After the mediocre first-generation Sportage, Kia's second take on the model was a massive improvement. Chunkier looks, a decent diesel engine, OK dynamics and plenty of standard kit made the Sportage a tempting proposition. It wasn't class leading, but when it came to reliability, few 4x4s had a better reputation. It's handy in the rough too, and offers plenty of cabin space, so if you're looking for a 4x4 and you're not out to impress anyone, check out the Sportage.
12/04: The second-generation Sportage reaches showrooms with 2.0 or 2.7 V6 petrol engines, or a 2.0CRDi diesel.
1/06: There's now a high-output 2.0CRDi available, with 138bhp instead of 111bhp.
4/07: The limited-run Titan arrives.
7/07: The Xi special edition debuts.
10/07: There's now a two-wheel drive option, with an automatic gearbox only. From here, all 2.0CRDi editions have the 138bhp engine and a six-speed manual gearbox (previously a five-speed).
4/08: The XR limited edition appears.
8/08: A facelift brings a redesigned grille, headlamps, tail lights, alloys plus modified wheelarches. There's extra standard equipment too.
Kia Sportage (2004-2010) Checklist
- The brake pad wear sensor doesn't always work, leading to the brake discs getting damaged. Listen for untoward noises when braking.
- The gearchange can become very stiff, with gear selection frustratingly difficult.
- Be wary of a noisy gearbox too; complete failure is not unknown.
- Diesel injectors can seize and/or fail.
- Ample kit levels
- Spacious cabin
We Don't Like
- Lacklustre image
- So-so dynamics
- Cheap cabin plastics