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Found 8 results

  1. Crossovers are big business and this is nowhere more apparent than in the compact realm. Automakers are either introducing new or redesigned models to make their mark and try to a take a nice slice of the growing demand by consumers. Recently, we spent some time with the redesigned 2017 Kia Sportage SX and refreshed Toyota RAV4 SE to see how they would stack up. Exterior: Toyota did a refresh to the RAV4’s exterior for 2016 to make it look a bit sleeker. A lot of the changes are up front with a new inset grille similar to the Corolla and reshaped headlights. The back features new taillights. The big news for 2016 is the introduction of the SE trim. This brings a unique bumper and lower grille; LED headlights and taillights, and a set of 18-inch wheels. Finished in a bright blue, I had to admit Toyota has done a pretty decent job with the refresh. Meanwhile, Kia’s redesign of the Sportage is well, um, polarizing. The front end is where the Sportage’s design will make you love or hate it. A large version of Kia’s ’tiger nose’ is flanked by headlights that protrude upward. Personally, I really don’t like the front and it spoils the rest of the Sportage’s design. The rear comes with a new tailgate design, taillights that extend into the rear fenders, and a set of dual exhaust tips. Our SX tester also featured 19-inch alloy wheels and bi-xenon headlights. Interior: One of the biggest issues I had with the previous-generation Kia Sportage was the materials used. There were a lot of hard and cheap plastics throughout and it made the work Kia had done for the exterior all for naught. Thankfully, Kia has learned its lesson and has improved the materials. Most of the dash and door panels feature soft-touch plastics. There are still some hard plastics, but in areas where it makes sense such as panels near the floor. A new design for the center stack is angled towards the driver and features large buttons for the climate control and infotainment system. Seats in our SX tester came wrapped in leather and provided the right amount of support and comfort for a long drive. Those sitting in the back will have nothing to complain about in terms of head and legroom. Even those who are slightly above 6-feet will find more than enough headroom. The Sportage does falter when it comes to cargo space. With 30.7 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, the Sportage trails competitors by a few cubic feet. It only gets worse when you fold the rear seats and you’re provided 60.1 cubic feet, again trailing competitors. Toyota hasn’t changed the RAV4’s interior in terms of design which may disappoint some. It still has a very utilitarian look compared to many of its competitors. But Toyota has changed various trim pieces and removed the awful faux carbon-fiber inlays on the dash. The look is more coherent. Material quality has also seen an improvement with more soft-touch materials and thicker hard plastics. The SE comes with Toyota’s faux leather (Softex) as standard along with power adjustments for the driver. The RAV4’s front seats aren’t quite as comfortable as the Sportage’s due to the lack of thigh support. On a long drive, I found my leg was beginning to fall asleep. The backseat is quite spacious with a large amount of head and legroom. The low placement of the seat may bug some folks. Cargo space is towards the top of the class with 38.4 cubic feet the rear seats up and 73.3 cubic feet with them folded. Infotainment: All RAV4 trims get Toyota’s Entune infotainment system as standard. Our SE tester featured the larger 7-inch system through an option package that also brought forth a JBL audio system. Entune’s interface may look somewhat dated and the screen could be a bit brighter, but Toyota has nailed ease of use and performance with this system. Large touch points, simple layout, and redundant buttons around the screen make Entune a breeze to use. Disappointingly, Entune doesn’t offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Kia’s UVO infotainment system leaves Entune in the dust. The Sportage SX comes with an 8-inch touchscreen system with navigation as standard equipment. Like Entune, UVO offers a simple interface with quick performance. However, the Sportage offers a more vibrant screen and comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Using CarPlay with the Sportage was very easy as the system was able to recognize my iPhone and bring up the CarPlay interface within seconds. We didn’t experience any issues of slowdown or apps crashing like in other models we have tested. Power: There are two engines on offer for the 2017 Kia Sportage. The LX and EX models feature a 2.4L four-cylinder with 181 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. The SX comes with a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Both engines come paired with a six-speed automatic and the choice of front or all-wheel drive. The power figures may make you believe the Sportage will fly, but this isn’t true. The engine takes a few moments to wake up when leaving a stop due to a hint of turbo lag and a lazy throttle - something we have been noticing in recent Hyundai and Kia turbo models. The engine also doesn’t feel as powerful as you might think due to an increase in overall curb weight. At least the six-speed automatic is excellent, delivering smart and quick shifts Toyota also offers two engines for the RAV4. A 2.5L four-cylinder comes standard and a hybrid powertrain is optional on the XLE and Limited models. The 2.5 produces 176 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. Like the Sportage, the RAV4 features a six-speed automatic and either front or all-wheel drive. For most drivers, the 2.5 does an adequate job of moving the vehicle at a reasonable clip. It does feel slightly slower than other compact crossovers thanks in part to the torque arriving at a high 4,100 rpm. The transmission provides smooth shifts when driven normally. But when you need to make a pass, it does take its sweet time to downshift. Fuel Economy: The RAV4 AWD is rated by the EPA at 22 City/29 Highway/25 Combined. These numbers put the RAV4 in the middle of the pack the compact crossover class. Our average for the week landed around 24 mpg in mixed driving The Kia Sorento equipped with the turbo and front-wheel drive is towards the bottom with EPA figures of 21 City/26 Highway/23 Combined. We could only get 21 mpg during our week of mixed driving. Add all-wheel drive and numbers drop even further to 20/23/21. Ride & Handling: We had a number of complaints with the last-generation Sportage’s suspension and steering tuning. The ride was too stiff and the suspension would transmit most bumps into the cabin. The steering felt disconnected and very light. Kia has addressed these complaints in the 2017 and it has made the Sportage more well-rounded. Most bumps are now absorbed by the suspension, making for a more comfortable ride. Some bumps do make their way inside, but that is more of a case of the 19-inch wheels fitted to the SX. Road and wind noise are kept to very acceptable levels. Handling is still one of the strongest parts of the Sorento. There is little body roll when cornering. The steering feels heavy and directly connected to the road. The SE trim is new for the 2016 RAV4 and it features a retuned suspension that is said to make the model fun to drive. Sadly, the changes made to the RAV4’s suspension doesn’t make a dent in improving the overall handling. Yes, the changes do reduce body motion when cornering. But the steering still feels somewhat rubbery and the set of Bridgestone Ecopia low-rolling resistance tires will make you think twice about pushing the RAV4 in a corner. What the SE does well is giving the RAV4 a harsh ride. Compared to the last RAV4 we drove back in 2014, the SE let more bumps and imperfections inside the cabin. The RAV4 also could use a bit more time in finishing school as there is a fair amount of road and wind noise coming inside. Pricing & Value: Out of the two models, the 2017 Kia Sportage SX is possibly the better value. With an as-tested price