2018 Kia Sportage – price, specs and release date

Kia's Sportage will receive new engine options and a refreshed design later this year

Words By Darren Moss

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Kia Sportage

On sale Late 2018 Price from Β£20,000 (est)

Kia's Sportage will be available with a new mild hybrid powertrain later this year, as part of wider changes to the brand's best-selling model.

The new EcoDynamics powertrain features a 2.0-litre diesel engine and a 48V battery that can supplement the engine's acceleration when, for example, cruising on the motorway. It also helps to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 4% when tested on the latest and most stringent WLTP emissions procedure.

Our current recommended engine in the Sportage, the 1.7 CRDi diesel, is being replaced by a new 1.6-litre option that Kia says is the most efficient diesel unit it's ever made. Available in 113bhp or 134bhp forms, it's offered with the option of four-wheel drive and a seven-speed automatic gearbox.

Changes to the Sportage's design include lightly modified front and rear bumpers, new light clusters and new designs for allow wheels up to 19in in diameter. The car's options list has also been bolstered with new chrome trim and additional paint colours. Inside, there's a new instrument cluster layout and a new steering wheel. Drivers will be able to upgrade the car's 7.0in infotainment touchscreen to a new 8.0in version.

Available assistance technologies include adaptive cruise control, a 360deg camera to aid parking and a driver attention monitor.

Prices for this updated Sportage have yet to be announced, but a small increase on today's starting price of Β£19,200 is expected. If that price rises to around Β£20,000, though, the Sportage will end up being more expensive than both its Nissan Qashqai and Skoda Karoq rivals.

Can't stretch to the price of a new Sportage? No matter, because we've also collected our favourite used small SUVs to suit any budget and named the ones to avoid.

The best (and worst) used small SUVs

10. Kia Soul

Aimed at the sort of person who likes to stand out but needs a practical vehicle, the Kia Soul is a likeable vehicle that’s spacious, well equipped and distinctive to look at. Its average ride quality and so-so handling mean the Soul isn’t great to drive, but if you can live with that, you get a small SUV that offers huge amounts of room in every seat and, thanks to its boxy profile, a large boot.

9. Suzuki Vitara

Thanks to squared-off corners, a raised ride height and the option of four-wheel drive, the Suzuki Vitara at least has some of the off-road abilities people associate with SUVs; abilities that many of its rivals seem to have forgotten. That doesn’t mean to say the Vitara drives like an old-school 4x4 – because it doesn’t.

The balance between ride and handling is well judged and is even quite rewarding – that's quite unusual for a small SUV. The brilliant 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol is a very nipply engine, but it’s only available with four-wheel drive and higher-spec trims, so can be expensive. This makes the 1.6-litre petrol a better buy financially and it’s as economical as the smaller engine.

Next: More of our favourite used small SUVs >