2017 Kia Sportage SX: Time to Discuss a Truly Great Compact Crossover

By Durhl Caussey
Durhl Caussey
Durhl Caussey
May 21, 2016 Updated: May 24, 2016

The AWD Sportage SX turbo is the premium of Kia’s model lineup for the completely redesigned Sportage compact crossover, which also includes the LX and EX models.

The SX comes with a 2.0 L DOHC turbocharged 4-cylinder gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine featuring aluminum block and head and continuously variable valve timing. The strong engine cranks out 237 hp at 6,000 rpm and 260 lb-ft of torque at 1,450-3,500 rpm, although the vehicle’s fuel economy—at an estimated 26 mpg highway—is on the low side for the class.

The electronically controlled 6-speed Sportmatic automatic transmission adds quickness and smoothness through the shifting process.
This turbocharged Sportage also features large brakes and sport-tuned suspension that provide crisp handling and responsive braking. And the above-mentioned 6-speed transmission shifts through the gears smoothly.

I’ve talked a little about performance, but the new Sportage is loaded with versatility, refinements, and technology as well.

The Sportage provides the feeling of luxury and comfort along with a quiet ride.

Soft-touch materials, LED lighting, heated and ventilated leather front seats, dual-zone automatic temperature control, and a panoramic sunroof working together with sound-insulating acoustic glass provide the feeling of luxury and comfort along with a quiet ride.

Although Kia has taken great effort to ensure that passenger comfort is paramount, cargo space has not been overlooked. The rear liftgate opening is wide and tall on this vehicle that measures 93.0 inches wide and 64.8 inches tall, making it easy to load a variety of cargo. Several seating configurations allows for both cargo and passengers to have plenty of space. 

Total interior volume is 129.3 cubic feet. Cargo volume behind the 1st row is 60.1 cubic feet, and 30.7 cubic feet behind the second. There is considerable storage compartment area beneath the cargo floor with a removable tray for loose items.

The large center console has a padded armrest and dual cup holders. The armrest flips up for a large storage compartment capable of holding a small computer. If there is not enough storage inside or underneath, there are roof rails available to expand cargo-carrying capability.

This new Sportage did not mention or offer any special packages or extras.

The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $33,500. For this price, Sportage appears to offer just about every conceivable technological and safety feature available.

The generous interior space of the Sportage. (Courtesy of NetCarShow.com)
The generous interior space of the Sportage. (Courtesy of NetCarShow.com)

A 4.2-inch color TFT gauge cluster, rearview camera, blind spot detection, lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert, and front/rear parking assist system are just a few of the marvellous items presented.

Safety is a top priority at Kia. My point is proven by items like electronic stability control, traction control, brake assist, torque vectoring control, side impact door beams, and electronic brake-force distribution; features found on all Kia products.

Sportage is roomy with items easy to reach and use. Seats are wide and comfortable while 19-inch alloy wheels provide great outside viewing. The nav screen is easily read. Knobs for air and radio are of good size, making it easy to command. The console tilts toward the driver, enhancing driver visibility and allowing for center positioning.

Sportage interior comes in several combinations of gray, black, beige, brown, and white with woven cloth, tricot cloth, or leather textures. The SX trim are only available with leather. For the exterior you have seven colors to choose from, with Clear White, Mineral Silver, Black Cherry, and Hyper Red as examples.

Kia Sportage has an industry leading warranty program, featuring a 10-year/100,000-mile Limited Warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile/24-hour Roadside Assistance.  

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or dcaussey@sbcglobal.net