The Kia Sportage 1.7 CRDi is coming to the end of its time on the Fleet News fleet and I have to admit it will be sorely missed.
It’s continued to deliver a stress-free driving experience during the 10,000 miles I’ve clocked up behind the wheel both on the motorway and in town.
And, while I admit I was immediately persuaded by its imposing grill and large sweptback headlamps, being smitten by the handy work of German designer Peter Schreyer, who designed the original Audi TT coupe, was never going to be enough to win it a place on the nation’s fleets.
However, there’s been more to this car than a pretty façade, with fuel economy and emissions that continue to impress considering its SUV credentials.
At 135g/km and achieving 46.3mpg, against a claimed combined of 54.3mpg, it has compared well to one of its closest rivals, the Nissan Qashqai, which boasts a claimed combined of 57.6mpg and emissions of 130g/km on its entry-level 1.5 dCi 2WD Pure Drive.
And, as an SUV it was also going to be roomy inside, but the Sportage really does seat five people in comfort, while not compromising its boot space of 564 litres.
But given its high riding stance it has always surprised me how it actually drives like a much smaller car with plenty of grip and a composed ride - an experience which was shared by fleet managers, who climbed behind the wheel of the Sportage at CCIA.
Its Korean makers really have found a winning a formula with the Sportage, but before I get accused of gushing praise, was there anything that Kia could do better?
Yes there was, because it would be remiss of me not to mention the sunroof – an option on our test car – which can only be described as noisy.
On first driving the car, the sound of air rushing in through a closed sunroof saw the vehicle returned to the manufacturer for closer inspection. But on its return, while the volume level had depleted, the problem still persisted.
Nevertheless, the pros easily outweigh the cons where the Sportage is concerned and you can always choose not to have a sunroof fitted.