Used Kia Sportage 2010 - 2016 review

Category: Family SUV

The Kia Sportage may not be as good to drive as some rivals, but it gets lots of kit and has plenty of style

Used Kia Sportage 10 -16
  • Used Kia Sportage 10 -16
  • Used Kia Sportage 10 -16
  • Used Kia Sportage 10 -16
  • Used Kia Sportage 10 -16
  • Used Kia Sportage 10 -16
  • Used Kia Sportage 10 -16
  • Used Kia Sportage 10 -16
  • Used Kia Sportage 10 -16
Used Kia Sportage 2010 - 2016 review
Star rating

What's the used Kia Sportage 4x4 like?

Once upon a time, Kia was synonymous with rather blandly styled cars that whiffed of bargain-basement motoring. A major revolution in its design department led to a rash of exciting-looking models that capitalised on the huge growth in demand for modestly priced SUVs, with the resulting increase in sales pushing Kia's reputation to new levels.

What also helped the brand establish itself as a major player was an unmatched seven-year, 100,000-mile transferable warranty, which wooed new buyers almost as much as the sensous new styling. This handsome third-generation Sportage arrived in 2010 to take on the mighty Nissan Qashqai, which was at the time the undisputed king of the family SUV pack.


The Kia Sportage may not be as good to drive as some rivals, but it gets lots of kit and has plenty of style

  • Cheap to buy and run
  • Attractive styling
  • Good boot space
  • Heavy depreciation
  • Grumbly diesel engines

The Sportage came equipped for a good fight, too. Under the bonnet, the engine line-up consisted of 1.6-litre and a 2.0-litre petrols and 1.7-litre and 2.0-litre diesels, with the latter powerplant available in two states of tune.

Lower-powered engines came with Kia's ISG (Intelligent Stop and Go) stop-start system, while the 2.0-litre units get four-wheel drive. Automatic transmissions were available as an option with these engines.

As for trims, there were 1, 2, 3 and 3 Sat Nav on two-wheel-drive cars and KX-2, KX-3, KX-3 Sat Nav and KX-4 on all-wheel-drive models.

On the road, the Sportage isn't as engaging to drive as its main rivals. The 114bhp 1.7 diesel is economical but rather flat at low revs, while the 134bhp 2.0 engine is quicker but not very refined and used examples are more expensive.

In fact, the diesel engines aren't particularly smooth or quiet when revved, so for the most refined drive the petrol units are the best bet. However, whichever engine you go for, wind and road noise make their way into the interior too frequently.

The suspension is forgiving over large bumps, but vertical movements aren't well controlled. The steering isn't great, either, offering little precision, although it does remain light enough for easy town driving.

In terms of space and practicality, it's better news. The Sportage has plenty of room for four adults, although a raised transmission tunnel reduces rear middle-seat leg room. For the driver, there's a good range of adjustment on both the seat – which also provides great support – and steering wheel, while the dashboard is well laid out and simple to use.

Importantly, the Sportage is stacked with safety kit. Front, side and curtain airbags are found on every car, as well as active front head restraints. Isofix child seat mountings are also standard, along with stability control and a hill start system. All of this contributes to the Sportage's five-star Euro NCAP rating.

Ownership cost

What used Kia Sportage 4x4 will I get for my budget?

Sportages with more than 100,000 miles on the clock can be had for £6000-£7000. However, it's worthwhile to spend a bit more – say, between £8000 and £10,000 – for a car with an average mileage for the year and a full service history, bought from a reputable independent dealer. Up the folding to between £11,000 and £14,000 and you'll find good 2015 cars with the same criteria.

Used Kia Sportage 10 -16

How much does it cost to run a Kia Sportage 4x4?

The 1.6 GDi petrol engine has a claimed average fuel consumption figure of 44.1mpg and emits 149g/km of CO2. It sits in insurance group 10 – the lowest of the range. But for the cheapest running costs, you'll want the 1.7 CRDi diesel unit, which is good for a claimed 54.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 135g/km. The 2.0 CRDi's extra power means fuel economy drops to a claimed 47.1mpg and pushes CO2 up to 156g/km.

Sportages of this age can be serviced through the Kia network and a number of service plans are available to help you spread the cost. There will also be plenty of independent garages that will look after a Kia at a reasonable cost.

Our recommendations

Which used Kia Sportage 4x4 should I buy?

We think the sweet spot of the range lies at the bottom with the 133bhp 1.6 petrol. It isn't quick, but it feels more urgent than the smaller diesel around town. That said, if you plan to do a fair bit of motorway driving, then it's worth investigating the diesels further.

Standard kit is very good. All cars get alloy wheels, air-con, four electric windows, a rain sensor, Bluetooth and cruise control. For standard two-wheel-drive models, move up to 2 trim and you get parking sensors, a sunroof and part-leather seats added.

Further up, 3 trim offers leather seats, climate control and xenon headlights, but we'd recommend sticking to entry-level 1 because it has everything you need and is the best value.

Our favorite Kia Sportage 1.6 GDi 1


What alternatives should I consider to a used Kia Sportage 4x4?

The Nissan Qashqai is perhaps the most obvious rival to the Sportage; it's the car that for some time defined this class. That's not surprising; it's practical, has a classy interior, a comfortable ride, excellent refinement and low running costs. It's good to drive too. A question mark does hang over the reliability and build quality of the second-generation cars, though.

The Volkswagen Tiguan is a classy act, too. The first-generation car sold by the bucketload, thanks to its practical, spacious and, above all, smart interior. It's good to drive, has plenty of kit and has an excellent reputation for reliability.