The Kia Sportage SUV (sports utility vehicle) has proven to be a major success, becoming the South Korean company’s biggest-selling model in the UK, Europe and globally.

I ran the rule over the latest iteration, the all-new fifth generation of the model, launched this year. There are five model grades, with nine powertrains (including hybrids) and a choice of 18 different versions, all comprehensively equipped. My car for a week-long road test was the 1.6 T-GDi 3.

Style file
The latest Sportage has plenty of kerb appeal, with a sleek yet muscular exterior design. The car has crisp, dynamic lines giving it presence, and there is a choice of ten colours. The front features distinctive, futuristic-styled, boomerang-shaped LED daytime running lights.

The strong road presence continues at the rear, with a muscular, swooping fastback design that flows into the rear lamps, crafted to give the impression that they cut into the body with fine precision.

Inside story
The interior feels beautifully sculpted from high quality materials. A signature strip that runs across the dashboard and onto the door panels gives the car a luxurious appearance.

Slip behind the wheel and you are greeted by a bold, integrated curved display featuring twin high-definition 12.3in screens, giving a near cinematic experience. Roomy and comfortable, the cabin of the Sportage is a pleasing place to be, with quality black cloth and faux leather upholstery.

There is a wealth of lovely standard  kit on board, including automatic headlight control, rain-sensing wipers, power-folding, heated door mirrors with LED indicators, multi-zone climate control, illuminated vanity mirrors for the sun visors, power-adjustable heated front seats (the outer rear seats are also heated), leather-trimmed heated steering wheel, cruise control and speed limiter, reversing camera system, front and rear parking sensors, sat nav in one of the 12.3in displays, USB ports and a suite of audio, communication, information and connectivity features.

Safety? Features include downhill brake control, electronic stability control, forward collision avoidance assist, lane following assist and lane-keeping assist, and intelligent speed limit assist.

Practicality? The rear seats fold down in a 40/20/40 split, there is a centre console storage box with cupholders that fold inside it at the touch of a button, cupholders in the rear armrests, two 12-volt power sockets (front centre fascia and luggage compartment) and luggage-net hooks. Luggage capacity is 591 litres with the rear seatbacks in place and 1,780 litres with them folded down.

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On the road
The Sportage feels sure-footed, quiet and refined, and at home in all driving conditions from the tootle around town to the motorway haul. 

The 1.6-litre, four-cylinder, 16-valve petrol engine delivers 148bhp and, mated to an easy-shifting, six-speed manual gearbox, lays down its power smoothly via front-wheel drive, with 0-62mph in 9.9 seconds and a top speed of 113 mph. Combined fuel consumption is 41.5mpg and the CO2 figure is 154 g/km (all manufacturer’s figures).

Tech time
The advanced engine features Continuous Variable Valve Duration, a sophisticated technology that improves performance, fuel economy and emissions.

With its mix of ease-of-use, interior space, and the reassuring feel of raised ride-height, the SUV genre has long been a go-to for families and many others, with the Sportage proving a major favourite.

The latest car, which boasts Kia’s seven-year warranty, continues to deliver on all those fronts and certainly ticks the boxes marked, ‘style’, ‘comfort’ and ‘great features’. A thoroughly pleasing, confidence-inspiring drive.

Price: £30,975 OTR