- We like...Warranty, price
- We don't...The way it rides in town
Long warranty and low price gets this off-roader off to a good start. But is it, all considered, a good buy?A seven-year warranty. The Sportage off-roader has the longest after-sales back-up you’ll get anywhere. Only a few others equal it – all of them Kias, and none of them off-roaders.
While an offer such as this isn’t enough on its own to capture buyers, it’s a powerful incentive. But, happily for them, this revamped version of the Sportage is smart-looking and pretty capable.
Where only a few years back, you bought Kias because they were cheap, now you might pick the Sportage just because you like it. That said, it still costs less than most rivals that wear posher badges.
There are 10 Sportage models to pick from. The entry models run with a 2.0-litre petrol engine and are two-wheel-drive, which’ll mean that you’ll use less petrol while on the road but will struggle once you go off-track. There’s also a 2.7-litre V6 petrol, but we think the one to have is the 2.0 turbodiesel.
It’s not the quietest or sweetest-sounding, particularly when the motor is cold but, once warmed, it shows energy, packing the low-revs pull that diesels do so well. Matched with a light, easy-slotting gear shift and easy-weighted but accurate-enough steering, the Sportage is a relaxed thing to drive. Only a ride that rarely settles at town speeds, and skits over drain covers and surface changes, lessens that feeling.
Still, it’s quiet at speed, the engine note falling to a hum and the ride settling once you approach open-road speeds. A snug cabin keeps wind whistle and road roar mostly outside, making it a restful companion for a long motorway stint.
The inside is neat but uneventful: smart, and lushly kitted out if you choose the top-spec Titan model that we loaned from Kia. The plastics fit well and feel OK to touch, so there’s no sense of it as a budget model. Neither is ds it have, however, the character you’d find in, say, a Land Rover Freelander.
If you like the inside of your cars to be sober and workman-like, it’ll be just fine, though. There’s good room in the back, although the centre rear seat isn’t, we found, comfy enough for a long journey. The load area is square and flat-floored, while the seat backs drop easily to create extra room. If you just need to fish a bag from the boot, you can just pop the rear screen, which opens independently of the tailgate.
We’ve not taken the Sportage off-road but we can say that ground clearance is good and that the car has an all-wheel-drive system that sends power to the wheel(s) most in need. But if that’s not enough, all the driver can do is press a switch to lock the power transfer.
Second-hand, Sportages are well priced and good value. Note, though that the seven-year warranty applies only from 2008-model cars.
Should you buy one? Of course. Even if it was only halfway decent, the combo of long warranty and low price should make it a prospect. As it is, it’s way better than that.
For second-hand Kia Sportages, go to motors.co.uk
- Engines2.0 diesel
- 0-60 mph12.0secs
- Insurance groups12
Motors.co.uk value verdict: