$9,631 - $13,029

2012 Kia Sportage Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2012 Kia Sportage was new.


Interior: 7.3

Reviewers have mixed opinions on the 2012 Kia Sportage’s interior. While most like that the Sportage has plenty of room and is stuffed with standard features, others complain about uncomfortable seats and hampered front and rear visibility.  

  • "While most interior trim is unyielding plastic, it looks rather nice for the price. Overall, materials are high quality, solid, and well assembled." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The interior is about on par with the rest of the segment. Plasticy but fine, though people who really care about a finely finished interior will have to save their nickels for an Acura RDX." -- Autoblog
  • “The hard plastics are distracting since they create such a staunch contrast from the nicely crafted leather seats. We don't expect Bentley-like materials at this price range, but overall the Sportage's interior was a mixed bag." -- Left Lane News


The 2012 Sportage loses some points with reviewers over its seating. Reviewers like how roomy the cabin is for all passengers, but they say that the seats are uncomfortably firm. Test drivers also note that front and rear visibility is one of the Sportage’s worst features. A rearview camera and parking sensors are optional on the LX trim and higher, and should help remedy this problem.

  • "The seats themselves also were hard, beyond simply firm." -- USA TODAY
  • "The firm leather seats were a little too solid for our posteriors after a several hour drive through Northern California, although we thought their look and feel could have befitted a luxury label." -- Left Lane News
  • "Step-in height is modest and there's plenty of headroom and legroom. The available ventilated driver seat is an unexpected convenience, but the lack of one for the front passenger is a strange omission. Visibility is not a strong point. Front and side roof pillars are quite thick and thus hard to see around. Worse, the rear pillars are huge, blocking everything to the back corners. A small rear window doesn't help matters either." -- Consumer Guide

Interior Features

The 2012 Kia Sportage has an impressive list of interior features. Even base models come with a standard USB port, Bluetooth and steering wheel-mounted controls. Once you start adding features, the Sportage can go very high-tech with options like navigation and push-button start, but extra features make it expensive.   

One standout feature is Kia’s UVO infotainment system. Like Ford’s well-regarded SYNC system, UVO lets you use voice commands to control phone and stereo functions. Test drivers who have used UVO prefer it over SYNC because the voice commands are more logical. Overall, the Sportage’s controls are well laid out and easy to use, even with the optional navigation system.

  • "The responsive flash-based navigation system included colorful maps, although only in 2D, with traffic information displayed over the roads. The LCD in the dashboard came with the navigation option, and served as a display for our music library, once we had connected an iPhone to the car. Navigation, phone, and audio menus on this screen all combine good usability and a nice aesthetic sense." -- CNET
  • "That said, the Kia's plastics are at least the non-greasy kind and our test vehicle had the bright orange accents and door panels that greatly helped break up an otherwise totally black cockpit. And the cross-stitched leather-wrapped steering wheel is quite excellent, CUV or otherwise." -- Autoblog
  • "Audio controls are mounted high within easy reach, but whether or not the car has a navigation system, radio-station presets are virtual buttons on a dashboard screen. The navigation unit is generally easy to program, but some operations, such as turning off voice guidance, are not intuitive. Climate controls are at mid-dash and easy to reach." -- Consumer Guide


When it comes to cargo space, the 2012 Kia Sportage can’t compare with class leaders like the Honda CR-V. With all seats in use, the Sportage has 26.1 cubic feet of cargo space, which is enough room for a weekend’s worth of luggage or a trip to Costco, but the CR-V has a larger 35.7 cubic feet of space. With the back seats folded, there’s 54.6 cubic feet of cargo space in the Sportage, which is decent but not best-in-class. Test drivers think loading luggage is easy, but they wish the rear window opened. Inside, reviewers say the Sportage’s cubbies are typical, and include a glovebox, cupholders and map pockets.

  • "The cargo area has a handy under-floor bin and several convenient tie-down hooks. The floor is level with the hatch opening, making it easy to slide items in and out, but we bemoan the lack of a separate-opening hatch window. The rear seat backs easily fold nearly flat, though the headrests need to be removed if the front seat is set far back. Cabin storage is merely adequate with a small glovebox, decent-size console box, a pair of open console cupholders, a small dash bin, and the usual map pockets." -- Consumer Guide

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