Kia Sportage (2016-present)

Latest Kia Sportage maintains the model’s position as one of the top family crossovers

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Lots of standard kit
Drives and performs well
Bigger inside than old Sportage

Weaknesses 

Slightly more expensive than predecessor
Awkward front-end looks
Petrols not very efficient

The Kia Sportage is a well-established and popular family SUV. Rivals include the Nissan Qashqai, Ford Kuga and Renault Kadjar but the Kia has one thing none of these can claim: an impressively long seven-year warranty.

By early 2016, its predecessor had been on sale for six years so the new model was expected to take a leap forward. Technology-wise it certainly has – there’s stacks of advanced safety kit on the new car. Its styling has come in for criticism, though. It’s a subjective area, of course, but its more radical looks haven't been universally welcomed.
The new Sportage is broadly the same size as the old model but Kia took the sensible step of extending the wheelbase – the space between the wheels where most of the cabin is located – to increase rear legroom.

Meanwhile, the Sportage’s 491-litre boot (1,480 litres when you lower the back seats) is bigger than a Ford Kuga’s (406 litres) and a Nissan Qashqai’s (430 litres). However, the Mazda CX-5 beats it – just – with its 506-litre luggage hold. 

Under the skin, there have been other changes including the introduction of a new turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine. It joins a normally aspirated 1.6 petrol and two diesels: a 1.7 and a 2.0-litre. The standard transmission is a six-speed manual but it’s possible to have the 2.0-litre diesel with a six-speed auto, and the 1.6 turbo petrol and 1.7 diesel with a more modern and efficient seven-speed automatic gearbox.

Depending on the engine, you can have your Sportage with two or four-wheel drive. The latter versions are badged KX. The system boosts traction on slippery roads or when towing. In normal conditions the front wheels only are driven, which aids economy. Still, it remains the case that front-wheel-drive versions with a manual gearbox are the most efficient while being perfectly acceptable in day-to-day driving.

Talking of which, the Kia Sportage is fun to drive. It may be a high-riding SUV but its firm suspension keeps body lean in check so the car feels more secure. Fortunately, it’s not so firm that the car feels uncomfortable. In fact, the suspension masks road imperfections extremely well.

You’re held in place by very comfortable seats in a cabin that looks attractive and is built from quality materials. The best trim level is 2, or KX-2 if you must have four-wheel drive. It has most of the things you need including a good level of safety kit (a reversing camera, lane keeping assist and speed sign recognition) and features such as a sat nav, dual-zone air-conditioning and 17in alloy wheels.

Search for new and used Kia Sportage deals

Last Updated 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - 14:15

Key facts 

Warranty: 
Seven years/100,000 miles
Boot size: 
491 litres
Width: 
1,855mm
Length: 
4,480mm
Height: 
1,645mm
Tax (min to max): 
£119 to £800 in first year, £140 thereafter

Best KIA Sportage for... 

KIA Sportage 1.7 CRDi ISG 1 5dr diesel estate
As was the case before, the 1.7-litre diesel-engine Sportage with front-wheel drive and a manual gearbox is the most efficient combination.
KIA Sportage 1.7 CRDi ISG 2 5dr diesel estate
KIA expects the ‘2’ trim level – or version – of the Sportage to be the biggest seller and it’s not hard to see why. Its standard sat nav, reversing camera, roof rails, chilled glovebox and active safety systems will be welcomed by family buyers, who should also like the 1.7 diesel’s low running costs.
KIA Sportage 1.6T GDi GT-Line 5dr DCT Auto [AWD] estate
New in this latest Sportage is a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine. It’s not very efficient, but when paired with four-wheel drive and KIA’s DCT automatic gearbox, it can get the car from 0-62mph in just 8.8 seconds – pretty impressive for a big family SUV. On the downside, first year road tax is £800.
Kia Sportage 2.0 CRDi GT-Line 5dr Auto [AWD] diesel estate
As with many family SUVs, the Sportage’s four-wheel-drive system doesn’t turn it into a Land Rover-like off-road adventurer: it just gives a bit more grip in slippery conditions and increases running costs. Marry that to the expensive GT-Line trim level and you have a Sportage that, at over £27,000, is just too expensive.

