New Honda ZR-V and Renault Austral versus Kia Sportage: practicality

High-riding and hybrid powered, these family SUVs couldn’t be trendier. But which is the hottest outfit?...

Honda-ZR-V rear seats

Space and practicality

Front space, rear space, seating flexibility, boot

Unless you’re approaching six and a half feet tall, you’ll easily fit in the front of any of these cars, and that’s despite the fact each of them has a glass roof. But just in case you are loftier, you might appreciate that the Honda ZR-V’s seat slides back the farthest, and the fact that its relatively low seating position means it offers the most head room. The margins, however, are small, and the same is true of storage space in the front; each car provides a decent-sized glovebox and door bins, plus cupholders and oddment cubbies.

Renault Austral back seats

There will be very few grumbles from those sitting in the back of any of the three; each is quite generous in terms of leg room (although in the Renault Austral’s case, only when its sliding rear seats are pushed all the way back) and all have space for feet underneath the front seats. And while the Kia Sportage’s panoramic roof does eat into head room a little, its reclining rear seatbacks allow occupants to adopt a more relaxed posture on long trips. The Austral’s rear bench also reclines, but it has only three positions with very little variation between them.

The Sportage has the widest middle rear seat, closely followed by the Austral. The ZR-V’s is the least appealing to spend time in; it’s narrow and the raised floor forces the occupant to sit with their knees in the air.

Kia Sportage rear seats

Boot space is unremarkable in the ZR-V and Austral; each can hold six carry-on suitcases beneath its load cover. That said, the latter’s is a more practical, squarer shape, with more space left over for soft bags. The Sportage’s boot is usefully bigger, swallowing eight cases, and there’s more underfloor storage than in the others. The Sportage’s rear seats fold in a versatile 40/20/40 split, too; the others have the more traditional – and less useful – 60/40 split.

Boot space

Honda ZR-V

Honda-ZR-V boot

Boot capacity 370-1291 litres Suitcases 6

Renault Austral

Renault Austral boot

Boot capacity 555-1455 litres Suitcases 6

Kia Sportage

Kia Sportage boot

Boot capacity 587-1776 litres Suitcases 8

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