Business And Car Review Kia Sportage SX Turbo 2.0L FWD 2017

 2017 Kia Sportage SX Turbo 2.0L FWD
Instrumented Test
Every i time inwards a while, a mainstream automaker turns out an unexpected sleeper, an under-the-radar vehicle with the ability to dispatch flashier rides pulling away from a stoplight. Sleepers come upwards inwards many forms, but few offering amend encompass than compact crossovers. The 2006–2012 Toyota RAV4 with the optional 268-hp V-6 engine was a skillful example, every bit were the stick-shift, turbocharged Subaru Forester XT too Kia’s previous-generation Sportage SX with its 260-hp turbo four-cylinder. Toyota’s fire-breathing RAV4 was extinguished inwards 2012 too the Forester is forthwith stuck with a CVT, but Kia’s hot turbocharged SX cut down degree is dorsum too inwards cast next the Sportage’s redesign for 2017, too for the kickoff fourth dimension we’ve tested it without the optional all-wheel drive.

Quickie Kia

Secretly quick cars are fun, but the outgoing Sportage SX had its part of shortcomings exterior of its rowdy engine. The intermission was downright harsh, the interior exactly was there, too it returned middling fuel economy. For the latest SX, the sportiest Sportage inwards the lineup, Kia retained the hot-rod-in-disguise aspect piece improving nearly everything else. The crossover’s turbocharged four-cylinder engine pushes 240 horsepower too 260 lb-ft (that’s a 59-hp too 85 lb-ft bump over the base of operations model’s naturally aspirated 2.4-liter four) shot our front-drive SX to lx mph inwards 6.7 seconds too on to an electronically governed 135 mph. Those numbers best everything inwards the compact-crossover melee excepting the Subaru Forester 2.0XT, which comes only inwards all-wheel-drive form.
In an attempt to improve the carryover turbo engine’s fuel efficiency too smoothen the lumpy ability delivery, Kia stripped it of xx horsepower too nine lb-ft of torque, to mixed effect. The engine even thus issues its powerfulness with a rigid surge at most 3000 rpm, but fifty-fifty indulging ourselves with the accelerator pedal nosotros saw 21 mpg inwards mixed driving, which is too the EPA metropolis mileage rating. Something nigh xxx mpg seems achievable on the highway. The truthful vice is i shared with all high-output, front-drive vehicles: torque steer too a penchant for spinning the front end tires nether difficult acceleration. We’d splurge for the optional ($1500) all-wheel-drive system, fifty-fifty though it piles on an extra 119 pounds too adds 0.2 mo to the zero-to-60-mph time. We similar power—see our affection for the one-time SX, which nosotros pose through a 40,000-mile long-term test—but 240 ponies are a lot to shove through the same 2 wheels that too handgrip steering duties.
Drive the Kia similar a workaday compact crossover, rather than a tiny Porsche Cayenne, too the turbo engine makes a amend instance for itself past times yanking roughly the SX with relaxed aplomb. It never feels wanting for passing power, too the chassis is buttoned-down too stable. Critically, compared with the one-time SX, which came measure with a “sport suspension,” Kia tuned this novel SX model’s chassis to live to a greater extent than compliant, similar that of the regular Sportage, without sacrificing trunk control. The brakes are reassuring too returned stops from seventy mph inwards 173 feet, skillful for this class. Outside of some flutter from the large 19-inch wheels when passing over closely spaced groupings of route imperfections too an verbalize lack of experience from the steering, the SX chassis performs good piece riding quietly too smoothly fifty-fifty at highway speeds.

Kia Can-Do

While the Sportage’s fun quotient survived the redesign, its previously austere, if functional, interior was shown the door. The novel cabin is good executed, to the cry for that it garnered from our staff several flattering comparisons to those of Audi vehicles. The pattern is restrained too the dashboard too door panels characteristic classy soft-touch materials too character plastics. We particularly similar the nice-to-hold steering bike too the centre stack’s slight cant toward the driver. Rear-seat passengers lead keep enough of legroom, although their topographic point cushions are positioned a tad low, too they lead keep laid upwards access to a 12-volt ability plug too a USB slot. The cargo concur is large too basically rectangular; the raise seats tin crease completely apartment using loose buttons side past times side to the outboard headrests. Those seats lack loose handles readily accessible from the cargo bay, but the charge flooring dorsum at that topographic point tin live fitted to i of 2 heights; when inwards the lower position, there’s a built-in ramp to render a smoothen transition to the folded seatbacks.
Similar attending to particular is evident inwards Kia’s infotainment interface. As inwards other recent Kia products, nearly every touchscreen business office tin too live manipulated via well-located difficult buttons. Three strips of controls sit down beneath the centre display, i with shortcuts to radio, media, phone, navigation, too setup menus (plus seek too track-selection buttons); some other with climate controls; too a 3rd with switches for the cooled too heated front end seats too heated steering wheel. Flanking the top row? Honest-to-goodness book too tuning knobs. Knobs on either side of the climate controls laid temperature for the left- too right-hand climate zones. It’s telling how varied (and oftentimes weird) secondary command layouts lead keep buy the farm inwards 2016 that nosotros experience the require to telephone vociferation upwards out this form of basic ergonomic effort.
The front-end pattern (headlights stacked atop a grille, stacked atop an intake, stacked atop a skidplate) may non adjust everyone’s taste, but inwards SX trim, especially, with its large wheels too chrome trim, the Sportage manages to facial expression to a greater extent than expensive than it is. Kia has come upwards a long agency since the days when its products were carried alone past times their long warranties too value-packed MSRPs.
This particular Kia is genuinely priced on the higher halt of the compact-crossover segment, at $33,395, but it feels worth the cost. The turbo’s ability corrupts the driver every bit easily every bit it vanquishes the front end tires, the residuum of the bundle is every bit good turned out every bit you lot could inquire for inwards this segment, too measure equipment is generous. Dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a Harman/Kardon audio system, an 8.0-inch touchscreen with navigation, heated too ventilated ability front end seats, a heated steering wheel, blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking, LED fog lights, LED taillights, LED running lights, a (huge) panoramic sunroof, a ability liftgate, too the all-important Android Auto smartphone integration (but non yet Apple CarPlay) are included. The SX cut down degree is thus all-in that Kia lists no options except for all-wheel drive. As nosotros said, we’d banking concern check that box, but with that alternative or without, the Sportage SX remains stealthy quick, piece too having improved every bit an everyday crossover.
  • May 2016
  • By ALEXANDER STOKLOSA
  • Photography By MICHAEL SIMARI

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