KIA Sportage History 

  • February 2016 Fourth-generation Kia Sportage goes on sale in Britain. Limited edition 'First Edition' comes with a fully automatic parking system, powered bootlid and special Fusion White or Phantom Black paint colours, as well as grey and black two-tone leather seat trim.
  • December 2016 GT-line S and KX-5 trims introduced, plus 1.7 CRDi now available with DCT seven-speed automatic transmission.

Understanding KIA Sportage car names 

  • Sportage
  • Engine
    1.6T GDi
  • Trim
    GT-Line
  • Gearbox
    DCT Auto
  • Drive
    [AWD]
  • Engine
    Petrol engines are badges GDi, with more powerful turbocharged vrsions T-GDi. Diesels have CRDi badges. The size of the engine is given in litres. In general, the larger the engine the more powerful it will be.
  • Trim
    The trim levels indicate the amount of equipment that comes as standard. The range starts with 1, which is cheapest and most basic, rising to 2, 3, 4 and then KX-5. GT-Line sits between 2 and 3, bringing sportier looks.
  • Gearbox
    DCT is Kia's label for its automatic gearbox.
  • Drive
    The Sportage comes with either front or four-wheel drive – the latter also known as all-wheel drive, or AWD.

KIA Sportage Engines 

Petrol: 1.6 GDi, 1.6 T-GDi
Diesel: 1.7 CRDi, 2.0 CRDi

The extensive KIA Sportage engine range, combined with the choice of gearboxes and front or four-wheel-drive, allows customers to prioritise power or running costs to suit their needs.

The very cheapest 1 and 2 versions of the car offer a non-turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine, but neither its performance nor its fuel economy are particularly impressive – plus you can’t have it with automatic transmission or four-wheel drive.

The more modern 1.6-litre turbocharged engine is a more interesting prospect. It's offered with KIA’s seven-speed DCT transmission, which is capable of very fast and smooth gearshifts. However, it’s only available on the fairly pricey GT Line version of the Sportage, so you need to pay in the region of £25,000 to get it.

Diesel is expected to be a much more common choice and the entry-level 1.7-litre offers identical performance to the 1.6-litre GDI petrol, but with much-improved fuel economy. In the 2 specification level, it’s our top recommendation, but it’s also offered in 1, 3 and 4 spec. This engine is front-wheel drive only but offers the option of the automatic gearbox as well as the standard six-speed manual.

Drivers in search of more power (possibly for towing) or who need four-wheel drive can pick from two 2.0-litre diesel engines. The more powerful of the pair, with 182bhp, is reserved for the high-spec KX-4 and KX-5 Sportages, but the 134bhp is offered from GT-Line all the way down to KX-2. This is useful for those who want the power and extra grip that combination brings, but don’t fancy paying extra for lots of superfluous kit.

Fuel

Mpg

Bhp

0 - 62mph

top speed

1.6 GDi

Petrol

42.2 - 44.8mpg

130bhp

11.1s

113mph

1.6 T-GDi

Petrol

37.2 - 37.7mpg

174bhp

8.8 - 9.2s

125 - 126mph

1.7 CRDi

Diesel

61.4mpg

114bhp

11.1s

109mph

2.0 CRDi

Diesel

47.9 - 54.3mpg

134bhp

10.1 - 11.6s

114mph

2.0 CRDi

Diesel

44.8 - 47.9mpg

182bhp

9.2s

125mph

 

KIA Sportage Trims 

Trims: 1, KX-1, 2, KX-2, 3, KX-3, 4, KX-4, KX-5, GT-Line

Even the entry-level 1 versions of the Sportage are fitted as standard with 16-inch alloys, front foglights, LED daytime running lights, power-adjustable heated door mirrors, a leather steering wheel and gearstick, electric windows all round, air-conditioning, DAB digital radio and Bluetooth with music streaming. Standard safety equipment comprises the usual airbags and ISOFIX child-seat mounts, plus trailer stability assistance, hill-start assistance, downhill braking control and cruise control.
 
