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Used Kia Sportage Review

15 Dec 2022

With prices starting at a budget-pleasing £10,000 and probably the best warranty in the business, the Mk4 (2016-2021) Kia Sportage is understandably a hugely popular used car. As well as its attention-grabbing styling, it’s reliable, economic, practical and has an excellent level of equipment for the price. A facelift in 2018, which introduced a range of more efficient engines, raised the desirability of a used Kia Sportage further, making this crossover SUV worthy of serious consideration.   

But if you’re on the lookout for a second-hand Kia Sportage, where should you start? Here’s our guide to the best engines and trim levels and how much a good used Kia Sportage will set you back.  

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Seven-year warranty
  • A good level of equipment
  • Well-made interior
  • Spacious, family-sized SUV

Cons

  • Boot space is smaller than some rivals
  • Rivals can be more fun to drive
  • Underpowered petrol engines

How does it look?

We like the Sportage’s styling, but not everyone does. The big grille, chunky bumpers and slim headlights can be divisive. However, the rear has neat proportions and crisp detailing, while the clean side profile is everything you’d expect from an upmarket SUV. It’s ageing well, too, and is still stylish enough to turn a few heads as you cruise through the neighbourhood.

On the inside, the used Kia Sportage does show some signs of ageing, but overall it’s easy to live with, comfortable and practical. Even with the entry-level specs, there’s more equipment than you might expect, and although the large touchscreen mounted on the dashboard may look a bit dated, the continually upgraded infotainment tech keeps it bang up to date. 

There’s also plenty of space up front and more than enough head and leg room for two passengers in the big back. The Sportage also has a large boot, although it’s not quite as cavernous as some of its rivals, with a low-loading lip and a big opening that makes it easy to use.  

What’s it like to drive? 

A used Kia Sportage may not be quite as fun to drive as some of its rivals, such as the Mazda CX-5, but it’s incredibly easy. The lofty driving position and light controls make negotiating even the tightest turns and parking in the narrowest of spots a breeze. 

As a family-friendly SUV, Kia has prioritised comfort and stability over sharpness, so the Sportage doesn’t always provide much feedback at speed. However, it feels secure, safe and predictable to drive. It also has plenty of grip, with the regular 17-inch alloy wheels providing the smoothest ride on bumpier roads. And even the diesel engines produce little in the way of wind and road noise, particularly on the motorways. 

Is a second-hand Kia Sportage reliable?

The Mk4 Kia Sportage is well-made and is likely to be a very reliable used family car. There have been a few reported issues with non-engine electrics, such as the sat-nav system, but the Sportage should be trouble-free. 

The Mk4 Sportage finished ninth out of 75 cars in the Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, with its reliability and build quality receiving special praise. There’s also the small matter of that splendid seven-year, 100,000 warranty, which is transferable to a second owner to give you unrivalled peace of mind. 

Which is the best used Kia Sportage to buy? 

When the Mk4 Sportage was first released, there were two petrol engines and three diesels to choose from. The petrol engines included a 128bhp 1.6-litre and a more powerful 174bhp turbocharged version, while the diesels were a 1.7-litre 114bhp unit and a 2.0-litre engine with 134bhp or 182bhp. Of those, the 1.7-litre diesel was the best seller. The facelift in 2018 made some slight revisions, with the 1.7-litre diesel replaced by a more efficient 1.6-litre diesel with 114bhp or 134bhp. 

Of those, we prefer the added grunt of the diesel engines, with the 1.7-litre unit providing a smooth, impressive and economical ride. Both of the more recent 1.6-litre diesels are an improvement on the 1.7 if your budget will stretch to a preowned Kia Sportage from 2018.  

Spec-wise, the Sportage doesn’t make it particularly easy. There are six specs to choose from, the 1, 2, 3, 4, First Edition and GT-Line. Of these, the next-to-entry-level 2 trim provides plenty of driving features, such as road sign recognition software, lane-keeping assistance, rear parking sensors and a reversing camera.  

How much is a used Kia Sportage? 

When you’re shopping around for a used Mk4 Kia Sportage for sale, you can expect to see the earliest models with a high mileage available for around £10,000, although it’s worth upping that for a 2016 car with average mileage and a full-service history. 

Spend a bit more, around £11,000 to £12,000, and you’re looking at a 2017 car with a good choice of trims or £14,000 for a nice 2018 model. If you want something newer, you’ll spend upwards of £16,000 for a 2019 Sportage, £18,000 or more for a car from 2020 and at least £21,000 for something from 2021.     

 

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