of $33,395, the Sportage SX comes very well equipped with an 8-inch color touchscreen, navigation, Harman/Kardon audio system, heated and ventilated front seats, panoramic sunroof, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, and autonomous emergency braking. This, by the way, is all standard. There are no options available on the SX. The RAV4 SE is cheaper than the Sportage SX in terms of base price ($30,665 vs. $32,500). But it does feature a higher as-tested price of $34,595. This is due to our tester featuring the $3,030 Advanced Technology Package that adds the 7-inch screen with navigation, the JBL audio system, parking sensors, and the Toyota Safety Sense Package (adds Pre-Collision system with pedestrian detection, steering assist, radar cruise control, and automatic high beams). Final Thoughts: This was a tough decision to make since for every positive point both models have, there are two negatives to go with them. Out of these two, the 2017 Kia Sportage narrowly takes the win here. The styling will divide folks and turbo engine isn’t worth the extra cost in terms of performance and fuel economy. But Kia has fixed a number of issues with previous Sportage such as poor interior materials and overall ride quality. It doesn’t hurt the Kia is the slightly better value, although we would go with the EX and the regular four-cylinder. If the RAV4 was the XLE or Limited, it might have taken the win as it would have provided a smoother ride and cost a fair amount less. But the SE comprises a decent crossover with a harsher ride and negating the improvements in handling with a set of eco tires. Still, the RAV4 does offer more cargo space and some safety features not seen on the Sportage. Both of these crossovers are in the middle of the road, but the Sportage is closer to reaching the top. Disclaimer: Kia and Toyota Provided the vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas 2016 Toyota RAV4 SE Cheers: Cargo Space, Improved Interior, Interesting design Jeers: Engine could use some more oomph, SE trim compromises ride, Expensive Year: 2016 Make: Toyota Model: RAV4 Trim: SE Engine: 2.5L DOHC Dual VVT-i Four-Cylinder Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 176 @ 6,000 Torque @ RPM: 172 @ 4,100 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/29/25 Curb Weight: 3,630 lbs Location of Manufacture: Woodstock, Ontario Base Price: $30,665 As Tested Price: $34,595 (Includes $900.00 Destination Charge) Options: Advanced Technology Package - $3,030.00 2017 Kia Sportage SX Cheers: Better ride quality, Noticeable interior improvements, Value Jeers: Turbo engine isn't worth the extra cost, Exterior design may turn some people off, Fuel Economy Year: 2017 Make: Kia Model: Sportage Trim: SX Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L GDI Four-Cylinder Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 240 @ 6,000 Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 1,450-3,500 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/26/23 Curb Weight: 3,666 lbs Location of Manufacture: Gwangju, South Korea Base Price: $32,500 As Tested Price: $33,395 (Includes $895.00 Destination Charge) Options: N/A View full article
  2. Crossovers are big business and this is nowhere more apparent than in the compact realm. Automakers are either introducing new or redesigned models to make their mark and try to a take a nice slice of the growing demand by consumers. Recently, we spent some time with the redesigned 2017 Kia Sportage SX and refreshed Toyota RAV4 SE to see how they would stack up. Exterior: Toyota did a refresh to the RAV4’s exterior for 2016 to make it look a bit sleeker. A lot of the changes are up front with a new inset grille similar to the Corolla and reshaped headlights. The back features new taillights. The big news for 2016 is the introduction of the SE trim. This brings a unique bumper and lower grille; LED headlights and taillights, and a set of 18-inch wheels. Finished in a bright blue, I had to admit Toyota has done a pretty decent job with the refresh. Meanwhile, Kia’s redesign of the Sportage is well, um, polarizing. The front end is where the Sportage’s design will make you love or hate it. A large version of Kia’s ’tiger nose’ is flanked by headlights that protrude upward. Personally, I really don’t like the front and it spoils the rest of the Sportage’s design. The rear comes with a new tailgate design, taillights that extend into the rear fenders, and a set of dual exhaust tips. Our SX tester also featured 19-inch alloy wheels and bi-xenon headlights. Interior: One of the biggest issues I had with the previous-generation Kia Sportage was the materials used. There were a lot of hard and cheap plastics throughout and it made the work Kia had done for the exterior all for naught. Thankfully, Kia has learned its lesson and has improved the materials. Most of the dash and door panels feature soft-touch plastics. There are still some hard plastics, but in areas where it makes sense such as panels near the floor. A new design for the center stack is angled towards the driver and features large buttons for the climate control and infotainment system. Seats in our SX tester came wrapped in leather and provided the right amount of support and comfort for a long drive. Those sitting in the back will have nothing to complain about in terms of head and legroom. Even those who are slightly above 6-feet will find more than enough headroom. The Sportage does falter when it comes to cargo space. With 30.7 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, the Sportage trails competitors by a few cubic feet. It only gets worse when you fold the rear seats and you’re provided 60.1 cubic feet, again trailing competitors. Toyota hasn’t changed the RAV4’s interior in terms of design which may disappoint some. It still has a very utilitarian look compared to many of its competitors. But Toyota has changed various trim pieces and removed the awful faux carbon-fiber inlays on the dash. The look is more coherent. Material quality has also seen an improvement with more soft-touch materials and thicker hard plastics. The SE comes with Toyota’s faux leather (Softex) as standard along with power adjustments for the driver. The RAV4’s front seats aren’t quite as comfortable as the Sportage’s due to the lack of thigh support. On a long drive, I found my leg was beginning to fall asleep. The backseat is quite spacious with a large amount of head and legroom. The low placement of the seat may bug some folks. Cargo space is towards the top of the class with 38.4 cubic feet the rear seats up and 73.3 cubic feet with them folded. Infotainment: All RAV4 trims get Toyota’s Entune infotainment system as standard. Our SE tester featured the larger 7-inch system through an option package that also brought forth a JBL audio system. Entune’s interface may look somewhat dated and the screen could be a bit brighter, but Toyota has nailed ease of use and performance with this system. Large touch points, simple layout, and redundant buttons around the screen make Entune a breeze to use. Disappointingly, Entune doesn’t offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Kia’s UVO infotainment system leaves Entune in the dust. The Sportage SX comes with an 8-inch touchscreen system with navigation as standard equipment. Like Entune, UVO offers a simple interface with quick performance. However, the Sportage offers a more vibrant screen and comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Using CarPlay with the Sportage was very easy as the system was able to recognize my iPhone and bring up the CarPlay interface within seconds. We didn’t experience any issues of slowdown or apps crashing like in other models we have tested. Power: There are two engines on offer for the 2017 Kia Sportage. The LX and EX models feature a 2.4L four-cylinder with 181 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. The SX comes with a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Both engines come paired with a six-speed automatic and the choice of front or all-wheel drive. The power figures may make you believe the Sportage will fly, but this