Road Test: Kia Sportage KX-4

Kia’s Sportage has been around a number of years now, but the latest generation is a different beast in terms of looks to its predecessor.

By Ben Green
Tuesday, 6th May 2014, 5:37 pm

The old Sportage might have been lacking style, but that is something that cannot be said of the current crop, which totals 16 models in the range.

The car now has a sporty look befitting of its name, and indeed, in the compact SUV market is probably second only to the Range Rover Evoque when it comes to eye-catching lines. High praise indeed.

I was test driving the top of the range KX-4 automatic, so got to see the best of what the Sportage has to offer.

The all wheel drive KX-4 boasts 181 bhp, offers 383Nm of torque, goes from 0-60mph in 9.5 seconds, and has a top speed of 121 mph.

But it’s not just under the bonnet where there’s lots going on.

It is armed with 18” alloy wheels, a parallel park assist system, panoramic sunroof, an Infinity Premium sound system with subwoofer and external amp, 7” touchscreen sat nav with European mapping, six-way power adjustable driver’s seat, heated steering wheel and heated front and rear seats, reversing camera system, dual auto air conditioning, xenon headlights, and engine start/stop button.

That is a hell of a lot of tech.

The leather upholstered interior is spacious, and there is plenty of space in the boot.

The Sportage KX-4 is an absolutely pleasure to drive.

It is practical yet with a high level of style, elegance, and sportiness.

In the face of one of the most torrential rainstorms I have ever encountered the Sportage was an absolute dream.

With lightning flashing across the night sky, rain pelting down in Biblical proportions, and the A57 resembling the Ganges, the Kia didn’t shrink from its responsibilities, and handled impeccably.

The all wheel drive system really came into its own.

Tropical downpours are one thing, but how did the Sportage perform when faced with the worst that the Peak District has to throw at it? It didn’t even flinch.

Steep inclines? Pah! Sharp bends? Child’s play. Muddy, pothole-ridden tracks? Easy!

However I tried to flummox it, it responded and handled consistently well.

Best of all, it was great fun to drive. Quick, agile, and smooth.

How about that parallel parking assist system? It’s brilliant. Let’s face it, life’s too short to be faffing around parallel parking but this smart feature takes all the hard work and stress out of it. This comes into its own in urban areas.

After only a few days spent with the Sportage, it was easy to see why this has become such a popular car with motorists.

The top of the range KX-4 auto comes in at £29,495 OTR, which is great value considering everything you are getting for that. But if that’s a bit out of your price range, don’t forget the Sportage range starts at a modest £17,495 OTR.

If you want an affordable yet stylish compact SUV, then look no further than the Sportage range.