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STYLING | 8 out of 10
The new model’s proportions are as dramatic as the outgoing model’s are dull, and few curves are found on its sheetmetal….a beefy, high-tech appearance.
Car and Driver
It's downright fashionable in a vehicle class that usually isn't.
The interior is about on par with the rest of the segment. Plasticy but fine…the Kia's plastics are at least the non-greasy kind.
The interior is attractive, and the layout is uncluttered. Controls are easy to see and reach.
Expanses of black plastic may look better than they feel, but the overall layout is efficient and pleasant enough, with a large navigation screen front and center, and dual-zone climate-control switches just below.
The 2014 Kia Sportage is an especially good-looking crossover, with neat, trim proportions and a far more rakish profile than most of the other models you're likely to judge it against.
The chunky, laid-back look owes a lot to the European hot hatches, but the high stance and slightly snubbed nose are pure ute, as is the rectangular, function-driven interior. Substance gets a workout all over the Sportage's sheetmetal and cabin, but there's an equal dash of style that's distinctive to Kia.
There's some tipped-back attitude on loan from the Soul five-door, too, and Kia's family grille cooking on the front end, headlights tucked in seamlessly along its sides. The front end is particularly crisp, with a sort of elegant simplicity in the way the headlights and spoiler play with the reverse-bowtie blacked-out grille--which has a slightly different, more open design for 2014. The light sculpturing down its flanks makes the Sportage’s straight lines look even better in relief, too. Also new this year are new wheel designs, as well as new HID headlamps and LED rear taillamps--although the design essentially remains the same.
Inside, the cockpit of the 2014 Sportage is definitely sportier than what you'll find across this class. Big gauges are framed by a rectangular dash. The Sportage is closely related to the Hyundai Tucson, and if you squint just right between the two interiors, you'll see a few common points here--although we prefer the Sportage's somewhat sportier, yet somewhat more conservative look and believe it'll age better. It feels substantial and handsome..
The Sportage is a fashionable trendsetter, bringing the gap between sporty hatchbacks small utes better than most alternatives.