First SUVs were big, brawny vehicles with more utility than sport and resembled their pickup truck counterparts. Once we saw the unibody construction, the sport side started to come out. Now the market is flooded with choices, some of which are not much larger than an average sedan. In this mess and muck of a segment that has the crossover and the compact crossover SUVS, the Kia Sportage makes a statement of power and offers one of the best warranties on the market. Not only does this SUV have a great engine and backing, but it’s become one of the most stylish and attractive SUVs on the market today.
As a smaller SUV, the Sportage is not much bigger than an average hatchback, but it does offer better ground clearance. This is an active and energetic little SUV for you to drive and love. For 2016 the Sportage adds only a few items. The EX loses the Infinity audio system and UVO but it adds leather seating and the Smart Key with push button starting. The LX adds a touch screen display and a rearview camera to the Popular package to give more to this menu.
Since this is supposed to be a power player in the compact SUV market, let’s see what that power actually is. The Sportage begins with a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine that offers up 182 horsepower and 177 lb.-ft. of torque. This as a base engine is more than many other compact crossovers offer at their base model. This engine is attached to a six-speed automatic transmission that can be shifted manually. The fuel efficiency for this model comes in at 21 city/28 hwy for the FWD version and 19 city/26 hwy mpg for the AWD model.
The more powerful engine and the one that makes this a very powerful compact crossover is the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine that spits out 260 horsepower and 269 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine is also connected to the six-speed automatic transmission and offers fuel numbers that come in at 20 city/26 hwy mpg in FWD and 19 city/25 hwy mpg in AWD.
Now that we have the power out of the way and you can easily see how a small SUV like this is one of the most powerful, let’s look at the equipment that makes it a comfortable creature. The LX is the base model and it brings in a six-speaker audio system with Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, SiriusXM satellite radio, steering wheel mounted controls, an Active Eco system to help save fuel, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel and 17-inch alloy wheels. The SX model adds the UVO infotainment system with a subwoofer, a navigation system, ventilated front seats, automatic climate control, HID headlights and 18-inch alloy wheels.
With all that standard, there really isn’t room for a lot of optional features, but what is available is pretty good. The AWD system is one of the most popular features and lets the Sportage be an SUV that can easily be fun out on the trails. The LX can have some of the features found on the SX with the adding of the UVO eServices and the Popular package that adds the touch screen audio system, a rearview camera and automatic headlights to the LX. The EX is top model and offers the EX Premium package which adds a panoramic sunroof, a cooled glove box, integrated outside mirror turn signals, an Infinity audio system, heated outside mirrors and fog lights to give you the Sportage that has the most you can have on this great little SUV.
Even though it is small, the Sportage is comfortable in the inside. There is plenty of room for passengers in both rows of seats and there is 54.6 cubic feet of cargo space with the seats folded down, which is quite a bit to get some cool stuff home to work on. All controls are easy to find and with several controls on the steering wheel it’s easy to keep your eyes on the road.
The Kia Sportage is an athletic looking SUV that offers a great design. The “tiger nose” grill gives the front an aggressive face and the small size and stature certainly make the Kia Sportage stylish and alluring. You will love driving this dynamic little SUV that offers an awesome warranty and the most power for the size.