isn’t true. The engine takes a few moments to wake up when leaving a stop due to a hint of turbo lag and a lazy throttle - something we have been noticing in recent Hyundai and Kia turbo models. The engine also doesn’t feel as powerful as you might think due to an increase in overall curb weight. At least the six-speed automatic is excellent, delivering smart and quick shifts Toyota also offers two engines for the RAV4. A 2.5L four-cylinder comes standard and a hybrid powertrain is optional on the XLE and Limited models. The 2.5 produces 176 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. Like the Sportage, the RAV4 features a six-speed automatic and either front or all-wheel drive. For most drivers, the 2.5 does an adequate job of moving the vehicle at a reasonable clip. It does feel slightly slower than other compact crossovers thanks in part to the torque arriving at a high 4,100 rpm. The transmission provides smooth shifts when driven normally. But when you need to make a pass, it does take its sweet time to downshift. Fuel Economy: The RAV4 AWD is rated by the EPA at 22 City/29 Highway/25 Combined. These numbers put the RAV4 in the middle of the pack the compact crossover class. Our average for the week landed around 24 mpg in mixed driving The Kia Sorento equipped with the turbo and front-wheel drive is towards the bottom with EPA figures of 21 City/26 Highway/23 Combined. We could only get 21 mpg during our week of mixed driving. Add all-wheel drive and numbers drop even further to 20/23/21. Ride & Handling: We had a number of complaints with the last-generation Sportage’s suspension and steering tuning. The ride was too stiff and the suspension would transmit most bumps into the cabin. The steering felt disconnected and very light. Kia has addressed these complaints in the 2017 and it has made the Sportage more well-rounded. Most bumps are now absorbed by the suspension, making for a more comfortable ride. Some bumps do make their way inside, but that is more of a case of the 19-inch wheels fitted to the SX. Road and wind noise are kept to very acceptable levels. Handling is still one of the strongest parts of the Sorento. There is little body roll when cornering. The steering feels heavy and directly connected to the road. The SE trim is new for the 2016 RAV4 and it features a retuned suspension that is said to make the model fun to drive. Sadly, the changes made to the RAV4’s suspension doesn’t make a dent in improving the overall handling. Yes, the changes do reduce body motion when cornering. But the steering still feels somewhat rubbery and the set of Bridgestone Ecopia low-rolling resistance tires will make you think twice about pushing the RAV4 in a corner. What the SE does well is giving the RAV4 a harsh ride. Compared to the last RAV4 we drove back in 2014, the SE let more bumps and imperfections inside the cabin. The RAV4 also could use a bit more time in finishing school as there is a fair amount of road and wind noise coming inside. Pricing & Value: Out of the two models, the 2017 Kia Sportage SX is possibly the better value. With an as-tested price of $33,395, the Sportage SX comes very well equipped with an 8-inch color touchscreen, navigation, Harman/Kardon audio system, heated and ventilated front seats, panoramic sunroof, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, and autonomous emergency braking. This, by the way, is all standard. There are no options available on the SX. The RAV4 SE is cheaper than the Sportage SX in terms of base price ($30,665 vs. $32,500). But it does feature a higher as-tested price of $34,595. This is due to our tester featuring the $3,030 Advanced Technology Package that adds the 7-inch screen with navigation, the JBL audio system, parking sensors, and the Toyota Safety Sense Package (adds Pre-Collision system with pedestrian detection, steering assist, radar cruise control, and automatic high beams). Final Thoughts: This was a tough decision to make since for every positive point both models have, there are two negatives to go with them. Out of these two, the 2017 Kia Sportage narrowly takes the win here. The styling will divide folks and turbo engine isn’t worth the extra cost in terms of performance and fuel economy. But Kia has fixed a number of issues with previous Sportage such as poor interior materials and overall ride quality. It doesn’t hurt the Kia is the slightly better value, although we would go with the EX and the regular four-cylinder. If the RAV4 was the XLE or Limited, it might have taken the win as it would have provided a smoother ride and cost a fair amount less. But the SE comprises a decent crossover with a harsher ride and negating the improvements in handling with a set of eco tires. Still, the RAV4 does offer more cargo space and some safety features not seen on the Sportage. Both of these crossovers are in the middle of the road, but the Sportage is closer to reaching the top. Disclaimer: Kia and Toyota Provided the vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas 2016 Toyota RAV4 SE Cheers: Cargo Space, Improved Interior, Interesting design Jeers: Engine could use some more oomph, SE trim compromises ride, Expensive Year: 2016 Make: Toyota Model: RAV4 Trim: SE Engine: 2.5L DOHC Dual VVT-i Four-Cylinder Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 176 @ 6,000 Torque @ RPM: 172 @ 4,100 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/29/25 Curb Weight: 3,630 lbs Location of Manufacture: Woodstock, Ontario Base Price: $30,665 As Tested Price: $34,595 (Includes $900.00 Destination Charge) Options: Advanced Technology Package - $3,030.00 2017 Kia Sportage SX Cheers: Better ride quality, Noticeable interior improvements, Value Jeers: Turbo engine isn't worth the extra cost, Exterior design may turn some people off, Fuel Economy Year: 2017 Make: Kia Model: Sportage Trim: SX Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L GDI Four-Cylinder Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 240 @ 6,000 Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 1,450-3,500 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/26/23 Curb Weight: 3,666 lbs Location of Manufacture: Gwangju, South Korea Base Price: $32,500 As Tested Price: $33,395 (Includes $895.00 Destination Charge) Options: N/A
  3. By now, you would think that we wouldn't be surprised when Kia rolls out a very stylish vehicle. You would be wrong as jaws dropped when Kia unveiled the 2017 Sportage at the LA Auto Show yesterday. Now Kia has shown off the Sportage at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in September. But if you missed or forgot about it, here is what you need to know. The Sportage's exterior is all new from the ground up with a more aggressive look. The front boast's Kia's most polarizing take on the Tiger nose with an upright design. Quad-beam foglights and new headlights finish the front. Size-wise, the 2017 Sportage is about 1.6 inches longer and rides on a wheelbase that is 1.2 inches longer. The increase in size allows for a more spacious cabin for passengers and cargo. A new dashboard layout provides an easy reach and understanding for all of the various controls. The 2017 Sportage will also be one of the first Kia models to debut the latest version of UVO, complete with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration. The base engine will be a 2.4L four with 181 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque, while a turbocharged 2.0L four with 241 horsepower and 260 pound-feet will be standard on top SX trim. A six-speed automatic comes standard on either engine, while there is a choice between front and all-wheel drive. Kia says the Sportage will arrive sometime next year. Source: Kia Press Release is on Page 2 All-new 2017 Kia Sportage makes North American Debut at Los Angeles Auto Show Fourth-Generation Sportage Compact CUV Boasts Sophisticated Design, a Refined Premium Interior and Significant Ride and Handling Improvements Stiffer structure, new suspension, advanced driver assistance systems, and premium materials take Sportage to the head of the class Cutting-edge design, engaging driving dynamics and