The 2 and KX-2 trim levels expand on this with 17-inch alloys, a seven-inch touchscreen sat nav, roof rails, privacy glass, a power-adjustable driver's seat, power-folding door mirrors, reversing sensors, automatic lights, rain-sensing wipers, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, dual-zone air conditioning and a cooled glovebox. Extra safety systems here include lane-keeping assistance, automatic high-beam headlights and speed-limit alerts.

The GT-Line sits between the 2/KX-2 and 3/KX-3 specifications. As well as being the only Sportage available with the new 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine, it has sporty styling flourishes, such as two pairs of four ‘ice-cube’ LED foglights, a black mesh grille, dual exhausts, chrome exterior trim, grey and black leather upholstery and a D-shaped leather sports steering wheel.

In the 3 and KX-3, the navigation screen size is increased to eight inches and the alloys are bigger again (19 inches). These models also have black leather upholstery, a rear USB charging point, heated front and outer rear seats and a premium JBL stereo system.

Next up are the 4 and KX-4, which add bright bi-xenon headlights, front parking sensors, keyless entry and push-button start, a panoramic sunroof, LED rear lights, 10-way driver's and eight-way front passenger power-adjustable ventilated seats and a heated steering wheel. There’s also additional safety technology in the form of autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot warning and a rear cross-traffic alert system.
  

KIA Sportage Reliability and warranty 

As this version of the Sportage is brand-new to the market at the time of writing, there’s no hard data to go on for reliability. The previous-generation Sportage didn’t feature in the most recent 2015 edition of Auto Express magazine’s Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, either, so unfortunately it’s difficult to build up a clear picture right now of just how dependable this Sportage will be in the long term. KIA as a brand overall was ranked 19th out of 32 in the UK for customer satisfaction, with a confidence-inspiring eighth-place finish for reliability. But even greater confidence can be drawn from KIA’s warranty cover. At seven years’ duration, the only fly in the ointment is the 100,000-mile limit across those seven years, which may catch higher-mileage drivers out.

Used KIA Sportage 

It’ll be several months at least before the first few examples of this fourth-generation KIA Sportage hit the market, but dealers on Buyacar are already offering reasonable discounts on brand-new examples.

And regardless of what generation of used Sportage you’re looking at, remember that nearly any used KIA you buy represents a great deal, because as long as they’re under seven years old and have less than 100,000 miles on the clock, they’re still covered by the manufacturer's warranty, which is not something you can say about any other used car.

Just make sure the car you’re looking at has a full service history with KIA main dealers, as although consumer law theoretically allows you to service your car with the garage of your choice and still preserve your warranty, a KIA dealer history will make things more straightforward in the event of you having to make a claim.

Prices below show typical BuyaCar discounts for our pick of new and used models. Scroll down further for the very latest new KIA Sportage deals or search for all new and used KIA Sportage offers.

List price

BuyaCar new

1 year old

2 years old

3 years old

Best for performance

KIA Sportage 1.6T GDi GT-Line 5dr DCT Auto [AWD] estate

Price

£25,645

£23,674

N/a

N/a

N/a

Save

8%

N/a

N/a

N/a

Best for families

KIA Sportage 1.7 CRDi ISG 2 5dr diesel estate

Price

£22,050

£20,260

N/a

N/a

N/a

Save

8%

N/a

N/a

N/a

Best for economy

KIA Sportage 1.7 CRDi ISG 1 5dr diesel estate

Price

£19,745

£18,185

N/a

N/a

N/a

Save

8%

N/a

N/a

N/a