The Kia’s dashboard looks like it’s straight out of a more expensive, German-made car. Avoid entry level models though because they don’t get an infotainment screen
There’s an upmarket feel to the Sportage’s interior. All versions get a leather-wrapped steering wheel and high-spec models get two-tone stitched leather on the dash that really adds to the premium feel.
Build quality is good overall, and the areas you interact with most – such as the steering wheel and upper part of the dashboard – are soft and feel high-quality. Even the indicator stalks have the same damped feeling as in more expensive German alternatives such as the VW Tiguan. Some of the plastics lower down in the cabin do feel a bit cheap, but it’s a minor gripe.
The Sportage has a touchscreen infotainment system to limit the number of physical buttons on the dash, but thankfully the climate controls still have dedicated knobs and buttons so you don’t have to hunt through infotainment menus to adjust the temperature as you do in a Peugeot 3008. Just be aware that basic Sportage models look quite bland because they don’t have an infotainment screen as standard.
The high quality of the Kia Sportage’s interior makes me wonder if the South Korean factory has studied German efficiency
Entry-level 1 models get no screen at all, but 2 and KX-2 cars get a 7.0-inch touchscreen sat-nav system that’s clear, crisp and responds quickly to inputs – although you can’t quickly swipe through lists like you would on your smartphone. The system is easy to use though and comes with handy physical shortcut buttons to take you to frequently used features such as the sat-nav map or your connected Bluetooth devices.
It’s easy to put a postcode into the sat-nav and you can neatly add a detour to your route to visit a fuel station, for example. You can also tether the infotainment system to your smartphone’s data connection to access online features such as the weather forecast and traffic updates.
From 3 trim and upwards you get a slightly updated system with a bigger eight-inch screen that adds 3D maps that make it easier to navigate an unfamiliar city because you can see what the buildings around you look like. It’s a nice feature but it’s not worth upgrading to a higher-spec model just for this.
Ignore the entry-level 1 model because you also don’t get Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, which are standard on all other versions. These smartphone-mirroring systems let you use your phone’s media and sat-nav apps on the Sportage’s infotainment system, meaning you can dictate and listen to text messages without taking your eyes off the road, and you don’t have to look down at the sat-nav on your phone.
Lower level versions of the Sportage get a basic six-speaker stereo that’s nothing special, but 3 models and above get a more powerful eight-speaker JBL system with a subwoofer for extra bass – so it’s worth upgrading to a 3 trim or higher if you like your music.