The surge in demand for compact SUVs means this segment will continue to expand and evolve. A great example of this came from the LA Auto Show, where compact SUVs dominated the landscape of the new vehicle offerings. Furthermore, Ford announced recently it will enter the compact segment with its EcoSport model while other manufacturers such as Mazda and Honda are fine tuning their compact models to appeal to a wider audience.
With this market continuing to expand, it creates a buyer’s’ market where you have access to a wide variety of styles and performance offerings. To this end, it’s important to not neglect some of the consistent models in this class which helped it become the fastest growing automotive segment.
One of these consistent models is the 2017 Kia Sportage. The Sportage has been one of the better models available in its class due to its confidence inspiring safety ratings, great performance and flexible design to give families a variety of ways to align seating and cargo solutions more to their needs.
Here’s a closer look at why the Kia Sportage continues to be one of the best options available in the compact segment.
An area where the Kia Sportage earned top marks is safety. The SUV earned a five-star overall crash safety rating with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the IIHS Top Safety Pick + award when equipped with the optional front crash prevention feature. What this shows is the Sportage handles the most demanding tests with ease which could protect you and your SUV’s occupants in the event a collision occurs.
The Kia Sportage is one of the more affordable compact SUVs available. With a starting price of $22,990, the SUV touts amazing savings relative to other models in its class. The average cost per 2017 compact SUV is $27,350. When measuring the average cost to the Sportage you’ll find Kia’s model saves you $4,360 on average. Though on the lower end of the cost spectrum, there are more affordable models available such as the Jeep Patriot Sport, as its beginning price of $19,895 makes it a more attractive option for those looking to maximize their budget.
One of the most surprising aspects of the Sportage is its excellent fuel efficiency. When you opt for the Sportage, you’ll have your choice between two, four-cylinder engines. The standard offering for the LX and EX models is the 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine. When equipped with this engine, the SUV earns up to 29 highway mpg and 22 mpg, resulting in a combined efficiency of 25 mpg. This places it right in line with the average for 2017 compact SUVs.
Where the Sportage provides some cost benefits is in its fuel range. The SUV has a city range of 361 miles and a highway range of 476 miles. The greatest representation of savings comes from its highway range, where the Sportage can travel 34 miles more per tank than others in its segment.
Using the same 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine as we did for fuel efficiency comparison, what you discover is the Sportage delivers the perfect marriage of fuel economy and respectable power. The standard engine offering delivers 181-horsepower, resulting in giving you more power than you would find with the Subaru Outback 2.5i (175-horsepower) and the Jeep Patriot Sport (172-horsepower).
Meanwhile, the other offering is a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine for the SX Sport model. This engine delivers fine tuned precision for jaw-dropping acceleration. To keep your drives responsive and efficiency, Kia equipped the Sportage with its available six-speed automatic transmission, featuring brake enhancements.
The Sportage possesses the Iso-Structure, which delivers rigidity to handle your bumpiest rides with ease. Another excellent feature that is available on all trims of the Sportage is the Dynamax all-wheel-drive system. This system makes proactive adjustments to traction by reading road conditions and wheel tractions to deliver excellent handling on slick and wet road surfaces.
Kia designed the Sportage with a generous amount of trunk and cargo space to account for your family’s varied needs. A great illustration of this concerns its cargo capacity, where with the rearmost seats folded, the Sportage has 60.1 cubic feet of cargo room—a 25 percent advantage relative its immediate peers’ offerings.
Trunk space is another area where the Sportage excels. With its 30.7 cubic feet of trunk space, the Sportage has a roomier trunk than the Jeep Cherokee Sport (24.60 cubic feet) and the Volkswagen Tiguan S (23.80 cubic feet). Along with this, here are some key measurements for the Sportage interior:
- Front row headroom: 39.3 inches
- Front row legroom: 41.5 inches
- Second row headroom: 39.1 inches
- Second row legroom: 38.2 inches
What the Experts Say
The Kia Sportage earned the international Red Dot award for its exceptional design. This honor identifies products where its design and/or innovations delivers an unmatched standard of excellence.
“Kia ranks highest among all automotive industry nameplates in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Initial Quality StudySM (IQS). This significant milestone comes just one year after Kia ranked second overall in the 2015 IQS. It also represents the first time in 27 years that a non-luxury brand has led the industry in the U.S. Initial Quality Study. In addition to its industry-leading performance this year, Kia produces two award-recognized models: the 2016 Soul in the Compact MPV segment (second consecutive year) and the 2016 Sportage in the Small SUV segment.
Ranked highest among small SUVs in J.D. Power’s 2016 Initial Quality StudySM. The Sportage continues to impress drivers with its crossover design. This is the Sportage’s third award in four years, demonstrating Kia’s commitment to high quality.”
While the compact SUV market continues to excite with its new offerings from seemingly every automotive manufacturer, it’s important not to neglect the models that have delivered consistently great performance. In this regard, it’s hard to beat the Kia Sportage, as it delivers the performance, safety ratings and affordability families seek.