Kia Sportage Review 2022

Kia Sportage At A Glance

4/5
Honest John Overall Rating
The Kia Sportage continues to represent excellent value for money thanks to its generous kit levels. It does everything a family SUV needs to do with its practical interior, impressive list of standard safety features and a comprehensive line-up of engines that won't cost a lot to run.

+Extremely comprehensive engine line-up including petrol, diesel and hybrid power. Impressive cabin with sharp infotainment. Seven-year warranty.

-Hybrid models are surprisingly noisy. Top-spec models are difficult to justify. Has a face only a mother could love.

Remember when the last-generation Kia Sportage looked pretty outlandish? It still sold by the bucketload, we soon started to see them everywhere and now, if anything, it looks a bit bland. Well, there’s no danger of the new Kia Sportage blending in. It’s even bolder in design than the new Hyundai Tucson – which is saying something – while SUV competitors like the Nissan Qashqai, Skoda Karoq and Peugeot 3008 aren’t going to turn heads like the new Sportage. Just how good the rest of the car is we'll explore in our Kia Sportage review. 

You can decide for yourself if you like how the new Kia Sportage looks but we’d suggest it’s worth remaining open-minded until you’ve sat in the cabin. In there, you get a fancy dual-screen infotainment system (on mid-spec models and above), as well as comfortable seats and a whole heap of standard equipment for your cash.

While the Kia Sportage’s near-£27,000 start price means it isn’t exactly a budget option any more, you do get a lot of kit for your money. The range kicks off with the Kia Sportage 2, which comes with an eight-inch touchscreen media system, a reversing camera, cruise control and 17-inch alloy wheels.

The Kia Sportage GT-Line is meant to be a sportier choice, which explains the 19-inch alloy wheels and gloss black exterior highlights, while we reckon the mid-spec Kia Sportage 3 represents the sweet spot in the range. This features 18-inch alloy wheels, a 12.3-inch navigation system and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. You also get part-faux-leather seats and a heated steering wheel.

Sitting above this is the Kia Sportage 4, which comes with a panoramic sunroof, Harman Kardon sound system and a wireless phone charger, while the range is topped up with the pricey Kia Sportage GT-Line S. This is fully-loaded, with standard equipment including bespoke exterior styling, 19-inch alloys (18-inch on the hybrid), part-artificial leather and ventilated front seats. You also get an electric tailgate.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with choice already, wait until we get onto the engine line-up. We’ll cover this in-depth in the engine section (click the 'driving' tab above), but it includes petrol, diesel, mild-hybrid, hybrid and plug-in hybrid power. You can’t buy an electric Kia Sportage – if that’s what you’re after, take a look at the Kia EV6 instead.

Kia also offers the Sportage with a variety of manual and automatic transmissions, and you can get it with four-wheel drive if you really must. We wouldn’t bother unless you live in the Scottish Highlands. And, even then, a set of winter tyres might be a better investment.

So far, we’ve sampled the entry-level 1.6-litre T-GDi petrol and, while the hybrid options certainly make a lot of sense in 2022, there’s a lot to be said for straightforward petrol power. It’s powerful enough for most drivers, while the six-speed manual gearbox is perfectly functional.

Where we think the Kia Sportage makes less sense is the higher-spec, more complex (i.e. hybrid) models. These are more expensive to buy and it could take a while for private buyers to recoup the cost in fuel savings.

Still, there’s a lot going for the Kia Sportage and it really should be high up on your shortlist compared to the likes of the Vauxhall Grandland, Volkswagen Tiguan and Ford Kuga.