intelligent packaging stand out in a staid compact CUV segment First Kia to offer UVO3, featuring 14 telematics services, 8 GB of music storage, access to onscreen apps and Wi-Fi tethering capability, all free of charge Los Angeles, November 18, 2015 – Kia Motors America (KMA) today unveiled the all-new 2017 Sportage at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The fourth-generation Sportage, KMA’s longest-running nameplate, wraps stunning contemporary design around a structure that is both stiffer and more spacious than before. Advanced driver assistance technologies, significant suspension and steering improvements, and available intelligent AWD vastly improve the Sportage’s driving dynamics while premium materials and world-class craftsmanship create a class-up experience in an otherwise utilitarian segment. “Simply put, the Sportage is a breed apart in the compact CUV segment,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning KMA. “Instead of bland utility, the Sportage combines distinctly European and sporty styling with thoughtful design and functionality, including innovative packaging, premium materials, a turbocharged engine and surprising features. Sales of compact CUVs are on a sharply upward trajectory, and the all-new 2017 Sportage hits the sweet spot by providing an alternative for those seeking to express themselves with a vehicle that’s versatile enough to suit their unique lifestyle.” The all-new Sportage’s roomier, more luxurious cabin features an impressive level of craftsmanship, with high-quality, soft-touch materials and a range of technologies improving overall comfort, convenience, and connectivity. Updates to the drivetrain provide enhanced efficiency and performance, while changes to the suspension deliver better ride and handling. Like the outgoing model, the all-new Sportage will be built at Kia’s production facility in Gwangju, Korea, and be available in three distinct trim levels (LX, EX, SX Turbo) when it goes on sale next year. Pricing will be announced closer to the Sportage’s on-sale date. Aggressive, Inspired Design Designed under the direction of Kia’s president and chief design officer, Peter Schreyer, the 2017 Sportage’s exterior juxtaposes smooth curves with sharp creases. Although every body panel is new, the “face” of the new Sportage features the most significant change over the outgoing model. Kia’s hallmark “tiger-nose” grille resides vertically in the front fascia while the headlights are positioned higher, sweeping back along the outer edges of the sharply detailed hood. A lower, wider front clip – enlarged to provide greater engine cooling – adds visual volume to the lower half of the Sportage’s face, resulting in a planted and aggressive stance, though it keeps the same overall width, 73.0 inches, as its predecessor. The wheelbase has been stretched 1.2 inches (now 105.1 inches), while overall length has increased 1.6 inches to 176.4 inches. Despite its increased dimensions, the all-new Sportage remains instantly recognizable thanks to its sloping roofline and sharply raked rear window. Short overhangs and wheels pushed to the corners continue to be Sportage signatures, while a longer, more aerodynamic spoiler and bolder wheel arches give the compact CUV a more dynamic appearance. Tasteful chrome touches surround the windows, giving the Sportage LX and EX a more upscale look, while the top-of-the-line SX Turbo model adds more visual interest with new “ice cube” LED fog lamps, HID headlamps, LED tail lights, satin exterior trim, metal-look skid plates, and 19-inch alloy wheels. Modern and Refined Interior Inside, the new Sportage’s driver-oriented cockpit features a simple and modern design with clean horizontal lines emphasizing a more spacious interior. The lateral design of the dashboard divides it into two clear zones. The upper “display” zone delivers information to occupants via the instrument panel and new color touchscreen, which is canted 10 degrees toward the driver. The lower half, or the “control” zone, features easily identifiable switchgear to operate the available dual-zone climate system, audio and secondary controls. Similar to the touchscreen, the center console has been angled to face the driver. Giving the Sportage a more premium feel is the availability of either a single-tone (black) or two-tone (Dark and Light Grey or Black and Beige) cabin, while metalwork elements blended with soft-touch materials contribute to a more upscale interior. The EX and SX Turbo models add sumptuous leather upholstery, and the SX Turbo includes a D-shaped, heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters, piano black trim along the center console, aluminum alloy pedals, and authentic stitching on the dashboard. As a result of the increased exterior dimensions and clever packaging, interior dimensions have grown, offering more space and comfort. Headroom has increased 0.2 inches to 39.3 inches in the front and 0.6 inches to 39.1 in the rear, while legroom has increased slightly in front and 0.3 inches in the rear to 38.2. The second row has a 1.6-inch lower interior floor (ground clearance is unchanged at 6.4 inches for front-drive models and 6.8 inches on AWD) and 1.2-inch lower rear bench hip point, benefitting second-row passengers with more headroom (up more than a half inch) and a more comfortable seating position. Offering even more comfort are options such as three-level front seat heaters, 10-way power control with lumbar support for the driver’s seat, and eight-way power control for the passenger seat. Just as passenger space has increased, so has cargo room. Thanks to an innovative dual-level cargo floor and a widened luggage area, cargo capacity behind the second row has grown substantially from 26.1 cu.-ft. to 30.7 cu.-ft. (SAE). By relocating the license plate from the bumper to the tailgate, the lift-over height has been lowered for easier loading and unloading. A Smart Power Liftgate™, which automatically opens when the key fob is within three feet of the vehicle, is also available. Outward visibility has been improved by mounting the side mirrors lower on the doors, using thinner A- and C-pillars and incorporating larger rear glass in hatch. This feeling of spaciousness is further enhanced with an available panoramic sunroof that is 4.1 inches longer than the outgoing model’s. Kia engineers reduced noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) through the application of a quad-bushing setup in the rear suspension to isolate road noise and additional sound-absorbent materials throughout the Sportage’s wheel arches. Wind noise also is reduced as a result of thicker front side glass, a lip seal for the panoramic sunroof, and additional soundproofing in the doors. The 2017 Sportage is also more aerodynamic, with a coefficient of drag that’s been reduced from .37 cd to .35 cd. A Strong Foundation The structure of the all-new Sportage is significantly improved due to the extensive use of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS). With 51 percent of the Sportage’s body-in-white consisting of AHSS versus the outgoing model’s 18 percent, torsional rigidity has improved 39 percent. Furthermore, the increased use of advanced hot-stamped steel improves body integrity. The material has been used to reinforce the A-, B- and C-pillars, side sills, roof structure, and wheel arches. As a result of its stronger core, Sportage engineers are targeting the compact CUV to earn an overall five-star National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rating and an Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick+ designation. The 2017 will be available with a wide range of driver assistance features1 including: Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), which can detect a potential collision with another vehicle or pedestrian and help bring the Sportage to a halt Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), which emits an audible alert when it detects the driver straying from the current lane without using a turn signal Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Lane Change Assist (LCA), which can monitor cars up