The 2024 Kia Sportage in White

5 Family-friendly Features of the New Kia Sportage

While my own vehicle is in the workshop at Miles Kia for repairs, I’ve been given this 2023/2024 Kia Sportage LX Urban… which is proving to be worlds apart from our family’s 2014 Kia Sportage LX Urban.

The Kia Sportage has seen some significant design overhauls since our own 2014 model, with this latest iteration – sporting the new Kia logo – looking exceptionally stylish. So much so that when my wife first saw it on the road (while inside the same-but-older model) she had no idea what it was.

Her comments on seeing the interior were that it felt comfortingly familiar, but it’s certainly seen quite a lot of development in the last 10 years.

Many of the latest features are tricky to take in on a short test drive, so I thought I’d list a few that stood out to us in the three days that I’ve been driving it.

Kia Sportage drivers seat and dashboard

1. Quick Access ‘Favourite’ Shortcuts

With more and more safety, comfort, and entertainment features, modern vehicle media systems can be tricky to navigate. This is especially true for those vehicle manufacturers that like to remove all of the vehicle’s physical buttons in place of one single bolt-on tablet device (sideways glare at Tesla).

Kia balances this with a mix of physical buttons and controls combined with a touchscreen display. Many cars do this, but Kia takes it a step further with two ‘favourites’ shortcut buttons; one on the steering wheel and one to the left of the touchscreen.

These two buttons can be customised to your preference, allowing you to activate your function of choice with one single touch. While I didn’t think much of this at first, it’s proven to be very handy. Which brings me to…

Kia Sportage Quiet Mode

2. Quiet Mode

Kia has created a mode for their media system called Quiet Mode. When activated, this shuts off the rear passenger speakers – moving the sound to the front speakers only – and drops the sound volume to a maximum of 25 (out of… something. It’s quiet). This is highly useful when either:

  1. the kids have fallen asleep
  2. someone in the car is trying to tell you something and the music is too loud
  3. you’re like me and for some reason need quiet when either reverse parking or looking for your turn-off

I like to have Quiet Mode connected to the shortcut button to the left of the touchscreen. This is by the volume controls anyway so you find yourself reaching for them then realising a quick tap can reduce the volume and turn off the speakers in the rear of the car.

Voice Memo function in the Kia Sportage

3. Voice Memo

I’ve been in a few cars and this is the first time I’ve seen an audio recording and playback function in the vehicle’s in-built media system. The use of this is maximised when you assign it to the shortcut button on the steering wheel. With a quick shift of the thumb you can record a message for yourself to play back later.

This could be useful when either:

  1. You need to remind yourself of something and (of course) can’t use your phone while driving to write yourself a note
  2. The kids are singing and you want to record if for prosperity
  3. Your partner is saying something that you know they’re going to deny later (I mean… I would never do this)

The only down side is that I don’t believe there’s a way to export the recorded sound files from the media system, so if you wanted to do that you’d need to play them while stopped and record them to your phone using your phone’s own sound recorder.

Still, quite a useful function and one that I believe I’d use quite a lot.

Leading vehicle is driving on warning in a Kia Sportage

4. Traffic Has Started to Move Alert

With so many safety features now being a standard requirement in modern cars, it’s becoming harder for manufacturers to find features that standout from the pack, either in terms of safety or added driver convenience. Kia’s found one that’s rather handy.

I’m sure we’ve all been there. You’ve stopped in traffic and something has caught your eye to the left or right of the car, or you’re looking in the mirror to tell the kids that perhaps the fourth rendition of Let it Go is three too many, and then… the driver behind you hits the horn. You look forward and traffic has started moving again. Worse… you’re too late and the traffic lights have changed back to red and now you have to stare straight ahead while you wait for the lights to change again, avoiding the glare of the driver behind.

Of course, this has never happened to me (ahem) but if it did, the Kia Sportage would pick up that the car in front has moved off and you haven’t yet and it alerts you with a pleasing tone and a message on the dashboard, “Leading vehicle is driving on.” It does this through its front radar system. Pretty clever stuff, and quite a useful feature. And impressively available from the base model upwards.

Side note: the modern Volkswagen and Škoda vehicles (and so probably Audi as well) that I’ve driven have this in a less obvious format. The auto-start-stop function turns off the car in traffic, but will turn the car back on when the radar picks up that the car in front has started to move. This means that your car is already on and ready to go when you are, but also acts as a subtle reminder that traffic is moving. 

Kia Sportage Interior Cupholders
Kia Sportage Interior Cupholders

5. Retractable Cupholders (and generally just lots of storage)

The interior of the Kia Sportage feels very spacious, and the door pockets, centre console storage, and other centre storage areas provide ample space for you to store anything that you’d want to keep easily accessible and to hand.

The centre area itself features a space with two cupholders that can be retracted to provide large areas of extra space, or – with the push of the release buttons – can spin around to provide a holder for pretty much any size cup or bottle. This is a feature I first saw on the Volkswagen Tiguan, and it’s been just as well implemented here.

The 2024 Kia Sportage in White

I could go on, but one last thing I’ll add is that the driver and front passenger headrests are ridiculously comfortable. I’m not sure what it is, but it’s highly relaxing to sit in traffic and push your head back into the headrest.

That strange addition aside, the above features combined with a wealth of other reasons makes the new Kia Sportage quite an easy purchase decision. And to top it all, it’s now available as a hybrid.

Kia have the full specs available on their website, and be sure to speak to the friendly team at Miles Kia in Christchurch should you wish to view this car for yourself. Tell them I sent you.

The 2024 Kia Sportage in White

5 Family-friendly Features of the New Kia Sportage

A few features that really help make the new Kia Sportage quite an easy purchase decision. And to top it all, it's now available as a hybrid.
The 2023 ŠKODA Kodiaq SUV in White

South Island Travels in a Škoda Kodiaq

I drove across the South Island in the 7-seater Škoda Kodiaq. Here are a few features that really helped me fall in love with this SUV.

Volkswagen and Škoda Marketing Award Winner 2019

I was honoured to accept Škoda's Marketing Award on behalf of our team, and then further honoured to accept Volkswagen's Marketing Award!
Škoda Octavia Scout in the snow

Climbing Mountains in a ŠKODA Octavia Scout

I took the family for a drive up Mt Lyford, just as a snowstorm hit the region! Luckily my drive car happened to be a ŠKODA Octavia Scout at the time.
Volkswagen Multivan Highline Two Tone

I Enjoyed This Van Way Too Much

The boss was surprised that I chose a Multivan instead of the Tiguan R-Line that was available, but the Multivan offered greater novelty value for the weekend!

Sign-up to receive email notifications of new posts