From Towcar Awards 2008

List price: £19,195 (when tested)
Kerbweight: 1842kg
85% Match: 1566kg
Max towing weight: 1800kg
Towball limit: 75kg

YOU’LL STRUGGLE to find a better-value 4×4 than the Sportage. The list price might be just over £19,000, but big discounts should drop that to less than £17,500.

This is for the top-of-the-range Titan with a bells-and-whistles list of standard gear. It’s possible to buy a mechanically identical car with less kit for under £15,000.

Strong brakes

Towing, the Sportage compares with cars costing several thousand pounds more. Accelerating from 30-60mph takes a leisurely 22.8 seconds, but the 30-0mph stopping distance of just 10.94 metres shows the strength of the brakes. In the lane-change, there were no nasty surprises, but the Sportage was slow to change direction.

Our practicality testers found room for all but two items in the boot, as well as a 12V socket. Extension mirrors fitted easily.

Official combined economy of 39.8mpg means the Kia should be cheap to run as well as to buy.

We say

Towing: 3/5
Solo: 3/5
Practicality: 3/5
Buying & owning: 4/5

Verdict: 3/5. Extremely good value for money, though not the quickest towcar.

Braking 30-0mph: 10.94m