Same but better
Kia’s refreshed midsize, value-added Sportage SUV offers more of the same, which is actually a good thing. Iain Dooley reports.
There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with Kia’s mid-size SUV, but the Korean car maker has decided to give its Sportage a minor visual refresh.
The car’s nose and tail benefit from minor styling tweaks, while inside there are changes to the cabin’s trim and materials. Eagle-eyed shoppers will also spot improvements to the car’s fascia plus the inclusion of an updated choice of infotainment systems. This generation of Sportage boasts the soft curves we’ve come to expect from the current generation of hugely popular ‘lifestyle’ SUV genres. In this particular car’s case, Kia has tweaked head and taillight design. Inside there’s a modest but welcome uplift in cabin quality thanks to better material choices, while the already generous infotainment system has been boosted to reflect the needs of an increasingly tech-savvy audience. Factor in Kia’s solid reputation for delivering well built, affordable cars plus its still generous warranty package and it’s not difficult to understand the appeal of this familyfriendly SUV. With its commanding driving position and multiadjustable seats, it’s easy to get comfortable behind the wheel. And that’s the point; the Sportage offers a relaxed experience that easily rivals
that of cars costing a lot more. Also, its engine line-up delivers a good range of performance and economy, while the ride is the right side of comfortable and keeps pitch and roll to a minimum. Front-drive cars sacrifice little if you never plan on towing or off-roading, while the flexibility of all-wheel drive ensures an added safety net for more adventurous owners. The Sportage is a cinch to drive. With its long, generous warranty period and a standard kit list that easily embarrasses many of its more costly rivals, the Sportage is a sound proposition for buyers with a modest budget. Naturally diesel power is the way to go if you plan to travel far or tow, and it’s good to see the car generate some wallet-friendly numbers. The recent refresh has seen an uplift in the cabin ambience, plus updates to the satnav provision. You’d have to be a card-carrying badge snob to give the Sportage a miss.
ONE WORD This car summed up in just a single word: Price: £23,900 Engine: 1.7-litre diesel unit producing 114bhp and 192lb/ ft of torque Transmission: Six-speed manual driving the front wheels Performance: Top speed 107mph, 0-62mph in 11.9 seconds Economy: 52.3mpg combined Emissions: 143g/km of CO2