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Kia Sportage Reviews



After a few short years selling its Pride supermini and Mentor family car, Kia expanded its range in 1995 with the introduction of the Sportage, a compact 4x4. It undercut not only the Vauxhall Frontera and Toyota RAV4, but Suzuki's big-selling Vitara. Though the Sportage has sold steadily since, the lack of a three-door version prevented it eating into the sales of these important rivals. The other important ingredient missing from Kia's recipe has been the lack of a big promotional push and the small, if growing, number of dealers. The company's range offers superb value for money and the Sportage, in particular, is possibly one of the new and used car market's best-kept secrets.

Models Covered: Sportage - July 1995-to 2003 (2.0 five-door estate [S, SX, SLX, GLX, GSX, GLX SE, XSE, Executive, Executive SE])

The Sportage arrived here in July 1995, in a choice of three versions - SLX, GLX or GLX SE. All were 2.0-litre, four-cylinder four-wheel drive estates and the range has stayed with the one engine ever since. A new Executive SE flagship model was launched in October 1996, as well as a premium-priced special edition version. This latter version was called the Karmann Sport and took its name from the German coach-building company that builds the Sportage for Europe and also assembles Volkswagen's Golf cabriolet. There were only 250 Karmann Sports built but a follow-up, the Karmann Sport SE, appeared in mid 1997 equipped with air conditioning and a price tag close to £20,000. The range was slightly revised in mid-1999 to incorporate just three models - S, SX and GSX, but there were no mechanical changes. For 2000, front and rear styling was slightly altered, there were new side mouldings and all but the entry-level S model came with two-tone paint. A two-stage spare wheel carrier mechanism improved rear door access to the load area. In 2002 an XSE special edition model was launched and Kia revised the range line up early in 2003 by making the XSE part of the mainstream Sportage range and deleting all other trim levels. The XSE's star burned briefly, and the Sportage range was retired from active duty in Spring 2003 but it wasn't until 2005 that its replacement arrived.

Inside, there's plenty of space for four adults to be comfortable - five would be a bit of a squeeze. Just as comfortable, in fact, as they would be in any ordinary family saloon. The Sportage has always had a reputation for luxury equipment - a Thatcham Category II vehicle immobiliser, front and rear electric windows, electric mirrors, a stereo radio cassette player, a rear wash/wipe and central locking, all come as standard. The GLX models get alloy wheels, anti-lock brakes and an RDS stereo, while the GLX SE also has air conditioning. However, airbags have always been absent from the list and, though the 2000 model year left-hand drive cars have them (along with a redesigned dashboard), they have yet to be introduced in RHD cars sold in the UK.

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Both engine and transmission are durable, provided scheduled maintenance has been undertaken. Check the service records and don't forget the basic checks like a walk around the car to check for accident damage. Convenience features like electric windows, mirrors and door-locks should all be checked as it's amazing how fiddly they can be to put right. Overall, though, Korean cars are built every bit as solidly and reliably as the Japanese these days, so a Sportage is as safe a bet as its competitors.

(Based on a 1996 SLX) A full exhaust system, excluding catalytic converter will be about £140. Brake pads front and rear are about £40 a set, a starter motor is about £110 and an alternator around £130. You'll need around £85 for a new door mirror, roughly £120 for a radiator and about £115 for a replacement windscreen. As for servicing, a major one will be about £230, an intermediate £135 and a minor one, close to £90.

Much like the way it drives and the roomy interior, performance is comparable to a family saloon. Don't forget the Sportage sits higher on the road than family saloons though, so expect a bit more body roll. For the record, rest to sixty takes 14.7 seconds on the way to a maximum of 103mph. At the pumps, you can expect to average anything between 20-30mpg, depending on the type of journey. Though the ground clearance is nowhere near that of something like a Shogun or Discovery, the Sportage is more than capable of holding its own off-road. Indeed, many drivers of full-sized 4X4 would do well to try the Kia on and off the beaten-track. As a used buy, it makes a lot more sense than many bigger, unwieldy and gas-guzzling all-wheel drive estates.

Looks, decent on and off-road abilities and good fuel consumption make the Sportage one of the more sensible used 4x4s.

Kia Sportage Videos

Kia Sportage Images


The Kia Sportage is one of Kia's best selling models! This Crossover-wagon not only looks great but rides a dream too. Coming in either petrol or diesel engines with a range of engine seizes and transmissions - you will be lost for choice when picking out your new Kia Sportage car leasing agreement. As with all Kia's this car also comes with a 7-year warranty - you wont find better than that!

Kia Sportage Key Points

The Kia Sportage was first released way back in 1993! Since then it has had a complete facelift to make it look more modern and stylish - and that it does! Now in its 3rd generation, the Kia Sportage has a gorgeous exterior with a glossy paint and a dynamic design to attract attention to itself. The Kia Sportage comes can come in a wide choice of engine sizes including a 1.6 GDi, 2.0CRDo KX-1, 1.7 CRDi 1, 1.6 GDi 2, 1.7 CRDi 3 or why not go for a 2.0 CRDi KX-3 5door Automatic including a Sat Nav kit? As well as these models there are 4 Special Edition models to choose from; 1.6 GDi 5dr Black Edition or White Edition and a 1.7 CRDi Black Edition and White Edition - grab a fantastic lease deal while you can!

Why Lease a Kia Sportage

Leasing a Kia Sportage has never been better as you will see yourself getting on average of 42.6mph, 114mph and 0-62mph in just 10.3 seconds! Not bad for a car of its size and type. Coming with a trendy comfortable interior as a standard there's no option to upgrade - not that youd need to! The drivers seat is supportive so that you maintain correct posture when driving to go along with this the steering wheel can also be easily adjusted. A Kia Sportage makes a great car to lease due to it already being packed with loads of premium features at no extra cost, the basic models come including alloys, air-con, powered windows. a rain sensor, blue tooth system and cruise control. One step up from that will get yourself parking sensors, a sunroof and part-leather seats. If you want to go all out and indulge yourself with luxury upgrade to a grade 3 trim and grab yourself full leather interior, climate control and xenon headlights. Plenty of reasons to lease a Kia Sportage!

Five reasons to lease a Kia Sportage

  • 7-year Kia Warranty
  • Basic trim comes packed with loads of features
  • Drives smoothly 
  • Good mpg for a Crossover car
  • Lots of engines and trim choices


To conclude, the Kia Sportage is a great car to lease due to it coming with lots of features in a basic trim, getting good miles to the galon and for having a stylish exterioir with a comfortable interior. With all this packed into one car - what more could you need? With cheap monthly payments, theres never been a better time for you to get your hands on one of the best cars going, the Kia Sportage. Why not head over to the Kia Sportage leasing hub to view some videos, pictures and read up some in-depth reviews? 


As good as we are At All Car Leasing we can’t possibly know everything about the Kia Sportage, so for further information on the Kia Sportage why not check out the following resources –

The official Kia Sportage page

The Kia Sportage reviews on AutoTrader

Kia Sportage owner’s club.