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2016 Kia Sportage Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2016 Kia Sportage was new.


Interior: 7.2

Although the 2016 Sportage's cabin is composed of many hard plastic surfaces, test drivers are pleased with its styling and say the interior is well-constructed. While some auto writers think the Kia Sportage's front seats are comfortable, others wish they had more padding. Dashboard controls and the navigation system are both simple to operate, reviewers say. The Sportage's cargo capacity is on the low end for the class.

  • "The interior of the 2015 Kia Sportage is a handsome space with styling that gives it a somewhat bolder look than some of its more traditional competitors. … The one aesthetic downside here -- the extensive use of hard plastic throughout the cabin -- is offset by the fact that it's nicely textured and accented by well-placed padding in places it's needed most, like the armrest atop the center-console storage bin." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "Generally speaking, we like the 2015 Kia Sportage interior. The comfortable front seats and simple controls make it easy to drive around town." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "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 (2013)
  • "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)


There's seating for five in the Kia Sportage. Cloth seats are standard, and leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats and a power-adjustable driver’s seat are optional. Although some critics find the Sportage's front seats comfortable, others say they're overly stiff. Although reviewers like that the Sportage's rear seats recline, they note that there's still limited legroom for back-row passengers. Test drivers agree that the Sportage’s large roof pillars create poor outward visibility in most directions. Some critics report that the cabin can be a bit loud.

  • "The front seats offer good comfort and support, but the three-place rear bench is a different story. Legroom is in short supply in the second row and, though the reclining seatbacks are a plus, it would be nice to be able to slide the bench seat forward and back like those in competitive models." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "We also found the Sportage's high beltline and narrow windows somewhat limit 360-degree visibility, which is the exact opposite of what most SUV buyers want in this kind of vehicle." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "… at times road noise is more intrusive than we'd prefer." -- AutoTrader (2015)
  • "The seats were described as everything from ‘as hard as a wooden chair’ to unsupportive to plain hurtful." -- Motor Trend (2012) 

Interior Features

Standard features in the 2016 Kia Sportage include a six-speaker stereo, satellite radio, Bluetooth and a USB port. Optional features include an Infinity premium stereo, a panoramic sunroof, a UVO eServices infotainment system, a 7-inch touch screen, navigation, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera and rear parking sensors.

Automotive journalists say the 2016 Sportage has simple dashboard controls that are easy to reach. They note that the available navigation system, which absorbs both phone and audio functions, is also easy to use.

See 2016 Kia Sportage specs »

  • "Gauges, knobs, buttons and other controls are thoughtfully laid out and easy to use, especially the navigation system functions accessed via the 7-inch touchscreen." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "The navigation unit is generally easy to program, but some operations, such as turning off voice guidance, are not intuitive." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "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 2016 Kia Sportage has 26.1 cubic feet of cargo space with its rear seats upright and 54.6 cubic feet with them folded. That's less cargo room than most rivals have. Test drivers say that aside from some handy small-item storage spaces, the Sportage's overall cargo capacity is disappointing.

  • "… if you're looking to haul cargo, the modest 54.6-cubic-foot cargo hold you get with those seats folded may not cut it as well as a Honda CR-V, which offers over 70 cubic feet of cargo space." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "A handy divided organizer beneath the cargo floor is good for keeping the inevitable odds-and-ends like jumper cables handy but out of sight, but it can't make up for the cargo hold's overall space deficit, which can be as much as 15 cubic feet less than what's offered by rivals." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "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 (2013)

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