Kia Sportage (2016 -) Comfort

Review by Gareth Evans on
4.5
The Kia Sportage is rapidly becoming a household name. The Korean firm sold a massive 90,000 units of the popular third-generation car since its introduction in 2010, but it’s fair to say it was beginning to feel its age.

4.5 out of 5

Comfort

Again, a big step forwards. As the ride has become more compliant thanks to the new suspension set-up, it’s allowed Kia to install some more supportive seats, and the combination is a good one.

There’s very little noise intrusion to speak of, with road noise only slightly louder with the 19-inch alloy wheels. Wind and engine noise aren’t a problem for the most part, though working the diesels hard can make for a grumbly experience.

4 out of 5

Practicality

The boot measures a useful 491 litres with the rear seats up (an increase of 29 litres over the previous model), which expands to 1,480 litres if you fold them down. They don’t go entirely flat, however, and while the boot floor itself is flat from the loading lip to the backs of the rear seats, the lip itself is relatively high which might make loading heavier items problematic.

We’re big fans of the seating systems Honda CR-V uses (called Magic Seats) and it’s difficult to award more points to the Kia due to its lack of these. We’d like to have seen levers in the boot area to fold down the rear seats (instead of having to open the rear doors as on the Sportage), and if the driver is particularly tall or sits a long way from the steering wheel you’ll have to remove the rear headrests too before folding.

There’s plenty of room inside the car for four adults though, with headroom to spare all-round. The rear seats can adjust their angle if you need to maximise space in the boot, but they don’t slide like some rivals’ do.

If you want to pull things with your Kia Sportage you’ll probably want to pick the version with the highest braked towing weight. In this case it’s the 2-litre diesel with a manual gearbox, which regardless of power output will haul 2,200kg.

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How does the boot space compare?

472 litres
Kia Sportage (16 on)
439 litres
410 litres
400 litres
4 out of 5

Behind the wheel

Kia has put a lot of work into improving the ‘perceived quality’ of the Sportage’s cabin, and by and large it seems to have worked. The main dashboard is covered with soft-touch plastic that feels of good quality. Searching lower down the panels the plastics get harder and scratchier, but they still feel incredibly hard-wearing. This is a firm becoming incredibly well-known for its build quality and reliability, and we don’t think you’ll feel short-changed with this interior considering the price of the car.

We liked the 4.2-inch screen on the instrument panel found on 3 and 4 models (and the First Edition, of course), but in terms of the cabin that’s about the only reason we can see for upgrading because at 2 specification it’s still a nice enough place to be with the smart monochrome replacement.

The touchscreen infotainment system (standard on 2 grade upwards) looks a little outdated now in terms of graphics, but we’re pleased to report a speedy processor and responsive screen with clear and intuitive menus to navigate through. Plenty of firms get this so very wrong – including some direct rivals such as the Toyota RAV4 - so it’s great to see Kia bucking the trend.

The driving positon itself feels very good, with a slightly elevated situation and good forward visibility. Rearwards view is hampered a little by a small rear windscreen aperture, but this isn’t a serious problem – especially when models at 2 grade and above get a reversing camera and parking sensors as standard.