The new Kia Sportage is roomier and better to drive than its predecessor. It’s also better to tow with.
Stability at speed is very good indeed, even at speeds which would get your collar felt on UK motorways. Only when slowing down from 70mph did the Al-Ko ATC sensors pick up any sway from the caravan, but it soon stopped without any intervention from the driver.
The Sportage mastered the lane-change test. Only on the third and fastest run did the caravan begin to slide, and even then the Kia had no trouble pulling it straight again.
It’s a quick tow car as well as a stable one, needing just 12.2 seconds to pull from 30-60mph. But it’s a shame that the engine is noisy as well as brawny.
Hill starts ought to be easy for a 4×4 with an automatic gearbox, and so it proved with the Sportage. The electronic parking brake held the caravan still on the 1-in-6 slope, and wet or dry the Kia had no trouble pulling to the top.
Inside, the new Sportage has enough space for adults to travel in the back in reasonable comfort, and fit and finish have taken a step forward. With the adjustable boot floor on its lowest setting we found room for a full load of holiday luggage, and the practicality testers awarded points for the car’s reversing camera and trailer stability control.