Road test: 2013 Kia Sportage Max Earey

The handsome Sportage is a well-equipped SUV for the money-conscious but style-savvy customer. It comes with a long 7-year warranty and Kia's reputation for making bulletproof engines. But does it have what it takes to go up against the likes of the Skoda Yeti and Nissan Qashqai? AOL Cars investigates.

What is it?

Kia's top-selling SUV, with much of its recent success down to Chief Design Director Peter Schreyer's sharp looks and the industry-leading seven-year warranty. The Sportage shares some of its underpinnings with sister car, the Hyundai ix35.

What's under the bonnet?

There's the choice of either a four-cylinder 1.6 or 2.0-litre petrols with 133 and 161bhp respectively. Diesel models start with the 114bhp 1.7 CRDi or the 2.0-CRDi diesel, in 134 or 181bhp states of tune. Our KX-2 AWD test car was fitted with the 134bhp unit.

What's the kit like?

Impressive, but standard kit including electric windows, air-conditioning and Bluetooth can't hide the fact that the Kia's interior feels cheap in places and the plastics in particular are very disappointing.

Any rivals?

The SUV segment is becoming increasingly more congested and with the brilliant Skoda Yeti and tried-and-tested Nissan Qashqai also in the group, purchasing a Sportage will be down to looks rather than ability. Honda, Renault and Peugeot have upcoming "soft-roaders" so expect that decision to become even harder.

Is it any good?

It's more like a car than an SUV, the ride is comfortable but there's so much body movement on bumpy roads that it can be uncomfortable to drive. The steering also lacks feel and too much road and wind noise makes its way into the cabin.

The AOL Cars verdict

The Sportage might not be the best to drive, but it could be the best-looking and with the attraction of the long warranty and high standard equipment levels, the Kia is a keen ownership package. It is also reasonably competent off-road too.

The Knowledge:

Model: Kia Sportage 2.0-litre KX-2 AWD
Price: £24,325 Engine: 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbodiesel
Power: 134bhp, 320Nm
Max speed: 112mph
0-60mph: 10.9s
MPG: 49.6mpg
Emissions:149g/km