Kia Sportage - Used

Car Review

Kia Sportage front action
Kia Sportage, rear
Kia Sportage, boot
Kia Sportage, cabin
Kia Sportage, front
Kia Sportage, static
Kia Sportage, side

THERE'S no doubt about it, but Kia's seven-year warranty has played a major part in the mega success story of the South Korean marque's capable Sportage SUV.

The other factor is that since it's launch back in 2010, the third edition of what has become a extremely-popular crossover has come with a highly-competitive price tag that has left other similar-sized offroaders struggling to compete.

But first things first. The car's exterior looks, which has all its curves in exactly the right places, is the first thing that draws the eye.

It certainly looks the part. And it's tough, capable and manly, yet it doesn't have that out-and-out macho ruggedness that some other machines dish up.

Yes, the Sportage is something more akin to being a state-of-the-art, innovative hatchback and in 2.0 CRDi KX-3 Sat Nav trim at least, it comes with the added bonus of all-wheel-drive and decent off-road cabability at just the turn of a switch.

The car's ride has been set on the firmish side, but it's in no way rough and ready, while its road-holding ability on four-wheel-drive mode offers enough composure for it to pushed on at speed even when negotiating those more twisting B roads.

Inside, the cabin is spacious and functional in design, while the list of on-board standard equipment includes leather upholstery, a reversing camera, LED running lights, dual-zone climate control, fog lights, privacy glass and RDS radio with CD, MP3, iPod and Bluetooth connectivity.

The quality of the fittings and fixtures are up there with the best and drivers will soon come to grips with the easy-to-use centre console and touchscreen systems.

For used car buyers opting for the KX-3 version, the fully automatic drive system is always one step ahead of the driver, by detecting water, snow or ice covered roads or loose surfaces thanks to the car's advanced electronics, which will seamlessly switch from normal two-wheel-drive running to four-wheel-drive whenever it feels the need.

To help keep occupants safe, there are a host of other electronic gismos fitted as standard, including stability and traction control systems and downhill brake and hill hold assist.

My choice as a used buy would be the two-litre CRD diesel with manual gearbox which offers a top speed of 112mph and fuel economy of 47.1mpg.

A quiet cruiser on fast dual carriageways, it is also at home on country roads and in busy town and city centres. Even with five occupants on board there is plenty of room for all to stretch out and get comfortable, with ample leg and elbow room for those travelling in the back.

It also has a decent sized boot which will swallow up to 564 litres, and for those who need to hitch up a trailer, caravan or boat, it will tow anything up to 2,000kg when braked or 750kg if unbraked.

Prices for the Sportage hold up well, so you'll have to pay between £11,790 and £14,640 for a 2011 61-plate two-litre four-wheel-drive model in KX-3 Sat-Nav trim with 50,000 miles on the clock.

Move on a year to a 62-plate 2012 model and prices will jump to anything between £13,610 to £16,395 depending on overall condition and mileage, still something of a bargain in anyone's books.

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