Kia Sportage (2004-2010)

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.

Key Dates

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.

We Like

  • Value
  • Ample kit levels
  • Spacious cabin
  • Reliability

We Don't Like

  • Lacklustre image
  • So-so dynamics
  • Cheap cabin plastics