Kia Sportage Reviews

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The Kia Sportage is a compact SUV and one of the earliest models of its kind. First introduced for the 1995 model year, the Sportage has grown in size and offers a sleek appearance and fun driving dynamics. It is also the longest continuously used model name from Kia.

2017 to Present: Kia Sportage

Introduced for the 2017 model year, the fourth-generation Kia Sportage offers a modern design, new technologies and two powertrains. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available for this five-passenger SUV.

The Sportage features a recognizable “tiger-nose” grille. Kia placed the fourth-generation Sportage’s headlights higher and added a lower and wider front clip. Oversized recesses flanking the lower grille house a four LED light arrangement.

Its silhouette advances the free flowing look with high beltline, a sloping roofline and oversized wheel wells. From the rear, the Sportage includes a liftgate spoiler, a wraparound rear window and combination lamps.

When compared with the outgoing model, the current Sportage has an extra 1.2 inches between the wheels, which improves rear-seat legroom. There’s also slightly more cargo space and higher quality interior materials when compared with the previous generation. Additionally, the roof pillars are slightly thinner to afford greater visibility.

Cloth seats are standard and leather upholstery is available. Power-adjustable front seats, heated and cooled front seats and a heated steering wheel are also available.

Standard technology features include satellite radio, Bluetooth and USB connectivity and a touch-screen audio system. Navigation, keyless entry and ignition and a premium audio system are available, as well as upgraded infotainment systems with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Kia’s Uvo telematics system.

The base Sportage comes with a rearview camera, while available driver assistance features include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, autonomous emergency braking and front and rear parking sensors.

A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 181 horsepower is standard and a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 240 horsepower is available. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard on all models.

Numerous models can be cross shopped in this segment, including the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5, Fiat 500X, Chevrolet Equinox and Nissan Rogue.

Earlier Kia Sportage Models

Introduced in 1995, the first-generation Kia Sportage was based on a traditional truck platform and sold in rear- and four-wheel drive configurations. It was produced through the 2002 model year.

Kia offered one engine choice throughout the first generation’s model run: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making 139 horsepower, which is paired with a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission.

After a two-year break, the second-generation Kia Sportage made its debut as a 2005 model and stayed in production through 2010. That model benefited from Kia’s new relationship with Hyundai and was based on the platform underpinning the Tucson.

The second-generation Kia Sportage dispensed with the earlier body-on-frame design and assumed a more contemporary unibody (crossover) SUV layout. The result is an SUV that is quieter, more fun to drive and more efficient.

All-wheel drive versions of the 2005-2010 Kia Sportage came standard with a four-cylinder engine, though a 178-horsepower, 2.7-liter V6 engine was available.

The third-generation Kia Sportage was introduced for the 2011 model year. It offers the cleanest break from earlier models with a sleek design that matches Kia’s other products.

A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is standard, and makes 176 to 182 horsepower, depending on the model year. Most models come with a six-speed automatic transmission, though a six-speed manual was standard on the 2011-2013 Sportage. A 260-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is available and paired exclusively with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Beginning in 2014, Kia improved ride quality and handling with revised suspension tuning on all trim levels. Rear ventilation and reclining rear seats were also made standard. In addition to a USB port, auxiliary input jack and 12-volt outlets, the Sportage offers Uvo telematics, a system rolled out in 2014 in cooperation with Microsoft.