The Sportage is a very easy vehicle to drive and it is near car-like to drive.
Ease of Use
The Sportage is a very easy vehicle to drive and it is near car-like to drive. Every Sportage model features power-assisted rack and pinion steering with a 16.1 to 1 ratio, requiring 3.06 turns of the steering wheel lock-to-lock, and a turning circle of 10.8 metres.
The Sportage's doors are large with wide openings, allowing easy access to both the front and rear seats. Head and leg room is good throughout the vehicle, and you can accommodate a family of four quite happily on holiday or maybe even five with a little bit of squeeze. The adjustable drivers seat and leather wrapped steering wheel make it easy to find the perfect driving position. Remote central locking is standard throughout the Sportage model range.
The high seating position offers a commanding view of the road ahead which is a great safety feature as it allows you to see what is going on and react before you could in a conventional car.
The vital statistics are as follows a front-seat cushion height of 717 mm from the ground. Legroom is especially generous - 1070 mm at the front and 945 mm at the rear. Front headroom is 1023 mm, while rear headroom is 986 mm and shoulder room for front seat occupants is 1437mm and 1430 mm across the rear seat.
With the seats in place you can accommodate 667 litres of luggage. If you lower the rear seats (they work on a 60:40 split to provide a level platform) you can accommodate 1,887 litres of luggage. This is more spacious than a five door Land Rover Freelander which boasts 546 litres of load space with the seats up and 1,319 litres with the seats down. The front seat will also fold down so that you can accommodate longer items such as skis or a surfboard. The Sportage also has roof rails as standard so, if it won’t fit inside there is always the roof. Another good feature is the split rear tailgate which enables you to keep the main tailgate firmly shift and open only the top glass half to access the boot. The boot has a large cargo net and is protected by a load cover. Privacy glass is also standard on the XS model from the 'B' pillar back including the rear side door, tailgate and quarter windows.
The Sportage is also equipped with luggage and cargo lamps.
In addition to the boot there are a number of storage areas including a large centre console with two-stage tray top, large lockable glove box, sliding tray beneath the passenger seat, dash mounted shopping hook, over-head sunglasses holder, map and bottle pockets in all four doors, seat back pockets and two cup-holders in the rear of the centre console.
In normal conditions the (4WD) four wheel drive Sportage drives only the front wheels, slipping automatically into four wheel drive wheel when one of the front wheels loses traction. The driver can lock the system into 4WD for adverse conditions at speeds under 22 mph, to give 50:50 drive between the front and rear wheels. The advantage of 4WD on demand is a saving in both fuel and wear on the car. We did not venture too far off-road as the opportunity did not arise. We did use a number of green lanes and took the Sportage to the beach to try it out. It coped very well with what we would call domestic off-road use. The Sportage’s off-road vital statistics are - approach angle 28.8 degrees, departure angle 28.9 degree and wadding depth 500 mm, compared to the Freelander’s - approach angle of 30.5 degrees, departure angle 33.9 degree and wadding depth 400 mm.
If you spend a lot of time off-road we would recommend the Land Rover Freelander but if you only require occasional light off-road use the Sportage would cope well. For those of you thinking of towing then Kia quote a maximum towing weight of 1,600 kg's braked trailer and 750 kg's unbraked.
Safety and Security
Safety equipment includes anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD), traction control with electronic stability programme (ESP) on XS models. The electronic stability program (ESP) continuously monitors the path of the vehicle. If the vehicle yaws, and over-steers or under-steers while cornering, the ESP automatically brakes an individual wheel and/or reduces engine power to restore the vehicle to the driver’s intended course
The Sportage is equipped with six airbags. Twin front, new-generation airbags are installed as standard in all models, protecting the driver and front seat passenger from injury in the event of a frontal collision. Side airbags are fitted for both front seats, their deployment controlled by sensors in the central B-Pillars. In the event of a side impact, the side airbags deploy from the seat trim to protect occupants primarily from arm and torso injuries and the possibility of being thrown through a window. Curtain Airbags, located in the A-Pillar, roof rail and C-Pillar, deploy during a side impact or rollover. They are designed to protect both front and rear occupants from head and neck injuries
All Sportage's are fitted with a perimeter alarm and engine immobiliser as standard.
Kia Sportage Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Kia Sportage 2.7 V6 XS|
|Colour||Satin Silver Metallic|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||10.5 Seconds|
|Top Speed||112 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||34.4 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3-year unlimited mileage warranty|
3-year roadside assistance package that covers you across mainland Europe as well as in the UK
6-year anti-perforation warranty (Annual bodywork inspection required for which a charge may apply)
3-year paintwork warranty
|Price (when tested on the 14/08/05)||£ 18,495 OTR|