New Skoda Karoq and Vauxhall Grandland vs Kia Sportage: costs

Households on tight budgets don’t need to compromise to get a great family SUV, as these entry-level models demonstrate. Let’s see which one offers the best value...

New Skoda Karoq rear 3/4

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security

For private buyers, the Kia Sportage is the priciest to buy outright, before and after discounts, while the Vauxhall Grandland is the cheapest. Add up all the costs you’re likely to face over three years and the order remains the same, despite the fact that the Sportage is predicted to hold onto its value the best. For one thing, it’s the least fuel-efficient of our trio, returning 36.1mpg in our test, compared with 39.7mpg for the Grandland and 40.6mpg for the Skoda Karoq

The Sportage strikes back by being the cheapest on PCP finance, though. Assuming a three-year agreement, with a £3000 deposit and a 10,000-mile annual limit, it’ll cost you £321 a month, versus £362 for the Karoq and £373 for the Grandland. The Sportage has the largest final ‘balloon’ payment if you decide to buy your car at the end of the term, though.

Kia Sportage rear 3/4

It’s also the most expensive to run as a company car. With relatively high CO2 emissions, it attracts a benefit-in-kind tax rate of 35%, compared with 32% for the Grandland and 31% for the Karoq. That means, if you’re in the 40% tax bracket, you’ll sacrifice £268 of your salary every month for the Karoq, £272 for the Grandland and £305 for the Sportage.

Despite being entry-level models, none of our contenders are poorly equipped; they all come with cruise control, dual-zone climate control, LED headlights and rain-sensing windscreen wipers, with the Sportage adding metallic paint as well as the rear-view camera we mentioned earlier. The Karoq gives you a better choice of options than the other two; the Sportage offers none, apart from premium metallic paint.

New Vauxhall Grandland rear 3/4

On the safety front, all get automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assistance. You have to upgrade to higher-spec versions of the Sportage and Grandland to get blindspot monitoring, something that isn’t available on any version of the Karoq.

The Sportage has yet to be appraised for safety by Euro NCAP. The Karoq and Grandland were assessed several years ago, when the tests were less stringent than they are today, and got five-star ratings. The Karoq does a slightly better job of protecting the chests of front seat adult occupants in frontal collisions, though.

New Skoda Karoq vs New Vauxhall Grandland vs Kia Sportage costs

The Sportage is too new to have featured in the latest What Car? Reliability Survey, but the Karoq finished in the top third of the family SUV class. Conversely, the Grandland was one of the least reliable cars in the class. Kia was an impressive ninth out of 30 in the brand league table – just above Skoda in 11th, with Vauxhall down in 22nd place.

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