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Used Kia Sportage review: 2016 to 2021 (Mk4) - Interior, comfort and safety

The Kia Sportage’s interior isn’t flashy but it has lots of standard kit and the technology is easy to use

Carbuyer Rating

3.6 out of 5

Owners Rating
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Interior, comfort and safety Rating

3.5 out of 5

You get the sense that Kia put its efforts into the little details with the Sportage’s interior. It’s not as eye-catching as some of its rivals but the interior of this family SUV is easy to live with, comfortable and practical.

What’s the Kia Sportage like inside?

Everything feels solidly put together and all the switches on the centre console are easy to find. The standard touchscreen is simple to use too and it’s responsive. It may not be stunning to look at but to use, it’s hard to fault.

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The Peugeot 3008 has a much more pleasing interior to look at, and a Mazda CX-5’s interior feels more upmarket than the Kia’s. This is where the Sportage falls behind, because it’s a bit dull inside, but the fact that all the buttons are easy to find and use means more to some people than the way they look - and it’s hard to disagree.

What’s on the equipment list?

Every Sportage is well equipped, with even entry-level ‘2’ coming with plenty of kit. You get air conditioning, a DAB digital radio, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a USB port, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen, a reversing camera, privacy glass and 17-inch alloys. The entry-level trim also gets sat nav, heated front and rear seats, high-beam assist, lane-keep assist and trailer stability assist.

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The ‘3’ model gets 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and rear lights, a panoramic sunroof and black leather upholstery. Upgraded interior tech includes a 4.2-inch digital display for the instruments and electrically adjustable front seats. It also comes with more safety technology, including blind-spot monitoring, autonomous emergency braking and rear cross-traffic alert.

The Sportage is also available in sporty GT Line specification. This model comes with ‘ice cube’ front foglights as well as dual exhausts and 19-inch alloy wheels. Inside, the GT Line features a flat-bottomed steering wheel, heated rear seats, piano-black interior trim and aluminium pedals.

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The GT-Line S model is available with the most powerful petrol and diesel engines and adds ventilated front seats, a panoramic sunroof, wireless phone charging and a powered tailgate. Adaptive LED headlights are also standard, along with a 360-degree view camera, wireless smartphone charging and a premium eight-speaker JBL stereo system.

The mid-2020 range update saw the entry-level ‘1’ and flagship ‘4’ trim levels discontinued from the Sportage line-up. That was probably a good thing, because the 1 model was very sparse and should be avoided. The 4 version is the opposite: it was very well equipped but expensive, so is worth looking out for on the used market because it’s much lower-priced now.

How safe is it?

The Sportage is a very safe car, too: Euro NCAP crash-tested it before it went on sale and awarded it five stars out of five, with an excellent 90% adult occupant protection score and 83% child protection score.

This is largely thanks to the generous amount of standard safety equipment. Alongside the legally required traction control, stability control and anti-lock brakes, there’s also an electronic brake force distribution system that sends the most brake power to the wheel with the most grip, and a braking assistance system that ensures maximum braking force is used in an emergency, no matter how much force you put through the brake pedal.

If you like to tow – be it a caravan or horsebox – all models also come with trailer-stability assistance, while hill-start assistance and downhill braking control are also offered. Step up to higher trim levels and you get additional safety kit like blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. This lets you know if there’s a car in your blind spot on the motorway and also if there’s a car approaching as you prepare to reverse out of a parking space or driveway.

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