Kia Sportage gets a stylish makeover – The Seattle Times

When the Kia brand strike U.S. shores in the 1990s, among its initial offerings was the Sportage sport utility vehicle. My brother-in-law Bob bought one after that and drove 80,000 miles in 3 years, an admirable feat of stamina for the two automobile and owner curious about the model’s small, Spartan demeanor spine then.

Now Kia’s oldest nameplate, the-fourth-generation Sportage, is much much more pleasant, holding its own in a wickedly fierce segment that involves the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. Supporters of lucha libre will certainly especially adore the Sportage’s front fascia, even though others could wrestle along with the face.

The third-generation Sportage was the initial Kia to get hold of the former Audi designer Peter Schreyer’s deft touch. Carefully guiding this one as well, Schreyer wisely kept a lot of the attitude. The expensive look ought to have actually encouraged the chassis engineers.

Sportage gets the improvements it must maintain speed along with the pack. Shouting is no longer required As soon as talking along with passengers at highway velocity. The steering wheel provides feedback where there as soon as was none. At all. A slimmer A-pillar offers improved visibility. The suspension goes from stiff and brittle to compliant and refined. Sportage is not overtly sporty however is fairly comfortable. The suspension group deserves a raise.

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The interior group merits one, too. Granted, I’m driving the top-shelf SX Turbo model that adds a reduce and sewn dashboard along with satin complete to metallic trim bits. Its retail fee of $33,395 (include $1,500 for all-wheel drive) will certainly create those stuck in Kia’s past to choke. Already know that it’s stuffed along with features and technology adore heated and vented seats, heated steering wheel, a panoramic glass roof and auto braking along with pedestrian detection. The vibe is near-luxury.

The very same simple design and functionality can easily be had in base models for $24,985, albeit along with much less power. Many Sportages run along with a 2.4-liter 4-cyliner engine turning out 181 horsepower. Honest truth in advertising, SX Turbo’s 2-liter engine is turbocharged, churning out 240 horses (237 in AWD trim) and 260 pound-feet of torque early in the energy band. Wheel spin is eager and regularly launching front-wheel drive models. I suggest AWD along with the turbo motor.

Gear modifications are elegantly earned along with a six-rate automatic no matter the engine. The SX adds steering wheel paddle shifters. Obtaining from 0-60 mph takes regarding 7.5 seconds in the turbo if you’re drag racing Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester and sibling Hyundai Tucson.

On standard-grade gas I enjoyed 27 mpg throughout a 200-mile road trip. This beat the government rating of 21 city, 26 highway, a figure lesser compared to Many competitors’. The Mazda CX-5 beats the Sportage along with an EPA highway rating of 33 mpg.

The fairly capable all-wheel-drive system adds traction, a various front fascia to boost the approach angle, and a slight bump in ground clearance to nearly 7 inches. It subtracts a couple of mpg.

The spine seat is fairly roomy for two adults, 3 in a pinch. Curiously, it lacks seat warmers that the Soul has. The roomier trunk has actually a load floor that adjusts for height. The SX gets an automatic liftgate that opens As soon as you stand close by along with the proximity key. Slick.

My brother-in-law Bob would certainly be impressed along with the 2017 Sportage. Kia has actually come a long method in two decades. Fuel-efficiency aside, it’s a comfortable and stylish package that can easily tussle in the Many competitive segment the automotive arena has.