You're going to love the way the Kia Sportage looks – or you're not. Not many people sit on the fence when it comes to this SUV. Either way, it’ll gets you noticed on the school run.
The big grille, chunky bumpers and slim headlights make a strong impression as it cruises down suburban streets or parks outside your local coffee shop. While you’ll sit high above the road, as you'd expect in an SUV, it’s not so high that it's hard to climb into.
The back is a bit less Marmite than the front end, thanks to its neat proportions and crisp detailing.
The '2' spec is the entry-level option – you’ll still get snazzy looking 17-inch alloys. Climb up the Kia ladder and you’ll come to the GT-Line and GT-Line S, which both include 19-inch alloy wheels that really suit the Kia's love or leave 'em looks.
The big grille, chunky bumpers and slim headlights make a strong impression.
What’s it like to drive?
From the driver's seat, the Sportage ticks a lot of boxes. It's not as comfy as the Skoda Karoq, and some might say it doesn't really live up to the 'sport' part of the Sportage name – if you want a five-seat SUV that's fun to drive, take a look at the Mazda CX-5.
The Kia is easy to drive, thanks to light controls and the lofty driving position – ideal for those who are little less confident negotiating tight turns or narrow parking spots. It feels just at home nipping to the shops as taking the whole family on a summer holiday. The 1.6 T-GDi is a punchier option if you're after a petrol, while the diesels tend to fare better on motorways.
The Kia is easy to drive, thanks to light controls and the lofty driving position.
The Sportage interior is solidly put together, so you get the feeling the cabin will put up with whatever abuse messy kids and muddy pets can throw at it. While not as classy as a Volvo XC40 inside, the Kia does come with a much lower price tag.
Every Sportage made since 2018 has an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with sat-nav included. It's a doddle to use and comes with Apple’s CarPlay and Android Auto. Shortcut buttons surrounding the screen make it easy to find the right menu quickly without endless screen prodding.
The post-2018 Sportage also has a digital radio as standard, as well as Bluetooth and at least six speakers. If you like to crank the volume right up, then go for the top-spec GT-Line S, which has a more powerful stereo than the rest of the range (don’t forget to wind down the windows and let the world hear!).
There's plenty of space up front, with lots of adjustment to the seat and wheel so drivers of all heights can get comfy. Legroom in the back of the car is fine for kids and adults, and air vents between the front seats keep rear-seat passengers cool on a hot day. If we're being picky, headroom is a bit tight in high-spec cars fitted with a sunroof.
Storage in the cabin is a strong point in the Sportage - with twin cupholders between the front seats to take care of your morning macchiato. The door bins are large and shaped to snugly hold a bottle of water, and the glovebox has room for a lot more than just a pair of gloves – a rarity these days
The door bins in the back are a healthy size and cupholders can be found in the armrest that folds out from middle of the rear seat. It's a shame there are no picnic tables on the back of the front seats for snacking on the go.
There's not as much boot space in the Sportage as the Skoda Karoq, and the high boot floor means lifting shopping bags laden with sparkling water up high can be a pain. There is more room for a family's holiday luggage than the Nissan Qashqai offers.
Running costs and reliability
The Sportage is seen as Mr Reliable.
Unexpected bills are unlikely to trouble your bank balance - the same goes for every-day running costs. The latest diesels with mild-hybrid electric assistance have the fuel economy of up to 52.3mpg on the combined cycle.
The most economical petrol Sportage is the 130bhp 1.6 GDi 2WD, which should return 36.2mpg, according to the official figures.
There are front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive versions of the Sportage. For the lowest running costs, choose one of the front-wheel drive models.
What cinch loves
Anyone looking for a family-friendly five-seat SUV shouldtake a lookat the Kia Sportage. We're fans of the bold looks, and underneath lurks a thoroughly sensible car, with a practical cabin and a choice of economical petrol and diesel engines.