What's the used Kia Sportage 4x4 like?
It would be accurate to say that the Sportage is one of the cars that has led Kia’s revival over the past few years, and at times has accounted for a quarter of Kia's new car sales. This is fantastic news for used car buyers because it means you'll have lots to choose from. But there are plenty of other reasons aside from a vast supply why the fourth-generation Sportage makes a great used buy because it is attractively styled, practical, inexpensive to buy, and many are still covered by Kia's splendid warranty.
Under the bonnet, the initial diesel engine choices were a 114bhp 1.7-litre (the best seller in the range), or a 2.0-litre with 134bhp or 182bhp. You could also get a couple of petrols: a 128bhp 1.6-litre unit and a more powerful 174bhp turbocharged 1.6-litre engine. The engine range went through some slight revisions as part of the 2018 facelift, but the significant change was a new 1.6-litre diesel in 114bhp and 134bhp forms to replace the 1.7, and some 48V mild-hybrid tech to improve fuel efficiency on certain models in the diesel range from late 2019 onwards.
On the equipment front, there are six levels to pick from: 1, 2, 3, 4, First edition (later KX-5 and then GT-Line S) and GT-Line. We say six, but all 2.0-litre diesel versions for reasons known only to Kia were badged with a 'KX-' prefix before each number trim level, yet they didn't come with any extra kit. Fortunately, this confusing naming structure was dropped after the facelift.
The entry-level 1/KX-1 Sportage comes equipped with 16in alloy wheels, front foglights, hill start assist and descent control as standard, while inside there is air conditioning, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, DAB radio and cruise control.
Upgrade to 2/KX-2 trim and you will find 17in alloys, roof rails, rear parking sensors, automatic wipers and lights, and a wider range of safety systems, while inside there is dual-zone climate control, a reversing camera and Kia's 7.0in touchscreen infotainment system, complete with sat-nav and smartphone integration.
Sportages kitted out in 3/KX-3 trim gain luxuries such as an 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system, a panoramic sunroof and an eight-speaker JBL audio system, while 4/KX-4 adds ventilated seats, heated steering wheel, electrically adjustable front seats, front parking sensors, adaptive bi-xenon headlights (full LED from the facelift onwards) and keyless entry/start, along with an autonomous braking system and blindspot monitoring system.
KX-5 models gain an electric tailgate, automatic parking assistance, a wireless phone charging system and two-tone leather upholstery, while the GT-Line models add an aggressive body kit on the outside, and numerous GT-Line decals and inserts inside. The GT-Line S is basically a pre-facelift KX-5 Sportage in terms of toys, but with sportier GT-Line styling.
Body lean is well controlled in corners, and there’s a good level of grip available. While the steering is pleasant enough and its handling safe and predictable, the Sportage, in common with many other SUVs in this class, isn’t especially fun to drive. Its ride is likewise competent, even if it actually feels slightly firmer than one or two of its rivals, and it can be very unsettled by bumps and potholes on examples fitted with the larger 19in wheel option. Refinement is good, too, especially at motorway speeds, with little in the way of wind and road noise, although the diesels emit a gravelly note around town.
Inside, the Sportage has a good driving position that caters for drivers of all shapes and sizes. The view is good, and the dashboard and surrounding areas are covered in reasonable plastics, with some matt and some shiny surfaces. It feels solidly put together, and all the controls are logically placed, but some rivals are classier inside.
There’s plenty of space up front, though, and two rear seat passengers have enough head and leg room, while three adults can sit side by side for shorter journeys. The Sportage has a big boot, too, with a low loading lip and a large opening.
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