Dave and I took a road trip recently to Chicago. From Cleveland it’s about a 5 hour drive. It’s not a bad drive, but having a comfortable vehicle really makes the trip much more enjoyable. That’s why we were excited to be given the opportunity to test drive for a week, the Kia Sportage SX AWD.
This crossover was a great ride. We liked that it rode close to the ground, was easy to handle, and just the right size for getting in and out of Chicago traffic.
I made a video overviewing some of our favorite features of the Kia Sportage:
We liked the easy to read display. It was nice being able to glance at it and immediately see the information we needed.
The navigation controls on the steering wheel were placed well and simple to use.
The central display area had a large touchscreen that you can use to flip through radio stations, satellite stations, phone settings, CD options, navigation controls, and more. Below that the dual climate control was wonderful and perfect for us because I’m always cold and Dave’s always hot. We also appreciated that the vents on either side of the display could be opened, shut, and angled easily. We happily found the amount of air they could blast out impressive and a great relief on a hot summer day.
The navigation system was helpful to have especially since we were taking this road trip. I was looking forward to using the touchscreen to browse around the map while Dave drove. I thought using it would be second nature like our tablets and smartphones, but honestly, it was a little bit tricky to use. The map didn’t always respond in the way I thought it would initially. After a couple of tries though, I got the hang of it. I’d say that if you try it, don’t give up on it. Once you do use it a few times it’s very handy, it just takes a bit of getting used to.
I liked that you can hook your iPod or iPhone up directly to the Kia Sportage too. This way it can charge or you can easily access your playlists or podcasts.
Going back to climate control, the front seats also had the ability to heat up or cool down. This is always a nice touch and we can’t wait to have this feature in our next car.
Even the glove compartment has climate control features! Having the ability to cool down the glove compartment to keep drinks cold is a great idea. It makes for less stopping on road trips and it’s always so nice having a cold iced tea or water on a long drive.
On this roadtrip, we met my parents in Toledo to drop Kora & Logan off with them and then to pick them up again on the way back. When we left we had all of their overnight items as well as ours. Looking at the size of the Kia Sportage from the outside we thought we would have plenty of room for everything. Then when we opened the trunk we were a bit surprised by how small it was.
There is an organizational area under the floormat but that felt like it was more for emergency items.
Getting our 2 adult carry-on suitcases, 2 totebags, 1 large backpack, a plastic grocery bags with odds & ends, and 3 kids pillows (Logan took 2 with him) was a bit of a challenge. Dave is a great packer and he made it work.
While we were able to get everything into the trunk that we needed to for our 5 day Chicago trip for us and 5 day Toledo trip for the kids, we would have liked a bit bigger trunk. Coming home Dave and I brought a lot of souveniers and once we picked up the kids it was like a jigsaw puzzle trying to get everything to fit. At the same time if you are a family that doesn’t do a lot of road tripping and the Kia Sportage will be a day-to-day vehicle then the size is fine. It would definitely hold a big grocery run with ease or a stop at a warehouse club. We just found it a bit on the small side for this particular roadtrip.
On to other features we loved. The dual sun roof was wonderful. It let in lots of light and it was fun being able to look up at the alternating blue sky and towering Chicago skyscrapers.
Since we dropped Kora & Logan off in Toledo with their grandparents and picked them up again on the way home, they had a chance to ride in the backseat for quite a few hours. I was happy that while in the passenger seat, I could easily reach them if they needed something (“Mom, my sandal fell off!” “Mom, I dropped my book.” “Mom, I can’t find my straw!”) but at the same time the Sportage backseat was roomy, nice, and offered plenty of space for the two of them.
Overall we really enjoyed the Kia Sportage SX AWD and would recommend anyone out shopping for a crossover to take it for a test drive. It’s got a great ride, is easy to handle, and has many fun features that make driving it enjoyable and fun.