No need to hedge our bets on the narrow country lanes of the Lake District
Matt Burt
21 November 2016

My reasons for choosing our Kia Sportage for a recent holiday in the Lake District speak volumes of the car’s merits.

The week of mountain walking with my parents is now an annual event; previously we’ve used a Toyota Auris Hybrid, Subaru XV, Nissan Qashqai and Skoda Octavia. I need a car that’s comfortable and frugal enough for the motorway trek from the south, sufficiently roomy to swallow three people and luggage and robust enough that we don’t feel too guilty about chucking our walking gear into the boot after scaling a Wainwright or two. The high-riding Kia offered an added advantage, because while driving I could peek over the dry-stone walls that line many Lakeland lanes.

It can be hard to prepare for an area where glorious sunshine can give way to lashing rain over the course of an hour, so we needed to pack plenty of gear. Consequently, a vehicle with a 60/40 split rear seat and a good-sized boot was necessary.

So the Sportage was almost perfect, bar some minor quibbles. Steve Cropley recently remarked on the driver’s seat’s “less than perfect cushion and low backrest shape”. After completing the 311-mile return trip from Keswick to Basingstoke in one stint, I agree: the backrest left me struggling to get comfortable.

Another issue relates to the satnav. I know the route by heart but put it into the sat-nav to gauge our remaining distance. I didn’t need the voice instructions, so I turned them off, but when starting the car after a pitstop at Knutsford Services, the female voice sprang back into life. Why can the sat-nav remember my route while the ignition is off but not my voice guidance preference?

Solving this, I admit, might be a case of RTFM (reading the flippin’ manual), so if any owners have found a solution, I’d love to hear about it.


Price £27,000 Price as tested £27,000 Economy 39.7mpg Faults None Expenses None Last seen 28.9.16

Read our previous reports:

A practical design can go a long way

First report

Our Verdict

Fourth-generation Kia Sportage

Updated crossover aims to take its popular appeal upmarket

Join the debate


21 November 2016
My Hyundai (which will use the same system) does excactly the same thing. There is no option to turn the audible directions off permanently sadly. My wife's Mercedes has exactly the same problem with the Garmin based system fitted to her car.

21 November 2016
Both my petrol cars better this by some way and one is considerabily faster.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Dallara Stradale
    The Stradale is the first road-legel car from Italian motorsport constructor Dallara
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    The motorsport constructor's first road car is inspired by Lotus minimalism. Does it thrill on road and track?
  • Hyundai i30 N
    Standard spec is good so paint colour is our car’s only option
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    What’s Hyundai’s first hot hatch and N-brand debutant really like? Let’s find out
  • Porsche Boxster GTS
    This is the new GTS version of the Porsche Boxster
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The 718-generation Boxster is our favourite roadster of the moment – so is this new GTS variant worth the extra outlay?
  • BMW 5 Series
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The BMW 5 Series is top of the mid-exec pack, but is there still room for a diesel saloon in everyday family life?
  • Audi A7 front
    First Drive
    14 March 2018
    The new Audi A7 Sportback looks the part, but how does the new Mercedes-Benz CLS rival cope on UK roads? We find out