Kia Sportage 1.6

T-GDi 3

Kia Sportage, 2022, front, action
Kia Sportage, 2022, side
Kia Sportage, 2022, rear, action
Kia Sportage, 2022, interior, manual
Kia Sportage, 2022, rear seats
Kia Sportage, 2022, boot
Kia Sportage, 2022, display screen
Kia Sportage, 2022, instrument panel
Kia Sportage, 2021, badge

THE handsome Kia Sportage SUV has helped to transform the Korean company into a major global player and the fifth generation model which was launched in the UK early in 2022 has continued to build on that success.

It has a bold, ultra-modern look that helps it stand out from its rivals and it has been improved in just about every area.

Apart from its great looks there is now more room for passengers, a bigger boot, a smart new infotainment system and a choice of efficient hybrid engines, including plug-in technology for the first time. There is also an all-electric model.

The Sportage made its debut here back in 1995 and it has notched-up huge sales since then with the last generation model alone finding over 200,000 customers so it is a fairly common sight on our roads.

Designed with European roads in mind, the Sportage is built in Slovakia and 14 models are available.

The fifth generation car's great looks will keep it a firm favourite in the SUV market but things are even more dramatic inside with major improvements in materials and technology.

Two giant screens which are joined to look like one dominate the dashboard and deliver features that you would only expect from a much more expensive premium brands.

There is now a useful automatic parking brake, wireless charging (on some versions) and improved space for up to five adults while the boot can handle 590 litres going up to 1,780 litres with the rear seats collapsed.

There's plenty of choice from Kia's familiar trim levels and I sampled the popular 1.6T-GDi 3 model in manual form with FWD costing £32,000 to put on the road.

With 148bhp on tap it takes 9.9 seconds to reach 6mph and has a top speed of 113mph. That will be good enough to please most customers.

Expect to get up to 48mpg on a long run with a combined figure of 41.5 and I averaged just under 40 mpg during a week of mixed driving.

The steering is sharp and delivers lots of feedback and drive modes called Eco, Normal and Sport can alter the car's characteristics to suit your taste. You can also select the type of information you want to display on the giant screen.

The Sportage provides bags of grip on twisting roads and it cruises quietly and effortlessly at 70mph on motorways too.

I had an excellent view from the elevated comfortable seating position and there is good all-round visibility.

It may be a big car but the Sportage is agile and thanks to its parking aids and cameras it is also easy to handle and park in town centres.

The 3 is crammed with all the tech and standard kit you could want including electrically adjustable and heated front seats, heated steering wheel, privacy glass, climate control and a reversing camera and much more.

You also get all the latest safety and driver aids as well as an excellent audio and communication package.

FAST FACTS

Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi 3

Price: £32,000

Mechanical: 1,598cc, 148bhp, 4-cyl petrol hybrid engine driving 2 wheels via 6spd manual gearbox

Max Speed: 113mph

0-62mph: 9.9sec

Combined MPG: 41.5

Insurance Group: 22

C02 emissions: 154g/km

Bik rating: 35%

Warranty: 7yrs/100,000 miles

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