' prices include delivery, number plates, 12 month's Government vehicle excise duty, and the first registration fee.**Fuel consumption figures are derived from EU urban test regulations.

You might also enjoy...