This is my first car. My parents bought it for me when I went off to college (sophomore year), and literally optioned out every feature in the book! I have driven my parent's Mercedes / Saabs, and I hate to say it, but my KIA was more luxurious than their E-Class!
The leather seats are great, especially for long drives! They look classy, and feel great!
This car itself also looks very upscale! It feels like a luxury vehicle inside and out! There's even wood-grain trim, just like there is in a Mercedes!
My friends are usually thoroughly impressed with the quality of the vehicle. The stereo sounds good, as long as you don't crank it up, and the air conditioning... when it works... works reasonably well!
Also, the Sportage is a tad pokey when it comes to acceleration, and it makes an awful grinding noise when you push it hard. It's best to glide along traffic.
The interior is moderately roomy, although nothing to brag about, it will fit your friends nicely.
There have been a few reliability hiccups, but I think that's to be expected, because each car has its problems.
The dealers, fortunately, seem to have the confidence to fix these problems. They seem experienced with these problems, and really don't get too worried about not being able to fix the car, which is good, because I'm no auto mechanic myself! Of course, I'm surprised at what isn't covered under warranty, like the transmission and the air conditioning. They replaced the four-wheel drive once when it went out under the warranty, but apparently, if something under warranty goes more than once, it comes out of your pocket, at least according to the dealer. (check with yours, I've heard some people say I'm being lied to) Oh well, as long as they keep my car running, I'm fine!
If you're looking for an affordable luxury SUV, you've found it! This car makes you feel so rich, without having to spend the extra dough! Just make sure to be careful with some things like accelerating, otherwise some flaws will show through. But each car has its problems, and I can live with a slightly slow SUV!