to 230 feet behind the Sportage and provide the driver with a visual warning in the door mirror when another car enters the blind spot Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), which can warn the driver when other cars pass behind the Sportage as it backs out of a parking space Bi-HID headlights with Dynamic Bending Light (DBL) technology Refined and Spirited Performance The completely redesigned fully independent front suspension achieves a leap forward in ride quality. A four-point bushing setup delivers greater stability and a more natural response to changing road surfaces, while stiffer wheel bearings and bushings result in more precise handling. The fully-independent rear suspension now adopts a dual-member shock absorber housing, while both AWD and FWD models now benefit from a dual lower-arm multi-link setup. The SX Turbo has been uniquely tuned with firmer shock absorbers to deliver sharper handling befitting its athletic personality. The 2017 Sportage is offered in front or all-wheel-drive, both coupled with a six-speed Sportmatic transmission. The Dynamax intelligent AWD system is available on every trim and features a 50/50 locking center differential. The system senses, anticipates, and optimizes traction requirements for all road and weather conditions. AWD models feature a unique front fascia with a steeper approach angle for increased capability. Steering is another area of improvement, as engineers mounted the steering box farther forward on the axle for better weight distribution. With 25 percent less friction than the previous unit, the 2017 Sportage offers smoother and more precise steering inputs and better feel. Efficiency and driving performance were two major areas of focus when retuning the engines. The hard-charging 2.0-liter inline-four turbo found on the SX Turbo makes 241 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque and has been retuned to target improved fuel efficiency and offer better midrange torque. The LX and EX use a normally aspirated 2.4-liter engine that produces 181 horsepower and 175 lb.-ft. of torque and is also retuned to target better fuel efficiency. Advanced Telematics, Audio and Entertainment The all-new Sportage features a number of new and advanced on-board technologies2 to elevate the driving experience and keep drivers connected. The LX comes equipped with a standard 5.0-inch color touchscreen that features Bluetooth®3 hands-free phone operation and streaming audio, SiriusXM®4 satellite radio, and rear-camera display5. A move up to the EX brings a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen with the latest version of Kia’s award-winning telematics and infotainment system, UVO3, which is making its debut on the all-new Sportage. Complete with Android Auto6, Apple7 CarPlay® (late availability), and UVO eServices8 featuring 14 telematics services, the enhanced system features up to 8 GB of music storage, access to onscreen apps such as Pandora®9 and Soundhound and Wi-Fi tethering capability, all free of charge. The SX Turbo features all of the above, plus an 8-inch touchscreen and onboard navigation. All Sportages come standard with a 160-watt six-speaker audio system, and a powerful 320-watt Harmon Kardon® premium audio system is available, featuring eight speakers including subwoofer, an external amplifier, and Clari-FiTM10 music restoration technology for unrivalled audio quality.
  4. By now, you would think that we wouldn't be surprised when Kia rolls out a very stylish vehicle. You would be wrong as jaws dropped when Kia unveiled the 2017 Sportage at the LA Auto Show yesterday. Now Kia has shown off the Sportage at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in September. But if you missed or forgot about it, here is what you need to know. The Sportage's exterior is all new from the ground up with a more aggressive look. The front boast's Kia's most polarizing take on the Tiger nose with an upright design. Quad-beam foglights and new headlights finish the front. Size-wise, the 2017 Sportage is about 1.6 inches longer and rides on a wheelbase that is 1.2 inches longer. The increase in size allows for a more spacious cabin for passengers and cargo. A new dashboard layout provides an easy reach and understanding for all of the various controls. The 2017 Sportage will also be one of the first Kia models to debut the latest version of UVO, complete with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration. The base engine will be a 2.4L four with 181 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque, while a turbocharged 2.0L four with 241 horsepower and 260 pound-feet will be standard on top SX trim. A six-speed automatic comes standard on either engine, while there is a choice between front and all-wheel drive. Kia says the Sportage will arrive sometime next year. Source: Kia Press Release is on Page 2 All-new 2017 Kia Sportage makes North American Debut at Los Angeles Auto Show Fourth-Generation Sportage Compact CUV Boasts Sophisticated Design, a Refined Premium Interior and Significant Ride and Handling Improvements Stiffer structure, new suspension, advanced driver assistance systems, and premium materials take Sportage to the head of the class Cutting-edge design, engaging driving dynamics and intelligent packaging stand out in a staid compact CUV segment First Kia to offer UVO3, featuring 14 telematics services, 8 GB of music storage, access to onscreen apps and Wi-Fi tethering capability, all free of charge Los Angeles, November 18, 2015 – Kia Motors America (KMA) today unveiled the all-new 2017 Sportage at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The fourth-generation Sportage, KMA’s longest-running nameplate, wraps stunning contemporary design around a structure that is both stiffer and more spacious than before. Advanced driver assistance technologies, significant suspension and steering improvements, and available intelligent AWD vastly improve the Sportage’s driving dynamics while premium materials and world-class craftsmanship create a class-up experience in an otherwise utilitarian segment. “Simply put, the Sportage is a breed apart in the compact CUV segment,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning KMA. “Instead of bland utility, the Sportage combines distinctly European and sporty styling with thoughtful design and functionality, including innovative packaging, premium materials, a turbocharged engine and surprising features. Sales of compact CUVs are on a sharply upward trajectory, and the all-new 2017 Sportage hits the sweet spot by providing an alternative for those seeking to express themselves with a vehicle that’s versatile enough to suit their unique lifestyle.” The all-new Sportage’s roomier, more luxurious cabin features an impressive level of craftsmanship, with high-quality, soft-touch materials and a range of technologies improving overall comfort, convenience, and connectivity. Updates to the drivetrain provide enhanced efficiency and performance, while changes to the suspension deliver better ride and handling. Like the outgoing model, the all-new Sportage will be built at Kia’s production facility in Gwangju, Korea, and be available in three distinct trim levels (LX, EX, SX Turbo) when it goes on sale next year. Pricing will be announced closer to the Sportage’s on-sale date. Aggressive, Inspired Design Designed under the direction of Kia’s president and chief design officer, Peter Schreyer, the 2017 Sportage’s exterior juxtaposes smooth curves with sharp creases. Although every body panel is new, the “face” of the new Sportage features the most significant change over the outgoing model. Kia’s hallmark “tiger-nose” grille resides vertically in the front fascia while the headlights are positioned higher, sweeping back along the outer edges of the sharply detailed hood. A lower, wider front clip – enlarged to provide greater engine cooling – adds visual volume to the lower half of the Sportage’s face, resulting in a planted and aggressive stance, though it keeps the same overall width, 73.0 inches, as its predecessor. The wheelbase has been stretched 1.2 inches (now 105.1 inches), while