The old Sorrento had served its purpose, and Muddy Madam senior, aka Mum-In-Law Viv, decided it was time to replace it with something smaller and a bit more modern. Although friends had VW’s and Dacia’s, it wasn't until she arrived at Muddy Towers for a weekend that she became smitten with the Kia Soul that I had on test, its ride height and funky styling was an instant hit and the idea of another Kia took hold.
A few weeks later and Muddy Madam senior was up visiting again from deepest, darkest Wales with the intention of test driving an automatic Soul, but instead fell for, and bought a 10 month old Sportage with only 12k on the clock. The dealership offered the full 7 year, 100,000 miles warranty to sweeten the deal, not that it’ll ever get to 100k, she’s had the old Sorento for 10 years and it’s only clocked 53k.
Just before Christmas '15, as you can read elsewhere, my usually dependable 300Tdi Discovery had failed its MOT on pretty much everything structural, which left me 4x4-less. However, as luck would have it, Muddy Madam senior was off to the U.S for a month and left her shiny new toy at Muddy Towers, how fortunate.
If you check out my Kia Sportage review here, you'll read that although I enjoyed the Sportage, I wasn't keen on the auto box, I thought it was a bit hesitant and sluggish at times. The first thing I noticed on Viv's Sportage however, was that the automatic gearbox was much sharper than on the press car, the extra mileage certainly had an impact.
Although we didn't get any snow over the festive period (that came later around May!) we did get plenty of rainfall and consequently a lot of flooding. I've never liked wading through floods as you never know what condition the road surface below is, or what's lurking, so I didn't take it swimming. The AWD system deserves a mention though as it worked a treat keeping the Sportage on the road during ridiculously wet conditions, it handled wet and greasy road very well.
I didn't pay attention to how much diesel it drank, but from low level light to low level light, £20 got me around 120 miles of short, stop start journeys, which I thought was quite reasonable. Just like the press car and the new version that I drove in France, I thoroughly enjoyed the Sportage experience, and if I didn't need the extra ground clearance that a proper 4x4 gives me, there'd probably be one parked outside Muddy Towers.