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Kia Sportage (05 - 10)
Full Road Test
If you're looking to buy an off-roader on a tight budget then it's hard to fault the Sportage, which offers very good value compared to more prestigious rivals.
And, providing your expectations are realistic, it's an impressive car for the money, too. The tough-looking design shares some of the Lexus RX300 design cues of the bigger Kia Sorento, but it's certainly not an unpleasant visual prospect.
By contrast the interior feels a bit downmarket, with old-fashioned design and some very cheap-looking materials. Front and rear seat occupants both enjoy reasonable space, though, and luggage capacity is generous.
It's nothing like as sharp to drive as the best of its rivals, suffering from vague, over-light steering and hard suspension that gives a crashy ride quality over poor road surfaces. Motorway cruising is loud, too, with a combination of road and wind noise making its presence felt in the cabin.
Buyers are only able to choose between two engines - a petrol and diesel, both in 2.0 litre form. Most buyers sensibly opt for the diesel versions.