Go for our favoured 1.7 CRDi 2 model. It’s keenly priced, undercutting the equivalent Nissan Qashqai by thousands of pounds going by list price, and PCP finance deals are attractive, too. However, the other engines look less competitively priced against the competition, and the higher trims are particularly hard to justify.
Not only that, but even the 1.7 CRDi engine (the most efficient in the range) isn’t as low on CO2 emissions as most rivals, including the Nissan Qashqai and Seat Ateca, and so will cost more to run as a company car. Fuel economy, both official and real world, also leaves something to be desired.
However, by most standards the Sportage in its more sensible spec options is quite tempting. Even the 1.6 GDi petrol is worth a look, if your mileage is low, because it undercuts the 1.7 CRDi by a significant four-figure sum.
Kia doesn’t really do options – you just have to pick the trim that suits you best, and then it’s just a question of whether or not to add metallic paint. Chances are you'll want to because the only no-cost colours are white or black
The trim range is simple, being numbered from 1 through 4, with 1 being the entry-level and 4 the range-topper. KX trims are four-wheel drive, but get exactly the same equipment as the trim number denotes, and you can get all four trims with four-wheel drive. A sportier-looking GT Line trim is also available.
Avoid entry-level 1 trim as it’s not well equipped; it misses out on the colour touchscreen along with some other useful items. We reckon 2 trim makes the most sense: it gets a 7.0in colour touchscreen, a reversing camera, rear parking sensors, auto lights and wipers, rear privacy glass and 17in alloys.
Kia Sportage reliability
The previous Sportage scored well in our reliability surveys, although Kia as a brand came 18th out of 36 manufacturers rated in our latest survey, which is based on cars over three years old. While that result suggests fairly middling reliability, there is always Kia's seven-year warranty to fall back on, which is the best in class by some margin.
UK and European roadside assistance is free for a year, and then available at a reasonable extra annual cost after that.
Kia Sportage safety & security
With six airbags and trailer stability assist (which helps to counteract the effects of a trailer swaying) standard even on the entry-level model, the Sportage is competitive for safety kit. 2 trim is even better, as it beams the road's speed limit onto the dashboard, and also brings lane-keep assist and automatic high-beam headlights.
However, it's disappointing that blind-spot monitoring and AEB (automatic emergency braking), which brakes the car automatically if it senses an imminent collision, is available only on 4 trim or above. Some rivals get AEB across the range, as it’s rated as a critical piece of safety kit these days, so Kia would do well to at least offer it as an option on the cheaper trims.
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The entry-level trim, which is best avoided as it’s the only one that doesn’t get a colour touchscreen, climate control (which can maintain a specific temperature rather than just blowing warm or cool air into the cabin), and roof rails, although it does still get alloys, a multifunction steering wheel, a DAB radio, a USB socket, cruise control and basic air-conditioning. Four-wheel drive versions of this are called KX-1, but they have exactly the same equipment.
Our pick 2
Our favourite trim – it’s easily the best balance of value and luxury. Comes with 17in alloys, rear privacy glass, a 7.0in colour touchscreen, with European sat-nav mapping, adjustable lumbar support for the driver, climate control, a reversing camera and rear parking sensors. It also gets more safety kit than 1 trim, with lane-assist and traffic sign recognition as standard. Four-wheel drive versions of this trim are called KX-2, but they have exactly the same equipment.
On top of what you get with 2 trim, 3 models bring 19in alloys, a gloss black centre console, an enhanced audio system, man-made leather seats, heated front and rear seats and an 8.0in touchscreen, in place of the 7.0in you get with 2 trim. Four-wheel drive versions of this trim are called KX-3, but they have exactly the same equipment.
Adds a panoramic sunroof, heated and cooled front seats, electrically adjustable front seats, a heated steering wheel and front parking sensors. It’s lavishly equipped but it’s also very pricey, so we'd recommend avoiding it. Four-wheel drive versions of this trim are called KX-4, but they have exactly the same equipment.
This trim is only available with the turbocharged petrol 1.6 T-GDi or the 2.0 diesels. It gets largely the same equipment as 3 trim, but adds keyless go and a number of styling fripperies, such as dual-tone leather seats, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, twin exhausts, gloss black and satin chrome exterior highlights. Oddly, it also gets the 7.0in colour touchscreen rather than the 8.0in. GT Line models may look the part, but 2 trim makes more financial sense.