The Kia Sportage is ubiquitous for a very good reason - it’s a really accomplished family car, writes William Scholes.
Comfortable, practical, easy to drive and affordable to buy, run and maintain, the Sportage ticks all the boxes. Kia’s seven-year warranty gives private buyers reassurance, too.
The distinctive styling - especially the front’s collision of creases - won’t be to everyone’s taste, though that is perhaps the point: if you ‘get’ the Kia’s look, you’ll really get it…
Sister company Hyundai has done something similar with its polarising Tucson. It hasn’t done either brand any harm, with both cars routinely in the top positions of the best-seller charts, alongside the less flamboyant Nissan Qashqai and positively dreary Ford Kuga.
Mechanically, the Sportage covers all the bases, with petrol engines available in mild-hybrid, full-hybrid and plug-in hybrid flavours, with a mix of front- and all-wheel-drive and manual and automatic transmissions.
Trim levels are straightforward, running from entry-level ‘2′ (sub-£30k) through GT-Line, ‘3′ and GT-Line S, where prices peak at just under £46k.
All this variety can be a little daunting, but I reckon the Sportage sweet-spot is probably the ‘3′ with the 1.6-litre turbocharged mild-hybrid engine and manual gearbox.
Comfortable, practical, easy to drive and affordable to buy, run and maintain, the Sportage ticks all the boxes. Kia’s seven-year warranty gives private buyers reassurance, too
This has a list price of £32,875, which is what almost counts as ‘highly affordable’ in today’s market - your correspondent is still reeling from the dinky Honda Jazz that costs just under £30k…
The engine churns out 148bhp and 185lb ft in undemonstrative fashion - it’s not exactly quick, but still quick enough, which is exactly the right balance for a car of this sort.
You can expect fuel consumption in the high-30s mpg, nudging into the 40s mpg on longer runs. Sure, the hybrid is a little more economical, but perhaps not by a wide enough margin to make its £2k model-for-model price premium worth the additional outlay.
Kia’s ‘3′ trim comes with swish twin digital displays, heated seats - front and back - and steering wheel, and teen-pleasing USB-C charging ports built into the sides of the front seats.
It’s the one I would buy, were I Sportage hunting.