For most car makers, it's merely very important these days to have a credible range of SUV Crossover models on offer in the showrooms. For Kia though, the provision of such thing is fundamental to its fortunes, the brand increasingly associated with this car, the Sportage. It's a spacious family-sized Qashqai-class model that we're going to look at here in the original post-2016 version of its fourth generation guise.
The earliest Sportage model dates back to 1993, but it wasn't until the launch of the third generation version in 2010 that buyers began really taking it seriously. More than any other model, the MK3 design turned Kia's fortunes around - to the point where by the time of the launch of its successor - this car - in early 2016, the Sportage was accounting for nearly a third of the brand's total sales volume in this country.
So the Koreans had to get this car right. Did they? Pretty much. The styling aimed for a more up-market Germanic feel, something you'll also find in the ergonomic cabin. Plus, big steps forward were made in terms of electronic safety provision and media connectivity. Under the bonnet, there were fewer changes with this MK4 design, but a potent 1.6-litre T-GDI petrol turbo powerplant was added to the range, one of the key engines buyers could order with the line-up's sportiest 'GT-Line' trim level. With that variant, you get a look properly reflective of handling changes to steering and suspension that aimed to give all models the kind of firmer, more dynamic feel that Kia thinks Crossover customers want.
The original version of this MK4 Sportage sold until mid-2018, when it was significantly updated. It's the earlier version of this design we look at here.