No sur­prise that lat­est Kia is a win­ner

Rochdale Observer - - THE LAUGHING BADGER -

en­gines. The cheapest comes ex­clu­sively with front-wheel drive and a man­ual gear­box, but it doesn’t get tur­bocharg­ing

The tur­bocharged 1.6 T-GDi petrol is stronger, es­pe­cially at low revs, but it still needs push­ing harder than the diesels. You can have this en­gine with the stan­dard six-speed man­ual or an op­tional seven-speed au­to­matic gear­box. If you go for this en­gine, though, you’ll get four-wheel drive as stan­dard.

Fam­ily SUVs don’t need to han­dle like a hatch­back but the Sportage keeps body lean con­trolled through bends and stays more up­right than many ri­vals and grips well, too.

Although there is such a wide range of choice all ver­sions get a rear-view cam­era as stan­dard, with rear park­ing sen­sors added on 2 trim. If you want front park­ing sen­sors, you’ll need to up­grade to a 4 model which also adds fea­tures like blind spot mon­i­tor­ing.

Even the most ba­sic Sportage in 1 trim gets a 7.0in in­fo­tain­ment touch­screen with Blue­tooth, a DAB ra­dio, Ap­ple CarPlay and An­droid Auto. If you must have built-in sat-nav, you’ll need to up­grade to 2 trim. Mov­ing up to 4 or GT-Line S brings an eight inch touch­screen and a USB port for those in the back to charge their phones.

The Sportage has a big boot, with a floor that’s flush with the boot open­ing and the rear seats when they’re folded down.

The 1.6 diesel in 2 trim is keenly priced, un­der­cut­ting the equiv­a­lent Nis­san Qashqai and has a spa­cious in­te­rior, but isn’t quite as good a drive as some of its main ri­vals.

Prices are from £20,305 for the base ‘1’ trim model with 1.6 diesel power (114bhp) up to £35,140 for the GT-Line S 2.0-litre CRDi 182bhp AWD auto.

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