Wow, what a few day’s it has been here in MotorMartin Towers as I’ve been in the rather fortunate position of spending a week and around 500 miles in the rather special Kia Sportage seen above and, if I’m honest, the week has absolutely flown by. The Kia has been given many opportunities to prove its worth, taking part in the kind of ‘real life’ motoring that you and I have to do during the average week. The Kia has performed marvellously throughout each and every task and not once did it cry, “I’m a Kia, get me out of here!” Very impressive.
But let’s take a step back for a moment and look at MotorMartin’s time with the Sportage and my driving driving impressions. In part 1 of Kia Sportage 1.7 CRDi ‘2’ Eco: Everyday Is Like Sunday, MotorMartin had a brief look at the history behind Kia and it’s formation before focusing on the Sportage 1.7 CRDi ‘2’ Eco that you see before you, particularly the innovative new styling that this Mark 4 rocks up with. Infact, during part 1 of this review, linked above, and highlighted on Kia Sportage 1.7 CRDi ‘2’ Eco: All You Need Is Me. YouTube. It’s this bold new styling that creates quite a first impression and encourages you to step up and inside the airy cabin.
At £22, 050 for this, the 1.7 CRDi ‘2’ Eco specification model, MotorMartin thinks that Kia are offering excellent value for money. Look at what you get, Black Premium Cloth Upholstery, Cruise Control and Speed Limiter, Leather Trimmed Door Armrests, Leather Trimmed Steering Dual Automatic Air Conditioning With Ioniser, Steering Wheel Mounted Controls, Reversing Sensors, USB & AUX Ports for Connection of Audio Media Devices, Bluetooth with Music Streaming, DAB Radio, Reversing Camera System, SAT NAV. And that’s just for staters. This really is a well thought out SUV from Kia.
In reverse order then, there’s plenty of room in the rear of this Sportage with seating for three adults and if you, like me, have the stereotypical two children, they’ll have no problem getting comfortable as Kia have seen fit to provide them with plenty of leg and head room as well as a pair of cup holders in the central armrest that hides away into the rear seat as is common in this type of vehicle today. The seats themselves, both front and rear, offer excellent comfort and support and allow distances to be covered without any aches and pains making themselves known as you finish your journey. Excellent.
Travelling around West Yorkshire and beyond in the very impressive Kia Sportage 1.7 CRDi ‘2’ Eco you are immediately struck by one or two things. The first, is the remarkably comfortable driving position previously mentioned and how easy it is to adjust the seat and steering wheel so that they are just right. The second is the driving position itself. As is the way with most mid sized SUV, you are seated fairly high compared with a conventional car but this has the rather obvious benefit regarding visibility and safety as you, the driver, are able to see much further along the road than usual and can therefore plan your driving to match the road and conditions much more accurately.
This also makes it far easier to maintain momentum and therefore efficiency, as with careful use of the throttle and brakes you can limit energy sapping bursts of acceleration and braking, thus saving diesel and rather helpfully, increasing your mpg. In fact over a week and 500 or so varied miles with the Kia, MotorMartin regularly archived figures of 50 plus mpg. Not too shabby at all especially as very few of these miles were completed at a constant speed on one of the many motorways that cross cross this green and pleasant land.
Dynamically, the Kia Sportage is a hit as it manages to combine both suppleness of ride with a fairly sporty nature, resisting the urge to wallow and float across the bumps and dips of a typical British road, especially when you’re, shall we say, pressing on a little. A feat that is all the more impressive when you consider that this 1.7 CRDi is the model that Kia feel will be the most popular amongst the UK consumer. To have given it such a responsive chassis and suspension set up, one that is clearly tuned to the ‘real life’ motoring needs of the driver, shows great faith in the UK consumer and, in MotorMartin’s eyes, is a design decision to be applauded.
As a final treat for the Sportage, MotorMartin headed out with the family along the A650 towards the historic town of Skipton before continuing out into the Yorkshire Dales, passing along the way, rather incredibly, a procession of ten Mclarens line astern in Settle. Out in the incredible countryside that makes up this amazing part of the World, the Kia Sportage was really in its element. The raised driving position, punchy and responsive diesel motor and well placed gears allow you to really enjoy the drive, feedback through the suspension and steering allow you to gauge exactly what’s going with the Kia meaning that as long as you’re driving within the limits of the road and conditions, you’ll never approach the edge of what this Sportage is really capable of and for a family car, this is excellent news indeed.
With the easy to use SAT NAV guiding MotorMartin towards Hawes and the return journey back to Bradford, taking in the incredible Ribblehead Viaduct along the way, this really was a day to remember and I’m glad that the Kia Sportage 1.7 CRDi ‘2’ Eco was along for the drive.
What I like about the Kia is that everything works and will continue to work for the foreseeable future, whilst offering the driver plenty of technology and style along the way. The Kia has been a more than faithful companion on trips to school, shopping and more adventurous days out and has coped with it all admirably and with genuine class. It’s also difficult to not mention the superb warranty that you get with all Kia’s is still a real game changer for the UK market and gives the buyer another reason to enter the Kia showroom, after all, 7 years or 100,000 miles is an incredible offer and shows how much faith Kia has in their products.
Now MotorMartin has been in the fortunate position recently of testing a number of medium sized SUVs and taking them through a variety of different uses and it is the Sportage that has really impressed. It’s stylish, well specified, an engaging drive and economic. And for the price, I’d say that ticks all the boxes. Well done Kia, and thank you Sportage.
Where will you go.