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FEATURES | 9 out of 10
As is often the case with Kias, there is a lot of value in this vehicle.
Other thoughtful touches abound, including rear-parking assist, back-up camera, dual-zone climate control, ionized filtration A/C, a cooled glove box, a giant panoramic sunroof and a bottom-hinged throttle pedal, just like a Porsche.
Unlike with Sync, though, there's no navigation feature, and due to a planning oversight, you won't be able to get UVO with the factory nav system until the 2012 model year.
UVO searches all of your media sources, finds the song you want then plays it. Pretty slick.
The spot where you plug in the key fob for pushbutton start is in the center console storage area and the iPod jack is just below the center stack.
Now the Kia brand's entry-level crossover, the Sportage doesn't lack the kind of features that make their way into the bigger Sorento. Almost all versions have more features and a lower sticker price than their most frequently named competitors, and EX and SX versions can be trimmed out to high spec--and high sticker prices, too.
The generous standard-features list extends across all four Sportage models--from base, to LX, EX, and the sporty SX. The under-$20,000 base crossover gets power windows, locks, and mirrors; 16-inch wheels; and air conditioning. The more expensive trim levels get telescoping steering; satellite radio; a USB port; Bluetooth; steering-wheel controls for audio and phone; and keyless start.
The top SX versions add a power driver seat; a rear spoiler; a cooled glove box; 18-inch wheels; and a leather steering wheel and shifter trim. They also carry a base pricetag that sits just under $30,000. We've driven well-optioned vehicles that soared to more than $37,000--an astonishing number that's been equaled by the latest Escape in its top trim levels.
Major options include navigation; leather upholstery; seat heaters; a cooled driver seat; and finally UVO, Kia's version of the Microsoft voice controller sold by Ford as SYNC. Kia's version has a more limited vocabulary and controls fewer functions, but it can search all your media to find the perfect soundtrack to your next drive, whether it lives on your iPod, an SD card, or HD Radio. UVO isn't available, however, when you specify the optional nav system--a running change is said to be in the works, and we'll update this review once we confirm the two systems can coexist in the same vehicle.
Base versions are great values, with standard Bluetooth and other convenient features; upscale models aren't as big a deal.