The Kia Sportage 1.7 CRDi has continued to impress during its stay on the Fleet News test fleet over the past few months.
User-choosers will be persuaded by its good looks thanks to the handy work of German designer Peter Schreyer, who designed the original Audi TT coupe.
However, great design has been backed up with impressive fuel economy and emissions, despite its SUV credentials.
As part of Kia’s EcoDynamics label the car is equipped with stop/start technology, boasts emissions of 135g/km and has been achieving between 41-46mpg against a claimed combined of 54.3mpg.
This compares well to one of its closest rivals, the Nissan Qashqai, which has a claimed combined of 57.6mpg and emissions of 130g/km on its entry-level 1.5 dCi 2WD Pure Drive.
Nevertheless, what has continued to impress me throughout its time on our test fleet is how much the Sportage drives like a much smaller car, with plenty of grip and a composed ride, while easily seating five people in comfort.
However, ample seating has not been detrimental to boot space, which at 564 litres compares extremely favourably to the Nissan Qashqai’s 410-litre boot.
Entry-level features also stack up well against its competitors considering LED daytime running lights, heated door mirrors, Downhill Brake Control (DBC), Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), cruise control, leather-covered steering wheel and gearlever knob, USB/aux ports with iPod cable and Bluetooth all come as standard.
In our ‘2’ trim version these are complemented by roof rails and privacy glass for the rear windows and tailgate, panoramic sunroof, reversing sensors and part-leather upholstery.
If you want full leather then you’ll need to choose trim ‘3’, which also throws in heated front and rear seats, xenon headlights, dual-zone climate control and 18in wheels.
But whichever trim you choose, it all adds up to a vehicle which offers highly competitive running costs giving it strong appeal for both drivers and fleets.