But of course there are other reasons for driving a diesel over a petrol engine, one being towing. The diesel engine produces 183lb ft of torque at 1800 rpm - 2500 rpm, which makes the Sportage ideal for towing. For example the 2.0 petrol only produces 136lb ft of torque at the higher 4500 rpm. All Sportage's are capable of towing a braked trailer of 1600 kg's, unbraked 750 kg's.
The petrol 2.0 litre Sportage is 0.7 seconds quicker from 0-62 mph at 11.3 seconds compared 12 seconds for the diesel - the top speed slightly less at 108 mph and 110 mph respectively.
Kia quotes a CO2 rating of 187 g/km which is quite low (good) when compared to other 4x4 competitors, although the engine is only Euro III-compliant, which might affect company car drivers.
Overall we quite liked the diesel engine, it isn't as urgent as some of the competitors, especially in the mid-range but it is quite competent. It isn’t particularly noisy when it warmed up either, so depending on your mileage and use, it might make a more sensible bet over the 2.0 petrol, which by all accounts is quite harsh.
We did find the Sportage well weighted and when you become accustomed to the higher centre of gravity compared to a family saloon you could make good progress through all but the most demanding of bends. We doubt that you would have been that far behind an average family saloon over our favourite test roads, bearing in mind that caution needs to be shown. The Sportage has good levels of grip and although body roll is evident, it is in check and cornering can be quite fluid.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
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