This is what amazed the passengers the most: the fifth generation of the new Kia Sportage has a curved panorama display whose generous width is reminiscent of the MBUX system from Mercedes-Benz.

The display consists of two interconnected screens.

The one on the left, with a diagonal of 12.3 inches, shows the digital cockpit in front of the steering wheel with analogue round instruments and additional information between the virtual speedometer and rev counter.

As in other Kia models, the image from the cameras in the exterior mirrors is played back after the turn signal is activated.

They point slightly downwards, so that you can not only maneuver better in narrow driveways, but also see what is in the blind spot at traffic lights.

Michael Spehr

Editor in the "Technology and Engine" department.

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The right display is touch-sensitive, also measures 12.3 inches and is used to operate the infotainment.

The use of the finger is always required here.

Starting from the main menu, you come to 12 submenus, which are visualized with purple symbols.

Kia has placed something new below the monitor: a sensor bar with two rotary controls.

Their functionality can be switched.

It is either responsible for the air conditioning settings, or it serves as an additional control element for the infotainment.

We didn't see a convincing advantage in this, because changing the assignment is always an additional operating step.

If you order the Sportage in the cheapest model variant "Edition 7", you only get a small on-board monitor and have to do without the navigation.

However, Apple Carplay and Android Auto can then step in.

From the "Vision" model series onwards, the large monitor is standard, and map navigation is included, as is an online connection with real-time traffic information, the search for parking options,

View fuel prices and control vehicle functions via the Kia smartphone app.

The navigation system works precisely and quickly, but the announcements sometimes come too often and, above all, often as a turn command, where you only have to follow the road.

Traffic jam information can be displayed on the road map.

Thanks to the Internet connection, Kia's voice control can even recognize complicated queries and implement them accordingly.

This ensures, for example, that you not only use fixed formulations, but can also talk to the virtual lady in everyday language.

It also answers more general questions, such as the weather in a particular city.

We were amazed at how unerringly the location and street were adopted as the navigation system destination.

Where other systems display a list of questions, the assistant in the Kia was usually right straight away.

On other occasions, however, the electronic helper was unusable: "Please speak louder, please speak more slowly, the background noise is too loud," it said.

Speech recognition ended with these error messages.

The problem is well known and just as annoying as the lane departure warning system, which no longer just warns, but downright torments with its obtrusive acoustics.

It cannot be switched off permanently.

After the engine shut down, he's back.

Overall, however, Kia offers a lot of factory equipment for the new Sportage, provided you choose an upscale model variant.

Only a premium sound package from Harman Kardon with eight loudspeakers and a subwoofer for 590 euros is subject to a surcharge.