Kia Sportage tyres
The earliest version of the Sportage gained notoriety for its spectacularly poor showing in safety tests. One Australian journalist famously compared its performance in them to that of a junior employee of the local McDonalds restaurant. “One star out of five and likely to crumple irreparably at the slightest pressure, leaving a mess,” was his view back in 1993.
Like so much of Kia’s history, the incident has been airbrushed from customers’ minds by both the passing of time and the sheer quality of the modern Sportage (above). It makes claims to being one of the most complete family cars. It isn’t a high-performance vehicle by any stretch of the imagination and will hardly be used off-road despite its chunky looks. However, none of that matters. Those looks have struck a chord with buyers, who rate the Sportage highly for its build quality, practicality and low purchase and running costs. It also features many bells and whistles as standard equipment with surprisingly good roadholding for a vehicle of this size. It isn’t a car for the badge snobs but ticks lots of boxes for everyone else.
Since the Sportage is not a car built to leave the roads, specialist off-road tyres aren’t needed for this car. Interestingly, Kia fits two types of tyre as original equipment to the Sportage, and both are quite different. Hankook’s Optimo tyres are fitted to the Sportage wheels of 17-inch and 18-inch sizes. These are tyres designed very much for cars, rather than for off-roaders, and their key feature is their durability. Customer reviews suggest that they offer very good levels of grip on dry roads, making them ideal for summer driving. To fit these wheel sizes, a low-profile version of this tyre is used, meaning that the wheel and tyre package sacrifices a little ride comfort in the name of style.
In contrast, on the standard 16-inch wheel size common to most Sportage models, Kia often fits Michelin Latitude tyres. These are designed for SUV and MPV use and are well-known for their dependability and longevity. They’ll suit the Sportage perfectly and come highly recommended, particularly so if your car is used for towing a caravan.
The newest generation of the Sportage is now just four years old. For these vehicles, we’d usually recommend replacing a worn or damaged tyre on a like-for-like basis, ie replacing a tyre with one from the same range. This preserves the car’s integrity and means that similar tyres are fitted to each wheel.
It’s no surprise that these two factory-fitted ranges are by far etyres’ best-selling tyres for the Sportage. If your model features the Hankook tyres and all four of these need replacing, then it’s worth considering upgrading to the Michelin Latitude option if you can. These tyres are more expensive than the Hankook ones but it is usually a long-term investment worth making.