Kia Sportage As with the other newer Kias such as the Kia Venga and Kia Soul, the Kia Sportage bears the 'tiger nose', front grille with black louvres as nostrils.
As with the other newer Kias such as the Kia Venga and Kia Soul, the Kia Sportage bears the 'tiger nose', front grille with black louvres as nostrils. The straight, top edge marks the start of the broad clamshell bonnet with chamfered corners above the headlight clusters. These protrude slightly to emphasis the softer shape of the integrated bumper and also mark the start of the shoulderline that darts toward the wrap around taillights.
The lower grille connects the fog-light housings with their chrome embellishments and oddly-shaped glazing, which has an almost Fresnel effect.
The side view clearly shows the sleek, low roof-line, the almost horizontal shoulder line, directly below the darkened windows and black B-pillar. Although it isn't visible from this angle, the roof is ribbed and the roof rails are almost invisible. Chrome brightwork draws the eye to the heavy, reverse angle C-pillars, which are designed so that the rear passengers can see more, and the chunky door handles
The Kia Sportage's muscular wheelarches blend smoothly into the bodywork, while black spats offer paint protection should the Kia be taken off-road. Although this version is capable of leaving the main road, with the beautifully styled, 18-inch alloys attached, it might not be such a good idea.
The wide rear end has a well defined design line that stretches from wheel to wheel and accentuates the low bumper, which houses a secondary light array. The protective moulding kicks up in the middle at the site of the rear number plate where it meets the base of the tailgate. The top edge of the upper light clusters is angled to echo the shape of the rear screen as it slopes downwards.
As mentioned the wheelbase layout means that there is plenty of space inside the cabin of the Kia Sportage. The three rear passengers are by no means cramped and despite the seemingly low roofline, there is a good amount of headroom. The Kia Sportage First Edition features leather upholstery as standard and an added bonus is that the rear passengers have heated seats, too. The seats have the usual split fold function, which increases the generous 564-litres to a maximum of 1,353-litres, which is easily achieved. A cargo net, to go with the lashing hooks is also a standard feature of this very well equipped car.
The front seats are sporty and supportive, which adds to the relaxing drive. These too are heated and the driver's has lumbar support and height adjustment to go with the fully adjustable steering column and multifunctional steering wheel. Although the front of the cabin is clearly separated by the broad central tunnel, which houses the gear shift, it feels spacious. This is partly due to the simplicity of the tiered dashboard and the amount of elbowroom available.
The centre console of the Kia Sportage is on two levels, emphasising the swell of the fascia towards the middle. At the top, a red illuminated screen displays information about the audio system; an RDS Radio/CD Audio with MP3 compatibility, 6 speakers and USB & AUX Ports with an iPod cable. It also comprises Bluetooth with voice control and secondary controls on the steering wheel.
A rear reversing camera is standard and this displays the image in a section of the rear-view mirror, the same as the Kia Soul and Kia Venga.
Kia Sportage Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Kia Sportage First Edition|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||10.9 seconds|
|Top Speed||116 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||52.3 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||7 years / 100000 miles|
|Price (when tested on the 16/08/10)||£20,777|