2017 Kia Sportage SX AWD Review and Test Drive

By Paul Riegler on 2 September 2016
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When it comes to compact SUVs, it’s hard to imagine of one having been around for almost a quarter of a century. The Kia Sportage was introduced in 1993 and the first generation Sportage shared numerous components with various Mazdas thanks to the Ford-Mazda-Kia alliance that existed at the time.

Fast forward to 2015, when Kia unveiled a completely redesigned Sportage – the fourth generation – at the Frankfurt Auto Show. Sounding like auto designers at the start of the space age, the Koreans explained that the car’s contrasting sharp edges and smooth surfaces were inspired by fighter jets. While the exterior is an acquired taste for some (a few wags opined whether perhaps Peugeot or Citroën had merged with the Korean automaker), most FBT staffers found it to be a reasonably good-looking design.

The 2017 model is longer, has a slightly increased wheelbase, which gives rear passengers more room, and the cargo capacity has been increased to 31 cubic feet (878 liters), still on the small side but definitely an improvement over the outgoing model. As with most crossovers, folding down the second row of seats almost doubles the cargo space.

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We found the new 2017 Sportage SX to be somewhat paradoxical and here’s why we came to that conclusion.

INSIDE THE 2017 KIA SPORTAGE

The Sportage makes a good impression upon opening the driver’s door. With a clean, easy-to-navigate dash and controls, everything is easy to locate. While not plush, Kia provides vehicle occupants with a nicely crafted and good looking interior that would not be out-of-place in some German models. Storage space abounds.

The seats are firm and reasonably supportive. The top of the line SX comes with leather seats that both heat and cool, a well designed infotainment system with touchscreen interface, and driver assistance technology including lane-departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, and automated emergency braking that performed better than what we’ve seen in other Kias, including the K900.

Click here to continue to Page 2Driving the 2017 Kia Sportage

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