Goes on Sale in the First Quarter of 2016
On the outside you’ll find an exterior design featuring a face that’s more distinctive than ever thanks to sweeping headlights placed high up while the brand’s “tiger nose” grille is also larger and more prominent in the new Sportage. Compared to its predecessor, the 2017 model is slightly larger inside and out, meaning there’s more space for passengers, especially in the rear where legroom has increased to 38.2 inches from 37.9. Cargo capacity behind the second row, on the other hand, has also increased to 30.7 cubic-feet from 26.1 cubic-feet.
Under that polarizing exterior is a body that Kia touts as the most rigid in its class due to extensive use of advanced high-strength steel. The car’s independent suspension setup has also been reworked for improved ride quality and better handling through the use of four-point bushings and stiffer wheel bearings. Range-topping SX models will come with a sport-tuned suspension setup that features firmer shock absorbers than the LX and EX grades. All models also gain a steering system that’s been revised for better precision by reducing friction by 25 percent. There’s also a drive mode selector that lets you choose between Normal, Eco, and Sport modes.
Two familiar engines carry over from the previous-generation Sportage. LX and EX models come with a 2.4-liter I-4 with 181 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque, while the SX comes with a 2.0-liter turbo I-4 making 241 hp and 260 lb-ft. Both engines are down on power, with the 2.4-liter losing 1 hp and 2 lb-ft while the turbo-four drops 19 hp and 9 lb-ft, but peak torque arrives at 1,350 rpm and tapers off at 3,500 rpm. Both engines will be paired exclusively with a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive will be standard across the Sportage lineup while all-wheel drive with a 50/50 center locking differential is optional on all trims.
Inside the 2017 Sportage, you’ll find a new infotainment unit called Uvo3, which comes with a five-, seven-, or eight-inch touchscreen depending on the trim level. Navigation is standard on the SX trim and optional on the EX trim while Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto will be available on all variants. Other notable features include a 320-watt Harman/Kardon audio system with eight speakers, heated front and rear seats, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, the smart liftgate, leather upholstery, and HID headlights. On the safety front, blind spot warning with lane change assist, pedestrian detection, rear cross-traffic alert, and autonomous emergency braking are standard on the SX and optional on the EX.