Kia Sportage named the best used car by UK drivers

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Britain’s best used cars have been named and the winner is Korean.

The £20,000 Kia Sportage SUV – which can be bought second-hand for around £8,000 – received the highest rating from those who drive them, according to a poll of 15,301 UK car drivers that’s claimed to be the biggest ownership survey of its kind.

Of the top 10 favourite motors with the highest scores from drivers, eight are built by Korean or Japanese brands – and just one is a UK manufacturer. 

Best used car: The existing Kia Sportage compact SUV was named the best second-hand car in Britain by a poll of thousands of UK owners

Best used car: The existing Kia Sportage compact SUV was named the best second-hand car in Britain by a poll of thousands of UK owners

The poll asked owners to provide feedback on their real-world experience with motors between two and 10 years old, with every car scored in 31 separate areas, covering every aspect of their quality, usability, performance and running costs. 

The fourth-generation Kia Sportage, which is a mid-size family-friendly SUV, received a 92.78 per cent rating overall from Britons who run them, earning it top spot.

Owners waxed lyrical about the build quality of the Sportage, which is produced for the European market in Žilina, Slovakia, just 100 miles north of Land Rover’s £1billion plant in Nitra where the new Defender is being assembled.

10 best used cars rated by owners 

1. Kia Sportage Mk4 (2015-present)

Price used: from £8,000 Owner rating: 92.78%

2. Toyota Prius Mk4 (2015-present)

Price used: from £13,900 Owner rating: 92.76%

3. Kia Sorento Mk4 (2015-present)

Price used: from £14,500 Owner rating: 91.49%

4. Lexus RX Mk4 (2015-present)

Price used: from £23,500 Owner rating: 91.46%

5. Skoda Superb Mk3 (2015-present)

Price used: from £6,000 Owner rating: 91.42%

6. Lexus IS Mk3 (2013-present)

Price used: from £8,700 Owner rating: 91.40%

7. Jaguar XF Mk1 (2008-2015)

Price used: from £2,800 Owner rating: 91.11%

8. Lexus RX Mk3 (2009-2015)

Price used: from £8,200 Owner rating: 90.53%

9. Toyota RAV4 Mk4 (2012-2018)

Price used: from £8,000 Owner rating: 89.83%

10. Lexus NX Mk1 (2015-present)

Price used: from £14,700 Owner rating: 89.71% 

Drivers said the Kia Sportage’s fit and finish inside and out was outstanding and loved the infotainment system for ease of use to work the sat-nav, connect their smartphone and adjust the stereo.

‘Whether it’s the styling, practicality, reliability or ride quality, almost everywhere you look owners praise the Sportage,’ said Auto Express, which conducted the survey.

‘The only black mark concerns running costs, and fuel economy in particular; but this is a common theme among our SUV entries, and is partly made up for by a second-place finish for the Sportage’s low servicing costs,’ it added.

Drivers commonly mentioned the Korean firm’s market-leading seven-year warranty, which means many models bought second hand still have plenty of cover remaining.

Toyota's popular Prius marginally missed out, coming in second with a 92.75% rating - just .02% shy of the Kia Sportage

Toyota’s popular Prius marginally missed out, coming in second with a 92.75% rating – just .02% shy of the Kia Sportage

Kia's bigger Sorento took third spot in the order, with a score of 91.49%

Kia’s bigger Sorento took third spot in the order, with a score of 91.49%

Lexus always tends to score well in ownership polls, and one is no different. Four of the 10 best used cars are from the premium Japanese brand, with this RX the highest rated in fourth spot

Lexus always tends to score well in ownership polls, and one is no different. Four of the 10 best used cars are from the premium Japanese brand, with this RX the highest rated in fourth spot

In second spot was the taxi-driver’s favourite, the Toyota Prius, receiving a score of 92.75 per cent.

Used examples of the latest four-generation hybrid can be purchased from £13,900 the car magazine said, and it was also named by Auto Express as the best new model earlier this year.

It received praise for its strong reliability and equally good build quality, named the second-hand car that’s least likely to breakdown.

Low running costs, thanks to the hybrid powertrain, and strong safety credentials also gained the Prius owner plaudits.

Skoda's Superb is the first non-Far East car to feature in the list. You can pick one up second-hand for as little as £6,000 today

Skoda’s Superb is the first non-Far East car to feature in the list. You can pick one up second-hand for as little as £6,000 today

The Lexus IS is a premium saloon with plenty of kit. Owners gave it a 91.40% rating

The Lexus IS is a premium saloon with plenty of kit. Owners gave it a 91.40% rating

The only British car - if you look beyond the fact it's owned by Indian firm Tata - is the Jaguar XF. While it tends not to have the best reliability record, owners still love it

The only British car – if you look beyond the fact it’s owned by Indian firm Tata – is the Jaguar XF. While it tends not to have the best reliability record, owners still love it

Taking third spot was another Kia, the third-generation Sorento SUV with a rating of 91.49 per cent, with keepers saying it’s great to drive but can be a little thirsty when it comes to fuel.

In total, eight of the top 10 best cars rated by UK owners were either Korean Kias or Japanese Toyotas and Lexus.  

The third-generation Skoda Superb and the original Jaguar XF are the only European cars making a top 10 dominated by Far East brands. 

Hugo Griffiths, who led the Auto Express Driver Power analysis, said: ‘With used cars frequently being bought outside of manufacturers’ warranties, it’s wise to do your homework before heading out to dealers. 

‘Having analysed thousands of pieces of data, it’s clear to me that European car makers could learn a thing or two from their Asian competitors when it comes to building cars that stand the test of time.’

We brought you the latest Lexus RX earlier, but those looking for a more affordable option should consider the previous-generation SUV, which can be bought for prices from £8,200

We brought you the latest Lexus RX earlier, but those looking for a more affordable option should consider the previous-generation SUV, which can be bought for prices from £8,200

The previous-generation Toyota RAV4 also featured in the top 10, with a score of 89.83%

The previous-generation Toyota RAV4 also featured in the top 10, with a score of 89.83%

The Lexus NX rounded out the top 10 best used cars, according to owners. It's the smallest SUV made by the Japanese auto firm

The Lexus NX rounded out the top 10 best used cars, according to owners. It’s the smallest SUV made by the Japanese auto firm

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