2017 Kia Sportage SX AWD Review and Test Drive

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The new dashboard design separates information from controls into two zones. The upper zone, including driver oriented touchscreen and center console as well as the instrument panel display, shows relevant information while the control zone is for switches and buttons to control audio, climate control, and other functions. The clear separation makes it easy to keep, for example, navigation information at the forefront while adjusting the cabin temperature.

DRIVING THE 2017 KIA SPORTAGE

Once in the driver’s seat, Kia’s improvements to outward visibility become immediately evident. This is accomplished by the use of thinner A and C pillars, a larger rear windshield in the hatch, and side mirrors that are mounted lower on the doors.

Once underway, the cabin is noticeably quieter than the outgoing model. Kia said they accomplished this with the generous use of sound-absorbent materials in wheel arches and doors, changes to the rear suspension to isolate road noise, and a lower drag coefficient that reduces wind noise.

At night, while the name is corny and possibly violates the laws of physics, we found the Bi-HID headlights with Dynamic Bending Light technology worked well in illuminating the road ahead.

The SX’ 2.0-liter turbocharged four banger, which develops 237 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque with all-wheel drive (it’s 240 horsepower without AWD), was reasonably responsive. However, fuel economy didn’t come close to the EPA figures of 26 mpg (9.0 l/100 km) on the highway and 19 (12.4) in the city, giving us an average of 20 mpg (11.8 l/100 km) for the week we had it with a 50-50 mix of city and highway driving.

Despite its heft, the SX is able to move from a standstill to 60 mph (96 km/h) in under seven seconds, and it feels fast as well.

BOTTOM LINE

If you find the quirky styling appealing – and I was one of the staffers here who did – the redesigned Kia Sportage is a rather appealing choice considering the combination of refinement, performance, and technology.

Jonathan Spira contributed to this review.

(Photos: Accura Media Group)

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