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In-depth reviews

Kia Sportage - Interior, design and technology

The sharp exterior of the Sportage may not appeal to everyone, but the on-board technology is a standout feature

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

Interior, design and technology Rating

4.3 out of 5

Price
£28,615 to £40,315
  • Spacious cabin
  • Impressive infotainment setup
  • Refined
  • Polarising looks
  • Not that fun to drive
  • Top-spec models are expensive
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​According to Kia, innovative design and advanced technology were key priorities for the fifth-generation Sportage. Has the Korean automaker succeeded in delivering on its aims? Well, the Sportage’s exterior is certainly striking, with a dramatic, ultra-modern front end that immediately draws the eye. The stretched grille and arrow-like running lights will probably divide opinion, but the overall look is impressive.

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In terms of onboard tech, the Sportage draws inspiration from its all-electric EV6 sibling, with mid- to high-spec versions featuring dual 12.3-inch screens that give a panoramic feel to the overall display. It feels like a real step up over the previous model, and the quality is first-rate.

We pitted the Sportage against the Vauxhall Grandland in a twin test and found the Kia’s cabin felt more expensive. The touchpoints, like the materials on the steering wheel and the buttons on it, were also better to hold. There’s loads of adjustment in the steering wheel's position, so it's very easy for a wide range of body types to get comfortable.

Standard kit on the entry-level '2' trim takes a little of the shine away from the cabin. It has the same 12.3-inch touchscreen as the rest of the range, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but it has to make do with a smaller 4.3-inch digital driver’s display. You have to upgrade to the '3' specification to benefit from the larger 12.3in digital driver display, plus you get partial leather upholstery, heated front and rear outer seats, and a heated steering wheel.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

Sportage models in '3' trim or above come with a pair of curved 12.3-inch screens — as seen in the fully electric EV6. One acts as the instrument cluster, while the other is the touchscreen infotainment system. This set-up works very well, with their near-vertical positioning and concave screens all but eliminating any reflections.

There’s lots of information on offer via the simple menu system, which is easy to navigate. Loading times are fast, while the sharp graphics with black backgrounds are easy to read. The brightness of the screens can be turned all the way down at night so that they don’t dazzle and cause a distraction, too.

Some functions are a little more cluttered than they need to be, however: the driver-assist page, for example, combines a regular menu with a graphical layout of the car’s exterior and the safety functions, while route plotting needs more confirmation presses than necessary, but it’s easy to get along with otherwise.

A useful strip of dashboard trim between the touchscreen and lower control panel — which switches between climate or infotainment controls — is convenient for resting your hand on when using the screen. Wireless smartphone charging is only available as standard on '4' and GT-Line S trim levels, but there are USB and USB-C connections on the dash in other variants.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.6 GDi ISG 1 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £19,490

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.6 CRDi ISG 2 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £28,320

Fastest

  • Name
    1.6T GDi ISG GT-Line 5dr DCT Auto [AWD]
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £28,800

Shane is responsible for looking after the day-to-day running of the Auto Express website and social media channels. Prior to joining Auto Express in 2021, he worked as a radio producer and presenter for outlets such as the BBC.

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