Everything You Want to Know About the 2017 Kia Sportage
“We are always reinventing ourselves. Like Apple and Starbucks, we have to come out with new products and services,” Michael Sprague, Chief Operating Officer of Kia Motors America said to us at the recent launch of 2017 Kia Sportage in San Diego, California.
From marketing blitzes that include the notorious Kia Soul hamsters to dancing Yo Gabba Gabba life-sized characters from a children’s show, Kia has continuously incorporated an element of surprise and fun. Since Kia began selling vehicles in the U.S. in 1994, it has grown far beyond what was expected of this once-small Korean company.
The 2017 Kia Sportage, the fourth-generation CUV, also has some unexpected surprises. This year the CUV has incorporated a stiffer structure, new suspension, a slew of driver assistance systems, and an updated design using more modern materials. The Sportage is also the first Kia to offer UVO3, featuring Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, 14 telematics services, and 8 GB of music storage. And it's all free!
The shape of it:
Dan Sherman, Product and Planning Manager at Kia Motors America, noted. “The design team comes up with ideas that inspire. They collect pictures of artsy interiors and high-level concepts. We’ve got studios in California, Frankfurt, and Korea, but Frankfurt led on this car because the biggest market for the Sportage is in Europe.”
The Sportage is a five-passenger crossover utility vehicle (CUV). Kia says its audience is early 30's college-educated professionals; passionate nomads and adventure seekers who blaze their path in life and are in search of a secret concert. And when this group eventually evolves into a minivan or larger SUV, Kia has one ready for them.
News for 2017:
- The look:
The new Sportage is inspired by fashion, art, architecture, and design. Conceived in Frankfurt and Korea with Kia’s president and chief design officer, Peter Schreyer, the Sportage was tested at Kia’s California proving grounds. Frankfurt had the lead on the Sportage design because it is the biggest market for the Kia Sportage in Europe.
- A bolder appeal:
“Kia’s secret weapon is to be more evocative,” said Orth Hedrick, Vice President Product Planning at Kia Motors America.
For instance, the 2017 Sportage has also been stretched and lengthened pushing the 19-inch wheels to the corners, the grille is lower and wider and the headlights have moved into the fender line. The signature sloping roof and raked rear window add to its updated appearance. Other additions -- like the Ice Cube LED fog lamps, dual exhaust, wrap-around LED taillights, and satin trim -- add drama to the skin of the Sportage.
- A larger, more comfortable cabin:
The base model 5-inch (7-inch on EX and 8-inch on the SX Turbo) color touchscreen is slanted 7.2 degrees toward the driver. The lower half, or “control” zone, highlights switches to operate the available dual-zone climate system, audio, and secondary controls.
Metalwork and soft-touch materials, along with a choice of five interior colors, give a premium mood. The EX and SX Turbo models add leather upholstery, and the SX Turbo includes a D-shaped, heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters, piano black trim along the center console, aluminum alloy pedals, and stitching on the dashboard.
- More headroom, legroom and cargo space:
The second row has a 1.6-inch-lower interior floor and 1.2-inch-lower rear bench hip point, giving second-row passengers over half an inch more headroom and a more comfortable seating position. Options include three-level heated and ventilated front seats, 10-way power control with lumbar support for the driver’s seat, and eight-way power control on the passenger seat.
A dual-level cargo floor and a widened luggage area increase cargo capacity behind the second row to 30.7 cubic-feet. The lift-over height has been lowered for easier loading, and an available power lift gate automatically opens when the key fob is within three feet of the vehicle.
- Improved visibility:
Visibility has been improved by placing the side mirrors lower on the doors, using thinner A- and C-pillars, and incorporating larger rear glass in the hatch. An available panoramic sunroof has an opening 4.1 inches longer than the outgoing model.
- Forward collision warning system and autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection can detect a potential collision with another vehicle or pedestrian and help bring the Sportage to a stop.
- Lane departure warning system produces an audible alert when it detects the driver straying from the current lane without using a turn signal.
- Blind spot detection with lane change assist can monitor cars up to 230 feet behind the Sportage and provide the driver with a visual warning in the door mirror when another vehicle enters the blind spot.
- Rear cross traffic alert can warn the driver if other cars pass behind the Sportage while in reverse.
- Front and rear parking assist uses sonar sensors in the bumpers to warn the driver when nearing other vehicles or objects.
- Bi-HID headlights with dynamic bending light and high beam assist technology improve visibility in the dark.
Music is big for Sportage fans.
All Sportages come standard with a 160-watt six-speaker audio system. A powerful 320-watt Harman Kardon® premium audio system is also available and features eight speakers including subwoofer, an external amplifier, and Clari-FiTM9 music technology that makes for crisper sound.
What drives the Sportage?
The 2.0-liter inline-four turbo (shared with Optima and Sorrento) on the front-wheel-drive SX Turbo makes 240 horsepower (237 on AWD models) and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, while also offering 21 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. The LX and EX have a 2.4-liter engine that produces 181 horsepower and 175 lb.-ft. of torque.
Fair pricing: Pricing ranges from $22,990 to $34,000; destination adds another $895.
Are you ready to buy a new Kia?
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by Holly Reich
HOLLY REICH is a regular contributor to AskPatty and has been writing about automotive and travel since 1982. She has reported on the automotive industry for television and radio broadcast stations including; Fox News, SPEED, Car TV and Autolab. Reich has also contributed to publications such as RIDES, Edmunds.com, kbb.com, Elite Traveler, automotiverhythms.com, The New York Daily News and The Washington Post. Holly is based in New York City.