The previous-generation Kia Sportage did its ideal to live up to the “sport” in its name. Yet along with this came a stiff suspension and excessive road noise, along with a rakish roofline that compromised cargo space and earned blind-spot views a guessing game.
The 2017 Kia Sportage attempts to treat those issues, while giving the small SUV a reverse-mullet haircut in the process: As opposed to “firm in the front, celebration in the back,” the brand-new Sportage has actually a cartoonish, bug-eyed face, juxtapositioned versus a clean and stately tail.
The fourth-generation Sportage is slightly larger, along with a 1.2-inch-longer wheelbase and an added 1.6 inches of overall length. This gives marginal boosts in passenger space (most notably much more compared to a half-inch of added rear head room), Yet the last Sportage was already mid-group here. much more importantly, the bigger physique equates to much more valuable cargo volume, a place where the old Sportage ranked toward the bottom of the class.
Importantly, the brand-new Sportage now earns the highest score of “Good” in the IIHS small-overlap front crash test, whereas the outgoing model rated a Poor, the lowest score.
Although the Sportage shares its platform along with the highly-rated Hyundai Tucson, both don’t have actually matching engines. The Sportage LX and EX get hold of motivation from a 2.4-liter four-cylinder along with 181 horsepower, while the SX Turbo has actually a 2.0-liter four-cylinder along with 240 hp, for those that require much more oomph. (By contrast, the Tucson has actually a choice of a 2.0-liter four-cylinder along with a six-rate automatic or a 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbo paired along with a seven-rate dual-clutch automatic. We weren’t jazzed by either Hyundai drivetrain.) The two Sportage engines are paired along with a six-rate automatic transmission, and every one of trims are available along with front- or all-wheel drive.
The base 2.4 is a nice drivetrain, along with ample power. Fortunately, the engine is smooth no matter exactly how hard it is working, even at higher rpms. The automatic transmission operates serenely, whether at mild or full-throttle, showing Great response to inputs. So far, we’ve been obtaining about 26 mpg according to the journey computer.
Handling is mildly sporty, along with well-controlled physique roll and reasonably quick turn-in response. The ride soaks up bumps much better compared to the old model, Yet it is still much less cushioned compared to rivals such as the Hyundai Tucson or Toyota RAV4.
We haven’t been as well happy along with the front seats. They are unyieldingly firm, and usually shed their support on long trips. However, generous edge bolsters preserve your physique in position through sharp corners. The rear seat is roomy and the seatbacks recline via a well-placed lever beside the bottom cushion.
Interior quality is decent. There’s soft-touch material on the dash and window sills, and bits of matte-silver plastic trim include color to exactly what is otherwise a basic-looking design. Focus stack controls are large and basic to decipher quickly, and we appreciate the knobs for radio volume and tuning. The base LX’s 5-inch infotainment touch screen is small by today’s standards – EX models get hold of a 7-inch (optional on LX), SX Turbos an 8-inch.
Access to the front seats is easy, along with a natural step-in height, and plenty of head room. Large, wide-opening rear doors ease the process to the second row, Yet the sloping roof means you still should duck to preserve from conking your head. Once in, head room is pretty good, and foot room is plentiful.
Long rear doors treat a few of the rear three-quarter view, which is limited as a result of the lack of a 3rd edge window, a design cue that has actually come to be a Sportage trademark.
Sportage pricing begins at $23,885 for a front-wheel-drive LX, and it goes up to $34,895 for a fully-loaded SX Turbo AWD. We bought an LX AWD and opted for the $1,100 Popular package, which entails a 10-method power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, upgraded cloth, heated mirrors, and roof rails. The total rate came to $26,720.
A rearview camera comes standard on every one of Sportage models, Yet if you want forward-collision warning along with automatic emergency braking, you’ll should step up to the EX, and order the $2,800 Technology package (along with essential safety items AEB w/pedestrian protection, FCW, lane-departure warning, front/rear parking sensors, along along with various others electronic goodies). Even then, you’ll very first should order the $1,900 Premium package, which brings blind-spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert, in terms of safety systems. The SX Turbo comes standard along with every one of this.
So far, we enjoy exactly what we’re seeing in the brand-new Sportage. The improved ride, much better visibility, plus straightforward controls and refined powertrain, ought to make the Sportage an basic car to live with. Examine spine along with us as we complete testing it and see where it ranks among the competition. Examine spine to see how it ranks in the small SUV category as we finish our testing.