Kia Sportage MPV

The new Kia Sportage was released in 2010 but it is only really gaining momentum in 2011, which is surprising given that it out-does its rivals from Ford, Audi, Citroen and Peugeot in the looks department. Speaking of those striking looks, the Audi TT designer Peter Schreyer is responsible for them and he's really hit the nail on the head with this one, again.

Kia Sportage MPV

** Kia Sportage **

The Hyundai x35 is said to share the same platform when it is released but for now the Kia has really made a stand in the MPV game. The angular yet smooth front and rear ends are fabulous and as the windscreen is steeply raked, it will help visibility and give more room in the cabin. The new Sportage is lower, wider and longer than before, which gives it an aggressive stance but also makes it more versatile, too.

It has allowed for easier access to the vehicle for passengers and for loading the boot, which incidentally, is more than ample for your bags and other items. With the same platform as the Hyundai x35 the Sportage may have a 7-Seater version in the future.

Kia Sportage - Interior

Inside, the story just gets better, the dash is simple, functional and looks just as dramatic as the exterior. The buttons are nicely within reach and well-laid out, for on-the-move radio station changes. The seats are some of the finest around, even sports car makers should take note, as they are supportive yet comfortable and look great.

Kia Sportage – Engines

There are two engines to choose from to power your new Kia Sportage; a 2.0-litre petrol engine with 161bhp or a 134bhp 2.0-litre diesel. With either configuration, you can opt for manual or automatic gears, and two- or four-wheel drive. With those sporty looks and solid, aggressive stance, most Sportages will no doubt never see any muddy trails in their lifetime, so four-wheel drive is probably not needed. There will be two more engines available, the 1.7-litre 113bhp diesel and the 1.6-litre 138bhp petrol engine, but the choice motors would be either of the more powerful ones. The latter units will have stop-start technology and will be the economically-focused engines.

Kia Sportage – Road Grip

There must be a downside, I hear you ask, and there is. The handling of the Sportage is a little off-putting. It doesn't grip the road as well as you'd like, especially compared to a Zafira or a C-Max, which is mainly due to the fact of the electro-hydraulic steering.

Kia Sorento

** Kia Sorento **

It returns a vague, lifeless amount of information back to the driver which simply does not instil any confidence in it. Of course, you're not going to drive a Sportage quickly, but you do need it to be a little more feel-some when it comes to turns. And the rear window is small. That's it, no more downsides.

Kia Sportage - Seven Year Warranty

As Kia is renowned for offering a seven year warranty and doesn't charge an exorbitant price for new purchases, the new Sportage starting at £17,000 is a bargain. If you can deal with the wayward handling but love the looks, the price, the efficient yet gutsy engines, then Kia's new seven-seater is a well-rounded SUV.

Kia Seven Seaters

The Sportage is not currently a seven seat MPV. It only has five seats. The slightly larger but similar looking Sorento does have two flip up seats making it a a seven seat MPV. Kia Seven Seaters include the Compact Carens, Sporty Sorento (4wd) and the rather large Sedona.

More Kia MPVs