The least costly Sportage, the Si, has cloth seats, 17-inch wheels, and the features of every Sportage. You can have it with the 2.0-litre petrol engine and front-wheel drive, or the diesel engine and all-wheel drive (which aids security on loose or slippery surfaces).
If you were happy with front-wheel drive but wanted a bit more luxury, you could spend more for a Sportage Si Premium, which is available only with the 2.0-litre petrol. That would get you dual-zone climate control, which lets you set different ventilation temperatures for each side of the cabin, and satellite navigation. The windscreen wipers switch on automatically when it’s raining, and long-lasting LEDs illuminate daytime running lights that make you more visible. Front parking sensors augment those at the rear. And the wheels are bigger, at 18 inches, a change many will like for the sportier look.
Paying more again for an SLi gets you those features, leather or fake-leather accents on all seats, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat. You can unlock the car and drive away without removing the smart key from your pocket or bag. The taillights too use LEDs, and tyre pressure monitors warn you if a tyre is going flat. Rear-cabin windows are tinted against sun penetration. And you regain the option of a diesel engine and AWD.
With the most expensive Sportage, the GT Line, you get all-wheel drive as standard and can choose either the diesel or the bigger of the petrol engines. Wheels are an inch bigger again, at 19 inches, tyres are a little wider, for more grip on dry roads, and the suspension is firmer, bringing more precise handling. If you wait behind the tailgate for a few seconds while carrying the smart key, it rises automatically. A parking assist system can steer the car into a parking spot.
The front seats on a Sportage GT are heated and ventilated, and the passenger’s seat too power-adjusts. Overhead is a power-opened sunroof. There are paddle gear shifters, and a flat-bottom steering wheel. Compatible phones can be charged wirelessly on the centre console. Headlights are extremely bright, auto-levelling, bi-Xenon types with washers.
The Sportage GT Line also brings you a suite of active safety features. The highlight is radar-based forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking, which works at city and highway speeds. This warns you of an obstacle in front of the car – typically a slower vehicle – and brakes automatically if you do not react. A blind-spot monitor warns you of nearby vehicles that you can’t see, and another system warns if you drift out of your lane – a sign of fatigue. Headlamps dip automatically for oncoming vehicles at night.