More miles for your money
Kia’s Sportage family-sized SUV is the Korean company’s best seller in the United Kingdom. Now there’s a brand new one which promises better economy.
Sales of the “old” Sportage ended at record levels last year. Supporting the retail proposition for buyers is Kia’s unique seven-year warranty and an instalment plan which can put a new Sportage on your doorstep for just £139 a week.
That said, Kia whacked £500 to £1,000 on the price of the new Sportage. The entry ticket is now nudging £18,000 for the front-wheel-drive 1.6.
The entry 1 grade brings alloys, powered and heated mirrors, air con, digital audio, bluetooth with voice recognition and music streaming.
Safety stuff includes trailer stability control, hill-start assistance, downhill crawling control, cruise control and a speed limiter.
Level 1 prices are £17,995 with the 1.6 petrol, £ 19,745 with the 1.7 diesel (likely to be the most popular engine in the range) and £21,995 with 4x4 traction and a two-litre diesel engine.
Kia quotes 45mpg and 166g C02 for this headliner. Our jaunt in the hills recorded 30mpg on the trip computer, which is not encouraging. Yes, it was hilly in parts but the drain going up was offset by the cruise going down.
The up bits exposed the combined drone of the six speed automatic gearbox and the lust of the 182bhp diesel.
Next, the hot 174bhp turbo version of the 1.6 petrol engine in GT-Line specification, a new engine and trim on this Sportage.
Details include 19-inch alloys, skid plates, quad-light front fogs, a flat- bottomed steering wheel, leather and the 4x4 drive.
This is the sportiest Sportage, actually, the only sporty Sportage, making 0-62mph in 8.8 seconds with the lovely seven-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox, 37mpg and 175g.
At £25,650 it was the nicest of the three Sportages tested, with a lighter, easier revving feel and sharper handling.
The computer showed 29mpg. A manual gearbox is also offered. Last up was the most economical we tried, the 114bhp 1.7 diesel with stop start ignition, manual gears. Rated at 61mpg and 119g it is the lowest emission Sportage. Our test result was 40mpg.
This, reckoned to be a best-seller, sat between the other two for driving enjoyment - its engine still a shade loud when having to work, settling into a sublime cruise in the right conditions.