At first blush, Kia’s redesigned 2017 Sportage isn’t the most eye-catching of new products, but it’s poised to do very well in the ongoing CUV wars because the 2017 Sportage grows both inside and out. And Sportage is still top of the list if we had to buy a practical family vehicle with our own money. Love the seven-year unlimited km warranty, seven-year capped-price servicing and seven-year roadside assist. The new Kia measures the same 73 inches wide as its predecessor, but it gains 1.2 inches on the wheelbase, and 1.6 inches in overall length. There’s more room overall for passengers, and there’s 18-percent greater cargo space in back. Plus, the luggage floor can be moved down into a lower position to make more vertical space when needed.
At a glance
Price from: $28,990 plus on-roads
Warranty: 7 years/unlimited km
Capped servicing: $1036-$1286 over 3 years
Service interval: 12 months/15,000km
Safety: Not yet tested
Engines: 2.0-litre 4-cyl, 114kW/192Nm; 2.0-litre 4-cyl turbo diesel, 136kW/400Nm; 2.4-litre 4-cyl, 135kW/237Nm
Transmission: 6-speed auto; FWD/AWD
Dimensions: 4480mm (L), 1855mm (W), 1645mm (H), 2670mm (WB)
Spare: Full-size alloy
When viewed from the front – it’s like a chipmunk with too many acorns in its cheeks. The “tiger-nose” grille – a hallmark of Schreyer – was moved up to accommodate the “ice-cube” fog lamps, while the headlights sweep back along the sides of the car. The A and C pillars are thinner, allowing occupants better visibility from inside the car, but from the outside, the rear three-quarter view looks blocky and cut up. The rear doesn’t seem to match the rest of the car, either – it’s more svelte and understated.
Looking past its exterior design, the new Sportage is marginally, sportier, thanks to a new, lighter, stiffer body, a redesigned suspension, and new engine tuning. Kia is mostly chasing improved fuel efficiency with its latest powertrain updates, as both engines have slightly lower outputs than their predecessors but have marginal improvements in fuel economy. The entry-level 2.4-liter inline-four (same as the Sorento and Optima) puts out 181 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque – decreases of only 1 hp and 2 lb-ft – and can be had with front- or all-wheel drive. Step up to the top-of-the-line SX Turbo and you get a 2.0-liter turbo-four that puts out 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque (that’s 9 lb-ft and 20 hp less than before). Kia estimates the 2.4/FWD combination will return 23 miles per gallon city, 30 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined, while the 2.0T/AWD will score 20/23/21.
With front-wheel drive, it’s possible to get the Sportage’s rear end to unset itself on a winding road – it’s not our first choice. Instead, the Magna Dynamax all-wheel-drive system electronically senses the road and anticipates slide events and can brake individual wheels to prevent or mitigate traction loss. The system can push as much as 100 percent of the power to front or rear wheels as needed, and there’s even a 50/50 locking differential – you know, for those times when you have to scale a small snowbank to get to soccer practice.
The Sportage comes with Eco, Normal, and Sport driving modes, and while suspension dynamics don’t change between throttle response, the settings and steering weight are altered. In Sport, the throttle is, of course, more lively, and the transmission happily holds gears higher up in the rev range. The steering becomes more direct and there’s more weight, but it’s not going to wow you with its impeccable response. In Eco, the throttle is numb, the steering is incredibly vague, and the six-speed automatic transmission shifts as early as possible. You don’t feel a constant lack of power, and for standard daily driving, this mode offers a good balance of feedback and comfort.
Inside, the Sportage gets a more luxurious interior and a suite of (optional) technology. Softer touch materials that look like leather, even if upon closer inspection they aren’t, are littered throughout the cabin. A full leather interior becomes available at the mid-level EX range. The new Sportage is quieter, too – Kia increased the amount of noise reduction material in the wheel wells and inside the cabin. It’s not Lexus quiet by any means, but the new Sportage is a bit more hushed on the road than the previous model.
The UVO infotainment system is fairly intuitive to bright and use enough to read easily, even in the California desert sun. In the base Sportage LX you only get a five-inch screen, but up-level EX and SX Turbo models get a seven-inch headunit. It’s simple to move through menus on the UVO system, but from the passenger seat it is downright difficult to reach. Between those plus the driver-angled position of the screen, lockouts, passengers are pretty much useless in terms of accessing UVO’s functionality. Kia is also still sorting out details of how to roll out Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but assured us that both will be available in the new 2017 Sportage eventually. That said, early buyers might have to take their cars back to the dealer for an update in order to get this technology.
You can buy a new Sportage with forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, blind spot detection, lane departure warning, and rear cross traffic alert.
Source: cheap cars