I was invited on a media event and travel expenses were covered. All opinions are my own.
Fuel Efficiency: 21 city/28 hwy
|Best Suited For: Small families, active adults
Notable Features: Sleek, tons of horsepower, loaded with tech
Links: Official site
The first time I drove a Kia Sportage was about three years ago. It was on a trip from our home in the San Francisco Bay Area to North Lake Tahoe, high up in the Sierra Nevada. I remember it so well because the car made a deep impression on me. It looked nice, was quite comfortable, was really powerful, and had amazing handling. Is the 2017 Kia Sportage still able to excite me? Yes! Let me tell you why.
2017 Kia Sportage Review — An Impressive Redesign
While the exterior design of the previous generation of Sportage looked nice, in some areas it was a bit dull. Not anymore! The entire body looks better than ever before. I especially like the four LEDs in each of the fog lights, which is copied from its larger cousin, the 2016 Sorento.
I felt comfortable driving in the Sportage right away. The cockpit is laid out sensibly and the interior materials were of good quality. Visibility was good too. Handling was responsive but was a bit on the heavier side. Fortunately, you can change the drive mode (eco, normal, or sport) to adjust the steering and suspension firmness.
Buttons to adjust the climate control are a bit overwhelming at first but they should be easy to get used to after a while. Personally, I prefer the duo-tone interior which gives off a more luxurious and spacious feeling than the all-black one. To open up the space even more, a panoramic sunroof comes standard on the SX Turbo or as an option on the EX trim.
My first impression when opening the back door was, “Yikes, that’s very little leg space in the back.” But, once I sat on the driver’s seat I found out that I judged things too quickly. It turns out that the front seat was pushed back… I mean, really far back. Finally there’s a car in this segment for someone that’s 6’ tall or taller. Once I put the seat to a comfortable setting, there was plenty of space for someone to sit behind me.
2017 Kia Sportage Review — Driving Experience
The SX Turbo, the trim we drove, is supposed to get around 23 mpg on average and about 21 mpg when driving the AWD. That’s pretty much what we got during our trip. Other CUVs might boast more mpg but this is not your average CUV. The 2017 Kia Sportage is probably the only car in it’s class which is able to deliver the power of 240 horses or pull a 2,000 lbs trailer! I found the transmission a bit sluggish at times, that it seemed hesitant when switching gears.
Would I recommend this car? Absolutely! This car doesn’t just look like fun, it actually is fun to drive. I love that the 2017 Kia Sportage looks pretty inside and out, but feels very sturdy and is easy to drive at the same time. Also, it’s packed with standard safety features which you would usually only find on more expensive vehicles. This is a solid choice for small families like ours!