Ask Honest John

Which estate or equivalent should I buy?
"I've just retired and plan to change my 69 plate Ford Kuga. The 1.5-litre petrol engine is too thirsty for my wallet. I've never owned an estate car, hence that is my current research topic. My wife loves the higher (Kuga) driving position so is not best pleased at my plans. The Kuga boot at 400 litres is sometimes too small, hence the desire to get something with more load capability (I hate cramming things in to the boot when there are four adults with luggage. Plus there are odd trips to move furniture, buy large items and also help out the adult children when they need to move bulky items.) Normally the car will be used for short local jaunts, but the occasional trip of 250 miles does happen a few times a year. My best thought at the moment is a Skoda Superb Estate with the one litre petrol engine. Any other contenders you can suggest? It doesn't have to be an estate, but I want more boot than, say, 500 litres. Performance is not an issue for me. "
A Skoda Superb Estate sounds like a superb (sorry!) option. You can't beat it in terms of practicality available for the cash. You can't get the Superb with the 1.0 TSI engine, but the 1.5 TSI should be fairly efficient – expect to see mid-40s mpg with the manual gearbox: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/realmpg/skoda/superb-estate-2015 As a compromise, have you considered a hybrid SUV? The latest Kia Sportage, for example, has a 591-litre boot and the high seating position your wife loves. There's even a plug-in hybrid model which could be a good option if you can charge at home. This can travel up to 43 miles under electric power alone, making it ideal for your local journeys.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Should I trade-in my car while used prices are inflated?
"After putting my 2019 Mazda 6 Sport in for its latest service, the dealership indicated they were very keen to get it as a trade-in due to its condition and low mileage. So, the equity available is higher than normal, in part due to the current shortages. With that in mind, it seemed daft to go for another 6, and maybe I should look a little upmarket. However, I'm struggling to come up with a decent alternative! I've looked at the Octavia vRS, BMW 2 Series GC, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Mazda CX-5 Sport, the new Kia Sportage. Do you have any recommendations or general pointers? I'm on the lookout for a sporty looking family car that isn't going to break the bank, reasonably well specced that isn't costing an absolute fortune to get to the same equipment levels I'm spoiled with in the 6. Appreciate any thoughts or help you can give - I love my 6, she's an absolute joy to drive and truthfully I wouldn't even be looking if the trade in offers weren't so good!"
It's a dilemma many people are facing at the moment – a shortage of new cars means used prices are inflated so there's a temptation to cash in by selling your car. But that car will need replacing, though, and you might find it difficult to get a good deal on a new car. We'd recommend keeping your Mazda – you clearly like it and it's still a modern, reliable car with many years of life left in it. If you do wish to sell, a Mazda CX-5 could be a worthy replacement. It's just been updated and remains one of our favourite SUVs on the market. Alternatively, take a look at the new Hyundai Tucson or consider whether to make the switch to an electric vehicle with a Hyundai Ioniq 5.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Can you recommend a hybrid family car?
"I currently own a Hyundai Santa Fe diesel. We only use one car in our family and work from home so do our daily school trips and occasional trips no more than 6 hours round trips. Going full electric is still a bit worrying for me and we are looking at hybrid. I was hoping you are able to guide me or provide some info on hybrids, I assume petrol hybrid? I am leaning towards an estate or maybe another SUV. I'm not sure what reliable makes to look for. "
Take a look at the new Hyundai Tucson. It's a really good family SUV that's available with hybrid or plug-in hybrid power. The latter might be a good choice if you can charge a car at home (i.e. you have off-road parking with access to electricity) as you'll be able to cover your local journeys under electric power alone. We'd recommend the Kia Sportage, too. This guide might be of interest: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/guides/best-hybrid-cars/
Answered by Andrew Brady
Can I change my Kia Sportage wheels for off-road driving?
"On your advice I have bought a Kia Sportage. I’m just wondering about the wheels. It has low profile tyres and I’m concerned that these may not be sufficiently robust for off-road driving. Is it possible to replace the wheels (19-inch) with a smaller size wheel and high profile tyres? "
I am not sure which generation Sportage you bought – a new model has just been released – but you should be able to swap your 19-inch wheels for 16 or 17-inch versions that'll allow for more off-road-biased tyres.
Answered by Russell Campbell
More Questions

What does a Kia Sportage cost?