overall length has increased 1.6 inches to 176.4 inches. Despite its increased dimensions, the all-new Sportage remains instantly recognizable thanks to its sloping roofline and sharply raked rear window. Short overhangs and wheels pushed to the corners continue to be Sportage signatures, while a longer, more aerodynamic spoiler and bolder wheel arches give the compact CUV a more dynamic appearance. Tasteful chrome touches surround the windows, giving the Sportage LX and EX a more upscale look, while the top-of-the-line SX Turbo model adds more visual interest with new “ice cube” LED fog lamps, HID headlamps, LED tail lights, satin exterior trim, metal-look skid plates, and 19-inch alloy wheels. Modern and Refined Interior Inside, the new Sportage’s driver-oriented cockpit features a simple and modern design with clean horizontal lines emphasizing a more spacious interior. The lateral design of the dashboard divides it into two clear zones. The upper “display” zone delivers information to occupants via the instrument panel and new color touchscreen, which is canted 10 degrees toward the driver. The lower half, or the “control” zone, features easily identifiable switchgear to operate the available dual-zone climate system, audio and secondary controls. Similar to the touchscreen, the center console has been angled to face the driver. Giving the Sportage a more premium feel is the availability of either a single-tone (black) or two-tone (Dark and Light Grey or Black and Beige) cabin, while metalwork elements blended with soft-touch materials contribute to a more upscale interior. The EX and SX Turbo models add sumptuous leather upholstery, and the SX Turbo includes a D-shaped, heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters, piano black trim along the center console, aluminum alloy pedals, and authentic stitching on the dashboard. As a result of the increased exterior dimensions and clever packaging, interior dimensions have grown, offering more space and comfort. Headroom has increased 0.2 inches to 39.3 inches in the front and 0.6 inches to 39.1 in the rear, while legroom has increased slightly in front and 0.3 inches in the rear to 38.2. The second row has a 1.6-inch lower interior floor (ground clearance is unchanged at 6.4 inches for front-drive models and 6.8 inches on AWD) and 1.2-inch lower rear bench hip point, benefitting second-row passengers with more headroom (up more than a half inch) and a more comfortable seating position. Offering even more comfort are options such as three-level front seat heaters, 10-way power control with lumbar support for the driver’s seat, and eight-way power control for the passenger seat. Just as passenger space has increased, so has cargo room. Thanks to an innovative dual-level cargo floor and a widened luggage area, cargo capacity behind the second row has grown substantially from 26.1 cu.-ft. to 30.7 cu.-ft. (SAE). By relocating the license plate from the bumper to the tailgate, the lift-over height has been lowered for easier loading and unloading. A Smart Power Liftgate™, which automatically opens when the key fob is within three feet of the vehicle, is also available. Outward visibility has been improved by mounting the side mirrors lower on the doors, using thinner A- and C-pillars and incorporating larger rear glass in hatch. This feeling of spaciousness is further enhanced with an available panoramic sunroof that is 4.1 inches longer than the outgoing model’s. Kia engineers reduced noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) through the application of a quad-bushing setup in the rear suspension to isolate road noise and additional sound-absorbent materials throughout the Sportage’s wheel arches. Wind noise also is reduced as a result of thicker front side glass, a lip seal for the panoramic sunroof, and additional soundproofing in the doors. The 2017 Sportage is also more aerodynamic, with a coefficient of drag that’s been reduced from .37 cd to .35 cd. A Strong Foundation The structure of the all-new Sportage is significantly improved due to the extensive use of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS). With 51 percent of the Sportage’s body-in-white consisting of AHSS versus the outgoing model’s 18 percent, torsional rigidity has improved 39 percent. Furthermore, the increased use of advanced hot-stamped steel improves body integrity. The material has been used to reinforce the A-, B- and C-pillars, side sills, roof structure, and wheel arches. As a result of its stronger core, Sportage engineers are targeting the compact CUV to earn an overall five-star National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rating and an Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick+ designation. The 2017 will be available with a wide range of driver assistance features1 including: Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), which can detect a potential collision with another vehicle or pedestrian and help bring the Sportage to a halt Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), which emits an audible alert when it detects the driver straying from the current lane without using a turn signal Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Lane Change Assist (LCA), which can monitor cars up to 230 feet behind the Sportage and provide the driver with a visual warning in the door mirror when another car enters the blind spot Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), which can warn the driver when other cars pass behind the Sportage as it backs out of a parking space Bi-HID headlights with Dynamic Bending Light (DBL) technology Refined and Spirited Performance The completely redesigned fully independent front suspension achieves a leap forward in ride quality. A four-point bushing setup delivers greater stability and a more natural response to changing road surfaces, while stiffer wheel bearings and bushings result in more precise handling. The fully-independent rear suspension now adopts a dual-member shock absorber housing, while both AWD and FWD models now benefit from a dual lower-arm multi-link setup. The SX Turbo has been uniquely tuned with firmer shock absorbers to deliver sharper handling befitting its athletic personality. The 2017 Sportage is offered in front or all-wheel-drive, both coupled with a six-speed Sportmatic transmission. The Dynamax intelligent AWD system is available on every trim and features a 50/50 locking center differential. The system senses, anticipates, and optimizes traction requirements for all road and weather conditions. AWD models feature a unique front fascia with a steeper approach angle for increased capability. Steering is another area of improvement, as engineers mounted the steering box farther forward on the axle for better weight distribution. With 25 percent less friction than the previous unit, the 2017 Sportage offers smoother and more precise steering inputs and better feel. Efficiency and driving performance were two major areas of focus when retuning the engines. The hard-charging 2.0-liter inline-four turbo found on the SX Turbo makes 241 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque and has been retuned to target improved fuel efficiency and offer better midrange torque. The LX and EX use a normally aspirated 2.4-liter engine that produces 181 horsepower and 175 lb.-ft. of torque and is also retuned to target better fuel efficiency. Advanced Telematics, Audio and Entertainment The all-new Sportage features a number of new and advanced on-board technologies2 to elevate the driving experience and keep drivers connected. The LX comes equipped with a standard 5.0-inch color touchscreen that features Bluetooth®3 hands-free phone operation and streaming audio, SiriusXM®4 satellite radio, and rear-camera display5. A move up to the EX brings a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen with the latest version of Kia’s award-winning telematics and infotainment system, UVO3, which is making its debut on the all-new Sportage. Complete with Android Auto6, Apple7 CarPlay® (late availability), and UVO eServices8 featuring 14 telematics services, the enhanced system features up to 8 GB of music storage, access to onscreen apps such as Pandora®9 and Soundhound and Wi-Fi tethering capability, all free of charge. The SX Turbo features all of the above, plus an 8-inch touchscreen and onboard navigation. All Sportages come standard with a 160-watt six-speaker audio system, and a powerful 320-watt Harmon Kardon® premium audio system is available, featuring eight speakers including subwoofer, an external amplifier, and Clari-FiTM10 music restoration technology for unrivalled audio quality. View full article
