This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Kia Sportage (16-21) review.

Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

Powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine – featured previously in the Mazda 626 – the Kia Sportage is a decent off-road performer, due to its 4×4 capabilities, but is a little too sluggish on A-Roads to be considered a true all-rounder. Despite its smooth sprint and 104mph top-speed, it’s an apprehensive lane changer, making motorway journeys a little frustrating and tedious.

The boxy exterior is also heavily affected by crosswinds, increasing fuel consumption and blunting acceleration.

The switchable four-wheel-drive system provides good traction in adverse conditions, giving added assurance when needed, but the sub-standard turning circle is poor, making tight turns cumbersome and sloppy. Although the power steering is useful, it feels a touch too light on occasions and driving sensitivity is numbed as a result. Body roll is not a major concern, but is certainly evident if corners are taken too sharply or quickly.