The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
The Sportage has a decent driving position with enough adjustment to cater for most people. All trims have electrically adjustable lumbar support and manual seat height adjustment. Opt for 3 or GT-Line S trims, and you get a ten-way power adjustable driver’s seat.
Even with the height adjustment, you might find yourself wishing the seat would drop a little lower than it does, but the overall high-set position is in keeping with an SUV. The supportive seat proves comfortable on long journeys, too.
All trims get a central armrest up front, while the stalks, buttons and other controls are clearly marked and well placed.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
The Sportage gives you decent forward visibility past its chunky pillars and side mirrors, but the slightly narrow, high-set rear screen and thick rear pillars can make it harder to judge the car's rear corners in a tight spot.
Helpfully, all versions get a rear-view camera and rear parking sensors as standard, with all but 2 trim getting front sensors, too. Jump to top-spec GT-Line S trim, and you even get a surround view camera system that shows even more of what’s around you.
The halogen headlights that come with 2 trim are relatively dim, but the LED headlights fitted to all other versions deliver a much brighter and whiter light. All trims get auto lights with auto main beams and auto wipers, too.
Sat nav and infotainment
Even the most basic Sportage comes with an 8.0in infotainment touchscreen, sat nav, a DAB radio, USB connector and Bluetooth, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring that allows you to use your phone's sat-nav (and other selected apps) through the car's screen.
The touchscreen is fairly quick to respond to prods, and there are physical shortcut buttons either side of it that make it easy to hop quickly between key functions. However, the Skoda Karoq’s touchscreen has sharper graphics while the Mazda CX-30’s rotary dial controlled system is easier to use on the move.
A six-speaker sound system is standard on most trims and delivers so-so sound quality, while top-spec GT-Line S gets a JBL stereo with eight speakers and a subwoofer. It's much punchier and sounds less distorted at higher volumes. All models get a USB port up front, with 3 and GT-Line S trims adding a rear USB as well.
The Sportage's interior looks smart, thanks to plenty of squishy plastics and metallic-effect finishes. Upper trim levels gain leather seats to further lift their ambience. All models feature a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearlever.
The interior feels quite solidly put together, with nicely damped switches and air vents. Some of the materials – notably the plastics lower down – aren't anything to write home about, though. Overall, the Peugeot 3008 and Skoda Karoq feel classier inside, while if it's an upmarket ambience you're after, we’d take a look at the Volvo XC40.
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