  5. After some leaks showing off the vehicle, Kia has decided to release some pictures of the next-generation Sportage before its official debut at Frankfurt Motor Show next month. Compared to the current Sportage, the new model is much bolder thanks to a lower and wider “tiger nose” grille, new headlights, and wider fenders. Kia designer's retain the distinctive swept-back silhouette of the current model. We don't have any details on the interior or powertrains. Kia is keeping those under wraps till next month. Source: Kia Press Release is on Page 2 Dynamic energy: Bold new exterior design for next-generation Kia Sportage Kia Motors has today revealed the first official exterior images of the all-new Kia Sportage, featuring an attractive new design. The all-new Sportage will make its global debut at the Frankfurt International Motor Show on 15 September 2015. Entering its fourth-generation, the all-new Kia Sportage features a bold, progressive design, with the vehicle's designers creating a sense of power and agility from every angle. Echoing the contrast of smooth and sharp shapes found on some of the most iconic modern fighter jets, the Sportage creates visual harmony out of the tension between sharp, defined feature lines and smooth surfacing. The 'face' of the all-new Sportage represents the biggest change to the car's design, with the car's headlamps no longer integrated with the grille for the new model, instead sweeping back along the outer edges of the more sharply-detailed bonnet and bolder wheel arches. Immediately recognisable as a Kia, the Sportage's lower, wider 'tiger-nose' grille adds more volume to the lower half of the Sportage's face, resulting in a more imposing appearance and a more stable-looking stance. The all-new Sportage is characterised by its sportier, more raked profile. From the side, the all-new Sportage retains the swept-back silhouette of the outgoing model, with a roofline that tapers slightly towards the rear of the car, longer front overhangs, shorter rear overhangs and longer wheelbase. Smooth bodywork, bolder wheel arches and sharp lines endow the Sportage with a more dynamic, muscular look. At the rear, the horizontal forms and surface volume emphasise the car's width and give the compact SUV a more stable appearance. Inspired by the 2013 Kia Provo concept car, the slim combination lamps are joined by a strip that runs the width of the rear, while turn signals and reversing lights are separated, relocated lower down to add more visual weight and a greater sense of stability to the lower half of the car. The design of the new Sportage has been led by Kia's European design studio in Frankfurt, Germany, with input from the brand's Namyang, Korea and Irvine, California design centres View full article
  6. After some leaks showing off the vehicle, Kia has decided to release some pictures of the next-generation Sportage before its official debut at Frankfurt Motor Show next month. Compared to the current Sportage, the new model is much bolder thanks to a lower and wider “tiger nose” grille, new headlights, and wider fenders. Kia designer's retain the distinctive swept-back silhouette of the current model. We don't have any details on the interior or powertrains. Kia is keeping those under wraps till next month. Source: Kia Press Release is on Page 2 Dynamic energy: Bold new exterior design for next-generation Kia Sportage Kia Motors has today revealed the first official exterior images of the all-new Kia Sportage, featuring an attractive new design. The all-new Sportage will make its global debut at the Frankfurt International Motor Show on 15 September 2015. Entering its fourth-generation, the all-new Kia Sportage features a bold, progressive design, with the vehicle's designers creating a sense of power and agility from every angle. Echoing the contrast of smooth and sharp shapes found on some of the most iconic modern fighter jets, the Sportage creates visual harmony out of the tension between sharp, defined feature lines and smooth surfacing. The 'face' of the all-new Sportage represents the biggest change to the car's design, with the car's headlamps no longer integrated with the grille for the new model, instead sweeping back along the outer edges of the more sharply-detailed bonnet and bolder wheel arches. Immediately recognisable as a Kia, the Sportage's lower, wider 'tiger-nose' grille adds more volume to the lower half of the Sportage's face, resulting in a more imposing appearance and a more stable-looking stance. The all-new Sportage is characterised by its sportier, more raked profile. From the side, the all-new Sportage retains the swept-back silhouette of the outgoing model, with a roofline that tapers slightly towards the rear of the car, longer front overhangs, shorter rear overhangs and longer wheelbase. Smooth bodywork, bolder wheel arches and sharp lines endow the Sportage with a more dynamic, muscular look. At the rear, the horizontal forms and surface volume emphasise the car's width and give the compact SUV a more stable appearance. Inspired by the 2013 Kia Provo concept car, the slim combination lamps are joined by a strip that runs the width of the rear, while turn signals and reversing lights are separated, relocated lower down to add more visual weight and a greater sense of stability to the lower half of the car. The design of the new Sportage has been led by Kia's European design studio in Frankfurt, Germany, with input from the brand's Namyang, Korea and Irvine, California design centres
  7. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com June 5, 2013 “The Power To Surprise” This was Kia’s tagline back in early to mid 2000’s. It was supposed to reflect that the automaker had grown from its cheap car roots to being somewhere in the range of mediocre. It is sad Kia doesn’t use that tagline anymore since now, their lineup really does have “The Power To Surprise”. Case in point, the 2013 Kia Sportage. The longest running nameplate in Kia’s lineup has changed from a rough and ready compact SUV to a compact crossover with some very distinctive looks. But is that all there is to the Sportage's "Power to Surprise"? I spent a week with a 2013 Kia Sportage SX to find out. Let's start with the exterior; a dramatic departure from previous models. The Sportage looks be something you would expect to see from the Europeans, not Kia. Up front is Kia's family grille and headlights with a strip of LEDs running along the outside edge. The side profile shows the curvy lines and sloping roofline. Also the doors feature scalloping to add a bit more character. The back is very smooth and clean. There are a couple of problems with Sportage’s design. The thick D-Pillars and sloping roofline make outward visibility somewhat null and void. Thankfully my test Sportage had a back-up camera to help me out somewhat. However, I was wishing for a blind-spot monitoring system whenever I was on the freeway. The other problem deals with the tailgate release. Any idea where it is? If you said the bottom edge, then give yourself a pat on the back. The problem with this location is that its a bit of stretch to get there. I’m hoping a power tailgate is in the cards for the Sportage. Heading inside, you get the impression that Kia had locked their exterior and interior design teams into two separate rooms and weren't allowed to see each others work till the Sportage was put into production. It doesn’t seem the interior really belongs here at all. Also, I found most of the dash materials to be of the hard plastic variety. This is somewhat of a disappointment since Kia has