Our fleet Kia Sportage 2 1.7 CRDi 2WDThere's more to Kia's Sportage than its looksKia Sportage 2 1.7 CRDi 2WDCost P11D price £20,425BIK tax band 20%Class 1A NIC £564Annual VED £115RV £5,200Running cost 35.64ppmCurrent mileage 10,535Test mpg 46.3SpecificationEngine (cc) 1,685Power (bhp/rpm) 114/4,000Torque (lb/ft) 192/1,250CO2 135Official mpg 54.3Max speed (mph) 1070-62 (sec) 11.9* Running cost data supplied by KeeResources (4yr/80k)By Gareth RobertsThe Kia Sportage 1.7 CRDi is coming to the end of its time here. It will be sorely missed.It's continued to deliver a stress-free driving experience during the 10,000 miles I've clocked up, both on the motorway and in town.While I admit I was immediately persuaded by its imposing grill and large sweptback head-lamps, being smitten by the handy work of German designer Peter Schreyer, who designed the original Audi TT coupé, was never going to be enough to win it a place on the nation's fleets.However, there's been more to this car than a pretty façade, with fuel economy and emissions that continue to impress.At 135g/km and achieving 46.3mpg, against a claimed combined of 54.3mpg, it has compared well to one of its closest rivals, the Nissan Qashqai, which boasts a claimed combined of 57.6mpg and emissions of 130g/km on its entry-level 1.5 dCi 2WD Pure Drive.As an SUV it was also going to be roomy, but the Sportage really does seat five people in comfort, while not compromising its boot space of 564 litres. But given its high riding stance it has always surprised me how it actually drives like a much smaller car with plenty of grip and a composed ride.Its Korean makers really have found a winning a formula with the Sportage, but before I get accused of gushing praise, was there anything that Kia could do better?Yes there was: the sunroof which can only be described as noisy. On first driving the car, the sound of air rushing in through a closed sunroof saw the vehicle returned to the manufacturer. But on its return, while the volume level had depleted, the problem persisted.Nevertheless, the pros easily outweigh the cons where the Sportage is concerned and you can always choose not to have a sunroof fitted.
Sales figuresNewsinsightManufacturernewsFuelpricesRemarketinganalysisNews digestCar RecruitmentreviewsOur fleet Renault Megane Grand Scenic'There is definitely some evidence of happier customers' Dynamique TomTom dCi 110 EDC AutoCost P11D price £23,745BIK tax band 20%Class 1A NIC £590Annual VED £115RV £5,075Running cost 38.17ppmCurrent mileage 9,417Test mpg 55.0SpecificationEngine (cc) 1,461Power (bhp/rpm) 110/4,000Torque (lb/ft) 177/1,750CO2 124Official mpg 60.1Max speed (mph) 1120-60 (sec) 14.3* Running cost data supplied by KeeResources (4yr/80k)Growing justification for Renault's service claimsBy John MaslenRenault has been a very visible advertiser on the Fleet News website recently, highlighting its serv-ices in adverts that claim 'Renault keeps your busi-ness moving'. So I thought I would check those claims out.I braved the depths of the Sewells research library to pull out a copy of its most recent Fleet Operator Attitude Survey, in which fleets rate the performance of manufacturers and their dealer networks.According to the 42 fleets who rated Renault, there is definitely some evidence of happier customers, particularly when it comes to levels of service received from the dealer network. As you might expect, the picture isn't all positive and the report identified opportunities for improve-ment, but it offers an encouraging picture of growing fleet confidence at a critical time for manufacturers.My extensive driving experience has also raised very few quibbles, particularly in terms of build quality, which used to be an Achilles' heel for Renault. The gearbox, a key reason for this Renault being part of the Fleet News test fleet, is proving a mixed blessing. It is, as promised, better than an automatic, far more flexible and economical, but some of its gearchanges can be a bit on the slow side. This is most clearly illustrated when accelerating from a standstill to pull into moving traffic.Push your foot hard on the accelerator and.the.car.seems.to.think.for..while.beforetryingto-suddentlyrushingtodeliverallitspoweratonce, by which time, of course, you may have missed the opportunity to pull out.