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In-depth reviews

Kia Sportage review - Interior, design and technology

Bold exterior styling is complimented by a spacious, well-made cabin with one of the best infotainment setups in the segment

When the fourth generation Sportage came out in 2016, it took the old car’s sloping roof line and bulging arches, but added a sharper rear and more delicate front end arrangement. A styling update in 2018 introduced some little chrome whiskers on the front bumper an gained a full-width light bar at the back.

The changes to the inside were more subtle, with the facelift adding a new steering wheel, a revised driver’s display and tweaked air con controls. Still, the Sportage mixes it with the class’s best for quality. It is full of soft-touch plastics and the buttons and knobs all feel sturdy; it’s only if you look hard lower down the dashboard that you find any cheaper plastics used. The cabin’s design can’t match the stunning Peugeot 3008 for style, but it’s clear, functional and full of tech.

The range is arranged into 1, 2, 4, GT-Line and GT-Line S. The entry-level ‘1’ comes with 16-inch alloys, LED daytime running lights, air conditioning, cruise control, a reversing camera and a seven-inch touchscreen. The ‘2’ adds 17-inch wheels, satellite navigation, heated front seats, lane keeping assist and a speed limit warning system.

The ‘4’ has 19-inch alloy wheels, a larger eight-inch touchscreen, LED head and tail lights, leather seats that are electrically adjustable and heated front and rear, a JBL sound system‘ and a panoramic sunroof.

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The GT-Line costs a little less than the 4. It goes without its glass roof, but gets a start/stop button, some sporty-looking red piping and stitching on the seats, and black headlining. The top-spec GT-Line S throws the panoramic roof back in, plus gets a power tailgate, wireless smartphone charger and a 360-degree surround view monitor.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The Sportage can be equipped with a seven- or eight-inch touchscreen navigation system, both of which get both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The eight-inch display was revised for 2018, and both gets a sharper image and faster touch response. Kia’s infotainment interface was already among the best in this class, and the latest updates make it even better. The clear menu layouts are the same as before, with a split-screen home page showing mapping on the left and other options on the right. Loading times are fine, and it’s a very intuitive system to use.

If you enjoy your tunes, then upgrade to either the ‘4’ or ‘GT-Line S’ trims: both are equipped with an eight speaker JBL sound system.

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