made great strides in adding more soft touch materials. Build quality is very high with no apparent gaps or trim pieces loose. Up front, driver and passengers get power adjustments and heated leather seats. The driver also gets a cooled seat, a surprising feature to find in the entry-level compact crossover class. The center stack is well laid out and controls are within easy reach. My test Sportage also came equipped with the optional navigation system which in my books is still one of the best out there for its ease of use and amount of features. In the backseat, headroom is somewhat tight due to the panoramic sunroof. Legroom though is very good. Under the hood, you’ll find two different engines. LX and EX models use a 2.4L inline-four producing 176 horsepower and 168 pound-feet of torque. The SX model uses a turbocharged 2.0L inline-four with direct-injection making 260 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. That is mated to a six-speed automatic to either the front-wheels or my test vehicle’s AWD system. With torque arriving between 1,850 and 3,000 rpm, the Sportage SX really scoots. This is very noticeable when you’re trying to make a pass or you stomp on the accelerator. Also noticeable is how much time it takes for the turbo to spool up. You’re wondering where the power is when you leave a stop and a few moments, the power arrives. It isn’t a deal breaker per say, but adjust your driving habits accordingly. The six-speed does a very impressive job of providing smooth shifts. The EPA rates the 2013 Sportage SX at 20 City/25 Highway/22 Combined. During my time, I saw an average of around 21 MPG. The Sportage SX’s ride attempts to be sporty with a firmer suspension. However the suspension doesn’t quite make it the Sportage SX feel sporty at all. It does reduce body rolls, but also makes for a very unpleasant ride - especially if you live in area where the roads are less than perfect. Steering is okay with the system providing a good amount of weight. Kia has got half of the recipe right with the Sportage SX. The turbo engine adds quite the punch and the exterior design could be in an art museum for how beautiful it looks. However the interior looks to be a bit of an afterthought and the ride needs some finessing. If Kia can work on those problems, the Sportage could be one of the best in class. Disclaimer: Kia provided the Sportage, Insurance, and one tank of gas. Year - 2013 Make – Kia Model – Sportage Trim – SX AWD Engine – 2.0L Turbocharged GDI Four-Cylinder Driveline – All-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic Horsepower @ RPM – 260 @ 6,000 RPM Torque @ RPM – 269 @ 1,850-3,000 RPM Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/25/22 Curb Weight – 3,355 lbs Location of Manufacture – Gwangju, South Korea Base Price - $28,400.00 Estimated As-Tested Price - $32,450.00* (Includes $850.00 destination charge) Options: SX Premium Package - $2,000 Navigation Package - $1,200 William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  8. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com June 5, 2013 “The Power To Surprise” This was Kia’s tagline back in early to mid 2000’s. It was supposed to reflect that the automaker had grown from its cheap car roots to being somewhere in the range of mediocre. It is sad Kia doesn’t use that tagline anymore since now, their lineup really does have “The Power To Surprise”. Case in point, the 2013 Kia Sportage. The longest running nameplate in Kia’s lineup has changed from a rough and ready compact SUV to a compact crossover with some very distinctive looks. But is that all there is to the Sportage's "Power to Surprise"? I spent a week with a 2013 Kia Sportage SX to find out. Let's start with the exterior; a dramatic departure from previous models. The Sportage looks be something you would expect to see from the Europeans, not Kia. Up front is Kia's family grille and headlights with a strip of LEDs running along the outside edge. The side profile shows the curvy lines and sloping roofline. Also the doors feature scalloping to add a bit more character. The back is very smooth and clean. There are a couple of problems with Sportage’s design. The thick D-Pillars and sloping roofline make outward visibility somewhat null and void. Thankfully my test Sportage had a back-up camera to help me out somewhat. However, I was wishing for a blind-spot monitoring system whenever I was on the freeway. The other problem deals with the tailgate release. Any idea where it is? If you said the bottom edge, then give yourself a pat on the back. The problem with this location is that its a bit of stretch to get there. I’m hoping a power tailgate is in the cards for the Sportage. Heading inside, you get the impression that Kia had locked their exterior and interior design teams into two separate rooms and weren't allowed to see each others work till the Sportage was put into production. It doesn’t seem the interior really belongs here at all. Also, I found most of the dash materials to be of the hard plastic variety. This is somewhat of a disappointment since Kia has made great strides in adding more soft touch materials. Build quality is very high with no apparent gaps or trim pieces loose. Up front, driver and passengers get power adjustments and heated leather seats. The driver also gets a cooled seat, a surprising feature to find in the entry-level compact crossover class. The center stack is well laid out and controls are within easy reach. My test Sportage also came equipped with the optional navigation system which in my books is still one of the best out there for its ease of use and amount of features. In the backseat, headroom is somewhat tight due to the panoramic sunroof. Legroom though is very good. Under the hood, you’ll find two different engines. LX and EX models use a 2.4L inline-four producing 176 horsepower and 168 pound-feet of torque. The SX model uses a turbocharged 2.0L inline-four with direct-injection making 260 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. That is mated to a six-speed automatic to either the front-wheels or my test vehicle’s AWD system. With torque arriving between 1,850 and 3,000 rpm, the Sportage SX really scoots. This is very noticeable when you’re trying to make a pass or you stomp on the accelerator. Also noticeable is how much time it takes for the turbo to spool up. You’re wondering where the power is when you leave a stop and a few moments, the power arrives. It isn’t a deal breaker per say, but adjust your driving habits accordingly. The six-speed does a very impressive job of providing smooth shifts. The EPA rates the 2013 Sportage SX at 20 City/25 Highway/22 Combined. During my time, I saw an average of around 21 MPG. The Sportage SX’s ride attempts to be sporty with a firmer suspension. However the suspension doesn’t quite make it the Sportage SX feel sporty at all. It does reduce body rolls, but also makes for a very unpleasant ride - especially if you live in area where the roads are less than perfect. Steering is okay with the system providing a good amount of weight. Kia has got half of the recipe right with the Sportage SX. The turbo engine adds quite the punch and the exterior design could be in an art museum for how beautiful it looks. However the interior looks to be a bit of an afterthought and the ride needs some finessing. If Kia can work on those problems, the Sportage could be one of the best in class. Disclaimer: Kia provided the Sportage, Insurance, and one tank of gas. Year - 2013 Make – Kia Model – Sportage Trim – SX AWD Engine – 2.0L Turbocharged GDI Four-Cylinder Driveline – All-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic Horsepower @ RPM – 260 @ 6,000 RPM Torque @ RPM – 269 @ 1,850-3,000 RPM Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/25/22 Curb Weight – 3,355 lbs Location of Manufacture – Gwangju, South Korea Base Price - $28,400.00 Estimated As-Tested Price - $32,450.00* (Includes $850.00 destination charge) Options: SX Premium Package - $2,000 Navigation Package - $1,200 William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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