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2013 Kia Sportage Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2013 Kia Sportage was new.


Interior: 7.2

The 2013 Kia Sportage comes with a long list of standard features and an eye-catching interior design that most auto writers appreciate. However, they also say that the Sportage’s hard plastic interior trim isn’t as nice as what you’ll find in other compact SUVs, and some reviewers mention that rival SUVs offer more cargo space and more comfortable seats.

  • "Most of Sportage's interior trim is made of hard plastic, but we can't say that it doesn't look nice. Overall Sportage's interior components are high quality, sturdy, and nicely assembled." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "The interior's relative lack of cargo and passenger room compared to competitors like the Chevy Equinox, Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4 may also be an issue for many buyers." -- Edmunds (2012)
  • "The dash is a beautiful piece of style executed in hollow-feeling molded plastic. Most of the vehicles in this comparison use a variety of soft-touch and hard plastics, but Kia appeared to cut more corners." -- Motor Trend (2012)
  • "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 (2011)


In general, reviewers agree that the Kia Sportage isn’t the most comfortable SUV in the class. From the driver’s seat, they note that the Sportage’s thick roof pillars hinder visibility and that the seats don’t have enough padding to be comfortable. One reviewer also comments that the Sportage has less back-seat passenger space than other SUVs. If you need a spacious back seat, consider rivals like the Subaru XV Crosstrek and Chevrolet Equinox. The Sportage comes with cloth seats as standard equipment. Options and features on higher trims include leather-trimmed seats, a power driver’s seat, heated front seats and a ventilated driver’s seat.

  • "Outward visibility is challenged. The front and side roof pillars are thick and difficult to see around. Worse, the rear pillars are huge, blocking everything to the back corners. The small rear window further hinders the view out the back." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "Functionally, there is much to like inside the 2013 Kia Sportage SUV, with a big, roomy rear seat that can be folded flat to make a modestly-roomy 54.6 cubic-foot cargo hold." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The 60/40-split rear seat is set up for three passengers, but it's tight enough that it's just passable for a couple of adults. The fact that this seat lacks the ability to recline and slide fore and aft as they do in many competitors is a weak point." -- Edmunds (2012)
  • "The seats were described as everything from ‘as hard as a wooden chair’ to unsupportive to plain hurtful." -- Motor Trend (2012)

Interior Features

The 2013 Kia Sportage comes standard with a four-speaker stereo that features satellite radio with a three-month trial subscription, a USB port and Bluetooth phone and audio streaming. Optional equipment and features found on higher trims include a panoramic sunroof, automatic headlights, navigation, a backup camera, an upgraded sound system, push-button start and dual-zone automatic climate control.

Reviewers say that the optional navigation system is easy to use, though one test driver notes that some secondary functions, such as turning off voice guidance, take some time to figure out. Another auto writer comments that while most of the Sportage’s interior features are pleasing, the panoramic sunroof could use power sunshades instead of the manually operated ones found in his test SUV.

See 2013 Kia Sportage specs »

  • "The navigation unit is generally easy to program, but some operations, such as turning off voice guidance, are not intuitive." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "We like a number of the Sportage's interior options, but the panoramic sunroof's manual sunshades don't strike us as very useful and should be power operated." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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 (2011)


The 2013 Sportage has 26.1 cubic feet of cargo space behind the back seat and 54.6 cubic feet with the rear row folded. Most reviewers note that the Sportage has less cargo space than rivals like the Honda CR-V. However, one test driver also comments that the Sportage’s low cargo floor makes it easy to load and unload cargo.

  • "There is good cargo room behind the rear seat. The floor is level with the hatch opening, making it easy to slide items in and out. There is also a handy under-floor storage bin and several convenient tie-down hooks." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "While useful, the Sportage's cargo bay is not quite as large as those in the Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4, both of which offer more than 70 cubic feet of cargo space." -- Kelley Blue Book 
  • "The interior's other major shortcoming is its relative lack of cargo space compared to some other small crossover SUVs." -- Edmunds (2012)

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