Kia Sportage Review 2023

Kia Sportage At A Glance

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.

On average it achieves 0% of the official MPG figure

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

What is the best all-wheel drive hybrid?

"What is the best awd hybrid please?"
We'd recommend a Kia Sportage - it's an excellent family SUV available with AWD and hybrid power. Also consider a Toyota RAV4 or more upmarket Lexus NX.
Answered by Andrew Brady

I only do 5000 miles a year - should I buy a petrol, diesel or hybrid?

"I am looking to buy a new car. I only do about 5000 miles a year. I need a car with a decent size boot. Should I buy a petrol, diesel or hybrid? I have no interest in an electric car as I have no way of plugging it in as I live in a flat. Can you recommend a car with good economy and reliability no more than £30,000?"
As you can't charge a car at home, we'd recommend a petrol or hybrid for your mileage. A Suzuki Swace (or almost identical Toyota Corolla Touring Sports) sounds ideal - it's a very efficient estate car that's likely to be extremely reliable in the long term. You could also look at SUVs like the Kia Sportage - a nearly-new mild-hybrid Sportage is available within budget.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What's a good car to replace our BMW i3?

"I love driving our BMW i3 Rand Extender but now we have a place in Spain, we need another car for journeys south. It should be comfortable with fuel range for 3-5 hours driving in one stretch, while still being small enough to drive and park in the typical narrow streets of Spanish old towns. Anything fuel but diesel power is acceptable and badge not important. Decent ground clearance would be a bonus for parking near beaches, too. Can you suggest anything under £25k in the current market?"
We'd recommend a Kia Sportage. Your budget will get a nearly-new example of the latest model (launched in 2022) with the 1.6 CRDi diesel engine. It's a very comfortable car that'd be very efficient on long journeys. Also consider a Skoda Karoq or Volkswagen Tiguan.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What's the best car for a tall elderly driver?

"With the ULEZ zone due to expand I need to change my diesel Toyota Corolla Verso for something compliant. The problem is I am 6ft 10 inches tall and have arthritis in my spine which makes getting in and out of a car difficult. I have looked at a lot of cars but find on the likes of a Honda CR-V and Honda Jazz there is not enough head room on the door aperture so I have to put my head in first and then shuffle onto the seat. I tried a Skoda Superb but the seat is too low for easy entry. Looking at mobility cars, it would seem that a Mercedes Vito or Sprinter are the only vehicles with suitable access but are too big for everyday use. Any thoughts on an alternative? I would prefer a petrol automatic as I don’t do many miles and it is usually in traffic."
Given the need for a high seating position for easy access and lots of headroom we would suggest an SUV would suit your needs best. We would recommend looking at the Skoda Kodiaq, BMW X5, Volvo XC90 or the Kia Sportage, all of which are available with petrol engines and automatic transmissions.
Answered by David Ross
More Questions

What does a Kia Sportage cost?

Buy new from £36,174(list price from £40,475)