Motoring and Property Editor
1:00 AM 18th November 2023
Kia Sportage Turns 30 Years Old
The Sportage, Kia’s best-selling car in the UK, Europe and globally, is celebrating its 30th birthday having first been gone on-sale worldwide in 1993. The Sportage was introduced in the UK two years later, with sales commencing in 1995.
Kia Sportage marks its 30th year on-sale globally
Sportage currently fourth best-selling car in the UK in 2023
Most popular Kia on sale in the UK, Europe and worldwide
Seven million Sportage sold globally in the model’s lifetime, 384,778 in the UK
30 years, the Sportage SUV has seen four generations come and go, and is now represented by the fifth generation. The latter is the most stylish, modern, technologically advanced and eco-conscious version of the popular family favourite. Over its five generations, Kia has sold more than seven million examples of the Sportage worldwide, including over 384,000 in the UK alone.
Across the same time span, the Sportage has transformed from a utilitarian, rugged SUV into a more luxurious and comfortable car aimed at young families and professionals. However, the Sportage has not lost any of its load-lugging, workhorse credentials, and is still able to comfortably seat five occupants while carrying an impressive payload.
The SUV market has grown dramatically over the past 30 years, with a high seating position and ample space for all the family now very much in demand among customers in the UK and around the world. Alongside the popularity of SUVs, the Sportage has also grown in desirability, with each new generation introducing fresh appeal to new and returning customers and building impressively on the popularity of its predecessor.
The Sportage has ascended to become one of the most recognisable family SUVs on UK roads. And thanks to its fresh and modern design, as well as its wallet-friendly pricing, it is currently the fourth best-selling car in the UK this year, with more than 32,000 units sold in 2023 so far.
Over its lifetime, the Sportage has proven to be an incredibly popular and important vehicle with fleets and businesses, thanks to its affordable pricing, low Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) rates and focus on economy and practicality. The Sportage is frequently named as the number one compact SUV choice for business users, topping sales charts and winning numerous fleet awards. A plug-in hybrid model, introduced with the latest generation Sportage for the first time, delivers a 43-mile electric range, ensuring it qualifies for just eight per cent BiK; ideal for fleets and company car drivers alike.
If every Sportage sold in the UK since its introduction to the market in 1995 was lined up bumper-to-bumper, the line of cars would stretch from Kia UK’s head offices in Walton-on-Thames, more than 870 miles to the plant where the Sportage has been manufactured since 2007 in Žilina, Slovakia – and 197 miles back again.
Available with a choice of hybrid, plug-in hybrid or petrol mild hybrid powertrains, and a comprehensive array of trim levels, the Sportage offers more choice than most other rivals. It has accumulated a stocked cabinet of awards over its 30-year lifespan to prove just how impressive, and well loved, it has grown to be.
Having first emerged into the public eyeline in endurance rallying, becoming the first car to ever complete the both the Paris-Dakar rally in 1993 and the Baja 1000 in 1995, the Sportage has clearly stood the test of time over the last 30 years.
I have driven the Sportage extensively during its lifetime and it is an easy car to recommend.