- Spacious interior
- High-level technology
- Good performance
- Range of powertrains
The handsome Kia Sportage SUV has helped to transform the Korean company into a major global player, and the fifth-generation model which was launched in the UK early in 2022 has continued to build on that success.
It has a bold, ultra-modern look that helps it stand out from its rivals, and it's been improved in just about every area.
The Sportage made its debut here back in 1995, and it has notched-up huge sales since then, with the last generation model alone finding over 200,000 customers, so it's a fairly common sight on our roads.
The fifth-generation car’s great looks will keep it a firm favourite in the SUV market, but things are even more dramatic inside, with major improvements in materials and technology.
Engines and Performance
There's plenty of choice from Kia’s familiar trim levels, and I sampled the popular 1.6T-GDi 3 model in manual form with FWD.
With 148bhp on tap, it takes 9.9 seconds to go from 0 to 62mph and has a top speed of 113mph, which will be good enough to please most customers.
You can expect to get up to 48mpg on a long run with a combined figure of 41.5mpg; I averaged just under 40mpg during a week of mixed driving.
The steering is sharp and delivers lots of feedback and drive modes called Eco, Normal and Sport can alter the car’s characteristics to suit your taste. You can also select the type of information you want to display on the giant screen.
The Sportage provides bags of grip on twisting roads, and it cruises quietly and effortlessly at 70mph on motorways too.
I had an excellent view from the elevated, comfortable seating position, and there's good all-round visibility.
It may be a big car, but the Sportage is agile and thanks to its parking aids and cameras it is also easy to handle and park in town centres.
Design and Practicality
Apart from its great looks there is now more room for passengers, a bigger boot, a smart new infotainment system and a choice of efficient hybrid engines, including plug-in technology for the first time. There's also an all-electric model.
The Sportage offers improved space for up to five adults, while the boot can handle 590 litres, increasing up to 1,780 litres with the rear seats collapsed.
Equipment and Technology
Two giant screens which are joined to look like one dominate the dashboard and deliver features that you would only expect from a much more expensive premium brand.
There’s also a useful automatic parking brake and wireless charging on some versions of the Kia Sportage.
The 3 specification is crammed with all the tech and standard kit you could want including electrically adjustable and heated front seats, heated steering wheel, privacy glass, climate control and a reversing camera and much more.
You also get all the latest safety and driver aids, as well as an excellent audio and communication package.
From its muscular new stance to its classy high-tech interior, the Sportage is much more refined, and it’s certain to continue to be a favourite with the buying public.
The mid-range 3 trim offers plenty of features and tech for your journeys whilst not being as pricey as the more advanced trims, making it a perfect in-between for drivers wanting the best of both worlds.