The Kia Sportage is all-new for 2017. The compact SUV features all-new styling, riding atop a completely redesigned chassis. The new platform promises to add more space, a stiffer chassis and more comfort than ever before. A redesigned front suspension goes a long way towards improving the ride without compromising handling, while a revised transmission improves shift quality. Virtually nothing has been carried over from last year's car, though the basic styling language remains intact, with smooth, sophisticated lines and a refreshing simplicity that is often absent in the overwrought styling of most cars these days.
The 2017 Kia Sportage is available in one of three different trims. LX and EX models feature a 2.4L 4-cylinder making 181-hp, while the top of the line SX Turbo uses a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder rated at 240 hp in FWD trim. All three trim levels are available with all-wheel drive as a $1,500 option, though opting for AWD on the SX Turbo does decrease power slightly (it's rated at 237 hp) and costs a couple of mpgs on the freeway or around town. Generally though, the Sportage is pretty miserly with its fuel, with up to 30 mpg achievable on the highway when configured correctly. The only transmission choice is a 6-speed automatic.
Even base Kia models tend to be pretty well equipped and the Sportage LX is no exception. Some surprising standard features are available on the under-$24,000 vehicle. 17-inch alloy wheels come as standard equipment as do daytime running lights, power adjustable outside mirrors, a rear spoiler, body colored door handles, SiriusXM Satellite radio, Bluetooth connectivity, a backup camera and steering wheel mounted audio and cruise controls.
Mid-level EX models build on the LX by adding additional chrome work to the exterior, roof rails, heated exterior mirrors and 18-inch wheels. Inside, EX-trimmed Sportages include a 7" touchscreen display, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats and leather seating surfaces.
The top of the line SX Turbo comes with everything on the EX, while jazzing up the interior with a bigger touchscreen in the center console, a Harman-Kardon sound system, a built in navigation system, steering wheel mounted paddle shifters, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with a built in garage door opener and LED interior lighting. The SX Turbo also comes with a full sensor suite, including a blind spot warning system, a lane departure warning system, an emergency autonomous braking system and rear cross traffic alert. These sensors also make a very handy, self-parking mode possible on the SX Turbo, again included as standard equipment. The SX turbo looks upscale too, with bigger, 19-inch wheels, a unique gloss-black grill, power-folding mirrors with integrated turn signals, a big, panoramic sunroof, a powered liftgate and bi-xenon HID headlights.