When Kia redesigned the popular Sportage compact crossover last year, reviews were mixed about how it looked. Changes are few this year on a vehicle that definitely stands out.
Our review Sportage is the top-of-the-line SX with all-wheel-drive, one of three trim levels. Base models are front-drive.
Inside is an interior that’s more upscale than many competitors in the price range. Fit and finish are quite good and a comfortable driving position is easy to find. SX seats are heated and cooled, and the model includes lots of safety features like rear cross-traffic alert and blind spot detection.
Kia’s UVO system and navigation are easy to use, with a quick to respond touchscreen. The automatic is a six-speed.
Row two is exceptionally roomy for such a compact vehicle. The trade-off is in cargo space. Some competitors have more room in the back.
A 2.0-liter turbo four provides good punch in the SX model, with 240 horsepower. Base Sportages have 181 horsepower.
With exceptional handling and braking for a crossover, I think the Sportage is actually fun to drive.
So for the 2018 Kia Sportage SX all-wheel drive, I say thumbs up to many standard features, good handling, and a quality interior; thumbs down to a smaller cargo space.
I averaged about 22 miles per gallon. The as-reviewed sticker is $36,125.