Compact SUVs abound. The choice on the market is huge, and only your budget and needs will help you make an informed decision. Of the many vehicles available, some are somewhat lost in the crowd. Yet it's not for a lack of quality, as the Kia Sportage demonstrates.
Lightly updated in 2009, the Sportage is certainly a logical and affordable choice, as is its twin, the Hyundai Tucson. But it isn't perfect.
A distinct design
The Sportage's design has evolved very little. Completely revamped a few years ago, it's been lightly revised for 2009, at least as far as the cabin goes. The front grille has been updated, for instance, but the real changes end there.
Which is not entirely a bad thing, as the Kia Sportage was already doing pretty well on that front. Its rounded rocker panels and small extra rear window gave it something that the other models in its class lack.
Nothing overly refined or modern, to be sure, but its style is still distinct enough as to be immediately recognizable, which is quite sufficient in this segment.
Inside, the changes are a bit more striking, but not excessive for as much. A few controls have been touched up with improved ergonomics, but nothing else.
In this regard also, the Sportage was already efficient and relatively spacious compared to its competitors. The choice of materials is perhaps questionable, namely the extremely hard plastic that makes up the dash board and the slightly cheap leather that adorns the seats, but considering the sales price, this is understandable.
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