i purchased this in August 2011 as a replacement for my 2006 Ford Focus. (great to drive, but too hard to live with). i needed something with better ground clearance than the Focus, as our road generally floods a little after a good downpour. (the focus sucks up the water due to poor placement of the air intake in the front bumper). i test drove all the usual suspects such as the Captiva, Rav 4 and it's twin the IX35. the Sportage not only was great value, but was a real standout in the looks department.
i wanted the diesel Sportage at the time but the waiting list was so long I opted for the petrol. I havent been dissapointed.
The engine is fine for me and the 6sp auto transmission is as smooth as. fuel economy averages around 9 litres per 100k on my short runs into town. on a trip it mostly averages around 7-7.5 litres per 100k.
The ergonomics are spot on. everything is within easy reach.
Reliability has been exemplary. with 80,000klm now on the clock, The only costs have been the reasonably priced fixed servicing a set of tyres at 65,000k and front brake pads at 75,000k.
The ride can be choppy on broken surfaces with the optional 18" wheels. On the open road it feels fine. It certainly isn't a corner carver, but I didn't expect it to be.
A lot of reviews talk about hard dash plastics, I'm not one to feel up the dash to get a feel good vibe. it makes for easy cleaning and feels really durable.
Some padding on the centre console would have been good though as my left leg leans on the console and it does get a little hard on a long trip.
I am waiting for the 2016 model to see how much the model progresses before upgrading.
Overall the car has been a gem.