Some 4x4s struggle in the lane-change test, and the Kia Sportage was one of them. Even at low speeds the car lost grip at the front and rear, although the driver never lost control. Driven normally the Sportage needed the odd steering correction to keep straight and true, but nothing alarming. It did feel unsettled in strong winds.
A couple of our testers found the handbrake held initially on the 1-in-6 test hill, then released a second or two later. Otherwise the Sportage pulled up the slope with no telltale smell from the clutch in first gear and in reverse.
Kia’s prices aren’t as low as they were a few years back, but even so the Sportage is good value.