Auto Nsider Review: 2017 KIA Sportage SX AWD

KIA  completely redesigned their two-row, five-passenger Sportage for ’17, and they went in a little different direction than many of their competitors.

 

Instead of the chiseled, wedge-shape that so many mid-sized Sport Utes have gone with, the Sportage has a more rounded look.   To me it comes across as kind of an “Oh yes I can” pugnacious bulldog kind of look.   Friendly and capable, if you will.

 

And like so many vehicles these days, it can be either a bargain, or a full-bore luxury vehicle….just depending on how you equip it.

 

On the bargain end, the Sportage LX starts with a low $20’s window sticker, and comes with a 181 HP 4-cylinder and a 6-speed automatic that can tow 2,000 lbs.

Mileage is rated at 23 city and 30 highway.

 

Personally, I think the $2,500 upgrade to KIA’s EX is money well-spent.  You’ll get an upgraded interior with premium tricot cloth with spill protection, 18” alloys, push-button start, heated outside mirrors, smart key, heat-reducing solar glass in your windows and dual-zone air.

 

And then if you want both luxury and performance, you don’t necessarily have to go to Germany.   Just step up to a Sportage SX turbo.   Seriously.   Now….I’m not saying that the Sportage is the equivalent to Europe’s finest, but look at what you can get for less than 35K:

 

A 240 HP turbo that pumps out plenty of power for those two-lane passing situations, all-wheel drive, sunroof, heated and ventilated leather, 19” alloys, power liftgate, HID headlamps with auto high beams, voice command nav, front and rear parking assist, rear cross-traffic alert, emergency braking, lane-departure warning, LED interior lighting, a heated steering wheel, and Harmon Kardon surround-sound.

 

No….you don’t have Mercedes’ heated armrests, but a fully-loaded Sportage offers a whole lot of content for just a couple thousand more than the average price of today’s new vehicle.

 

And it appears that Kelly Blue Book agrees with me.

 

KIA’s ’17 Sportage was rated as one of KBB’s “Best Buys”….when original price, cost-to-operate, and projected resale value are all considered.

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