Roseville, Calif.- Although its lineup of vehicles continues to go through a variety of changes, what hasn’t changed with Kia is the Korean auto manufacturer’s ability to deliver quality cars at a reasonable price.
While the 2017 Kia Sportage has undergone a redesign, it’s still delivering the same style, versatility and quality that car buyers have come to expect from previous models. The changes for the small crossover sport utility vehicle includes increased technology and safety features, and is a bit roomier than previous models.
One area that got addressed was the Sportage back seat, which was a little cramped in previous years. It seats three people more comfortably than ever before, providing improved head and leg room that now matches front seat occupants. Still shorter in length than much of the competition, the Sportage has a 30.7 cubic feet of cargo space. With the back seat down the storage expands to 60.1 cubic feet. However, that’s still far shorter than industry leaders – Toyota RAV4 (73.3) and Honda CR-V (70.9).
But there are no other complaints regarding the Sportage interior. The dash has a new, more modern look, uses better quality materials, and the control layout tilts toward the driver, providing easier operation. New this year is a 12-volt power outlet and USB outlet for second-row passengers. Even with the upgrades in technology, the Sportage remains user-friendly and everything seems to make sense.
Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels; LED running lights; automatic headlights; rear privacy-tinted windows; rear climate vents; 5-inch touchscreen; Bluetooth and a six-speaker sound system with a USB port; and auxiliary input jack and satellite radio. All-wheel drive is an option.
2017 Kia Sportage
* Performance: 2.4-liter, four cylinder, 181 horsepower; turbocharged 2.0-liter, four cylinder, 240 horsepower
* Mileage estimate: 23-30 mpg; 21-26 mpg
* Price estimate: $22,900 to $33,385
* Warranty: 5 years/60,000 miles; drivetrain: 10 years/100,000 miles; roadside assistance: 5 years/60,000; corrosion: 5 years/60,000
From an exterior standpoint, the Sportage remains an athletic-appealing SUV with its sloping roof and front end that has the Kia “tiger-nose” grille.
The 2017 Sportage features three trim models (LX, EX, SX Turbo) and two engines that are quite diverse. The standard engine is a 2.4-liter, four cylinder that produces 181 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. The other is a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four cylinder that elicits 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. A fan of turbo engines, the surprise here is most industry experts prefer the Sportage’s standard engine even though it’s not super energetic. Part of the preference is due to the better gas mileage – the standard model gets 23-30 mpg and the turbo 21-26 mpg. Although there’s nothing wrong with the turbo’s performance, most turbos deliver better mileage numbers than the Sportage.
Once an SUV with a firm, unforgiving quality, the Sportage now offers a much more pleasing ride that’s quieter than ever before. This year’s model provides good handling and has a fun factor for any type of driving with the exception of off-road, which was never Kia’s intent. The Sportage corners well and gives the driver strong confidence behind the wheel.
For the price (starting at approximately $23,000), the Kia Sportage is an affordable, small SUV with solid upside. The changes for 2017 make it more appealing than ever.