Road Test Review: Kia Sportage GT-Line S

By Chris Russon

Kia Sportage

Road Test: Kia Sportage GT-Line S

Explore the key features of the Kia Sportage GT-Line S in our expert road test review

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Ideal for families and individuals alike, the Kia Sportage SUV in sporty GT-Line S trim is one of Kia's most popular models.


  • Latest hi-tech equipment
  • Sleek design
  • High-quality materials
  • Practical for families
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The Sportage has achieved the accolade of being Kia’s top seller in Britain, with thousands of models being purchased since it arrived back in 1995.

Designed for Europe, as well as being built in Slovakia, the fifth generation of Kia’s popular SUV really hits the spot inside and out. Driven here is the range-topping GT-Line S specification.

Design and Practicality

The exterior grabs your immediate attention with a tidy version of Kia’s ‘Tiger Nose’ grille bordered by eye-catching boomerang-shaped LED lamps, while the rear sports tail lights are set high with a light strip across the top.

The powered boot on the flagship GT-Line S model opens smoothly – providing a conversation topic for everyone who sees you push the button. It's easy to load with 587 litres on offer for luggage or shopping – or in the case of my French trip, both.

Dispense with passengers, and you’ll get 1,780 litres of goodies into the Sportage as the rear seats split and fold.

The spacious cabin is well-designed and includes all mod cons, including a flat-bottomed multi-function steering wheel with controls for most of the things a driver desires like the radio and cruise control.

Quality materials are used throughout, while the fit and finish is spot on.

Powertrains and Performance

The full hybrid model features a 1.6-litre petrol engine and an electric motor that together provide plenty of get up and go, with 62mph reached from a standing start in 8.0 seconds on the way to a claimed top speed of 120mph.

The full hybrid is able to run purely on its electric motor for short distances and is always keen to minimise fuel use. In a week of mixed motoring, the best we achieved was 45mpg in ‘Eco’ mode. There's also a ‘Sport’ option when you’re feeling flush.

The four-wheel drive system offers plenty of grip and an excellent ability to handle a variety of terrains and conditions.
Peter Keenan

Ducking and diving along rutted highways, the excellent suspension on the latest Kia Sportage was given a thorough workout by even the most uneven of surfaces and remained comfortable every time.

Equipment and Technology

The stars of the show are the panoramic screens that run virtually the entire length of the dashboard and seem to merge into each other in a tour de force that can’t fail to impress.

The display in front of the driver offers a digital layout with all the info you could wish for, while the touchscreen next to it gives access to an easy-to-use infotainment system and sat nav.

The dual-zone climate control sits below, while between the driver and front seat passenger resides the rotary automatic gear selector, which is set behind a wireless phone charger.

Other neat features include headrests that can be used as coat hangers and USB sockets on the back of the front seats. An automatic parking brake takes a bit of getting used to but is a handy addition when driving in town, while a hi-tech camera display covers the driver’s blind spot when the indicators are used.


The last version of the Sportage was a sales winner – and the new model looks set to continue that success. Opt for the top-of-the-line GT-Line S trim for a huge selection of gadgets and sleek sporty looks inside and out.