What is it?
This is the all-new fourth-generation version of Kia’s popular SUV in expected business-friendly 1.7 CRDi KX-3 specification.
- The 1.7-litre CRDi diesel is a proven engine that gets slightly more power (114bhp) and feels punchy on the road. Yet it is well-matched to a slick six-speed manual transmission and still boasts a combined fuel consumption figure of 61.4mpg.
- The last Sportage sold on its attractive looks and although in profile the new one looks very similar, the latest work from Peter Schreyer is longer, meaning more rear room and a bigger 491 litre boot. It’s at the front you’ll see the biggest departure from the last Kia Sportage. How? Well, there’s a much larger version of the ‘tiger nose’, distinct headlights placed up the more sculpted bonnet. Overall, in our opinion, it’s a much more assertive, masculine design than the old one – just not as attractive.
- It seems like every Kia is better built and finished than the last and the interior of the new Sportage is the best yet. The soft touch slush plastics that cover the dashboard and tops of the door trims is surely the match of Europe’s best and all the switchgear works well enough and feels built to last.
- Choose the KX-3, Kia’s mid-range model and you’ll not want for standard kit. Standard equipment includes an eight-inch touch-screen navigation system, 19-inch alloy wheels, black leather trim, heated rear seats and a JBL sound system.
- The Sportage’s driving position is comfortable, largely because of the adjustable steering column and sculpted front seats.
- Hit the road and the new Sportage is more fun to drive. This is thanks to its new power steering system and with the electric motor positioned on the rack, it seems a lot more precise and responsive. There is some body roll, which considering the tall body isn’t really a surprise. Still there’s plenty of grip and only when you go past that limit do things get untidy.
- The £24,750 price of our KX-3 front-wheel drive Sportage impresses when compared to rivals, especially when you consider the amount of standard equipment and the reassurance of that 7-year warranty.
- The 1.7 CRDi engine might have more power, refinement also might be much improved, but we still think too much diesel chug makes it into the Kia’s cabin. The 119g/km emissions are also disappointing when compared to rivals.
- Okay, so that new nose might add useful aggression, but we think it’s a bit too fussy and that the last-generation car is the better looker.
- Inside, we like the Kia’s soft, slush finish plastics for the dashboard and tops of doors. However you don’t have to move far down the Sportage’s dashboard before you’re met with harder, shinier, scratchier plastics which look like they’ll mark easily. We’re not fans of the mini-Sorento dashboard design either, with the upright eight-inch touch screen dominating.
- We’ll give the eight-inch touch screen navigation system in our early test car the benefit of the doubt, but we experienced total failure on the Spanish test route and had to do a hard re-set to get it to work again.
The new Kia Sportage has been improved in all the right areas and is now better made, more spacious and with the improved steering an enhanced drive.
But how does it compare to key rival – the Nissan Qashqai? Closest model to this 1.7 CRDi KX-3, is the 108bhp 1.5 dCi in Tekna trim. The Kia gets off to a good start by being cheaper by over £1,000, it is also slightly more powerful.
However, for an SME, the emissions and tax band are going to be key and this is where the Nissan makes more sense with 103g/km and an 18% charge versus the Kia’s worse 21% charge and 119g/km emissions.
Kia Sportage 1.7 CRDi KX-3 review
The Low Down…..
|Doors and body style||Five-door SUV|
|Engine/gearbox:||1.7-litre, four-cylinder turbo-diesel/Six-speed manual|
|0-62mph/top speed:||11.1secs/ 109mph|
…..and what it costs
|P11D Value||£ 24,695|
|Monthly business rental (ex VAT)||From £N/A (3yrs/30,000 miles)|
|Road tax (VED)||Band C|
|Company Car Tax Bands 2015/16 to 2017/18||21%, 23%, 25%|
|Benefit in kind 2015/16 to 2017/18||£5,186, £5,680, £6,174|
|Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (20%)||£928 /£77|
|Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (40%)||£1,856 /£155|
|Annual/monthly company car tax (20%)||£1,037/£86|
|Annual/monthly company car tax (40%)||£2,074/£173|
|Figures correct at time of posting||February 2016|
|For latest figures||Use our company car tax calculator|