The Kia Sportage – head turning design with green eco hybrid technology

Kia Sportage – head turning design with eco conscious green hybrid technology

There was a time when driving a Korean car meant most drivers would look at you with either pity or the view that you don’t have much money or taste in cars. Move forward and today Kia’s are trendy, cutting edge, ecological with hybrid and electric vehicles and a well-deserved reputation for reliability and build quality.

The Kia look has evolved into one which is striking and head turning with many less informed drivers thinking they are far more expensive than is actually the case.

Kia’s range is a wide one with everything from a small city car in the Picanto through to a large SUV in the Sorento and the wonderfully named Stinger that looks like a futuristic GT car with added practicality.

In the latest Sportage Kia’s mid-size SUV strikes a head turning pose and offers a myriad of power options which encompass petrol, diesel, mild hybrid (even in diesel form) and plug-in hybrid along with manual and automatic gears plus two and all-wheel-drive. Prices start from a modest €32,343/£27,750 and in lead-in form comes with LED lighting, front and rear parking sensors, auto lights and wipers and more.

My mid-range ‘3” with manual gears and 2-wheel-drive doesn’t benefit from hybrid power but does have an impressive array of standard equipment that includes heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel, multi-zone climate control, cruise control and neat little touches like hooks on the back of the front seats. Priced at €37,239/£31,950 this version

offers enough equipment to make you feel comforted but at a price that doesn’t break the bank.

On the road the Sportage’s 1.6-litre petrol engine offers useable performance and mpg with a nicely slick 6-speed manual gearbox. Soaking up the worst of the bumps the Sportage is never going to live up to its sport moniker, but nonetheless it’s far from disappointing on cross country roads.

The car comes with auto hold, a useful feature that requires one press of the footbrake to hold the car stationary without applying the handbrake. Which is a good job as the handbrake is operated via a button on the right hand side of the dashboard. It’s the one thing that feels awkward and unnecessarily fussy.

The Kia is a delight to live with and very easy and unfussed to drive. It also turns heads as one of the more striking cars you’re likely to see on our roads, and wonderfully doesn’t conform to the norm where all cars tend to look the same.

Facts at a Glance

  • Model: Kia Sportage ‘3’ FWD Manual
  • Price: €37,239/£31,950
  • Engine: 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol developing 148 bhp
  • Gears: 6-Speed manual
  • Performance: 0-100 kmh (62 mph) 9.9 seconds/Maximum Speed 182 kph (113 mph)
  • Economy: 6.8l/100km (41.5 mpg) Combined driving (WLTP)
  • Emissions: 154 g/km (WLTP)

Model tested was UK-specification and equipment levels and prices may vary in other markets.

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