2016 Kia Sportege – Test Drive, Reviews, Ratings, Specs

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Quite Possibly the Most Civilized Crossover

What a proper cross-over SUV should be is still unknown. And that’s because the whole concept is still relatively new. But in the case of the 2016 Kia Sportage, I think its implementation comes close to solidifying its true definition. It’s smooth, quiet, spacious, and comfortable – that makes the Kia Sportage practically a sure win for the family oriented.

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Thanks to its well established design foundation, no camera tricks are required to make this car look good. The Kia Sportage is both sleek and stylish to the naked eye. And there’s more to the Kia Sportage than just its pretty looks. Engine choices come in either a 2.4L engine producing 182 horsepower, or the higher end 2.0L GDI (Gas Direction Injection) engine producing an upgrade to 260 horsepower with available drivetrain options in either FWD or AWD configuration.

Cute and Mature

Its outer shell is cute and innocent. Out front fascia embraces Kia’s signature winged-shape front grille, HID headlamps accompanied by a longitudinal strip of LED highlights. The front bumper is heavily tapered off to retain a subtle look. Side panels are elevated quite high up to its side view mirrors with simple contours carved out and a round and bubbly rooftop silhouette. Its rear view retains its consistent looks with flat-line contours and simple rear view tail lights. The short front and rear wheel overhang, miniature spoiler and low-hanging side-skirts help give the Kia Sportage a “sporty” look.

Don’t let its juvenile expression fool you though. Its interior is very well laid out with comfortable seating, generous legroom, and a a panoramic sunroof to lighten up the cabin space (only available in the EX, and SX luxury model). Extra space is no issue thanks to its 60/40 split folding rear seats activated by a simple pull of a lever.

Kind Hearted Engine

The 2016 Kia Sportage is offered in two engine configurations – a 2.4L GDI engine producing 182 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque or the higher end 2.0L turbocharged GDI engine producing 260 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque only available in the SX model. Mated to the engine is a 6-speed sportmatic automatic transmission.

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Putting it into practice, the Kia Sportage is ultra smooth and gear shifts are very continuous and subtle. Despite its higher center of gravity, steering is very manageable without suffering too much from body roll. Driving excitement is absent in the Kia Sportage though. Its suspensions are tuned for comfort rather than performance, and there’s just simply not enough horsepower to deliver the adrenaline. But nevertheless, the Kia Sportage still feels feather light off the line with its curb weight settling in at 3,664 lbs.

Despite its efforts to lighten its curb weight and introduce direct-injection engine technology, the AWD SX model achieves 18.7 MPG in the city and 24.2 MPG on the highway. But if weather-proofing is not too big of a concern, the FWD model is available in the lower LX, EX and EX Luxury model with better fuel ratings at 28.3 mpg on the highway and 20.6 mpg in the city.

Not the only Fish in the Pond

The whole concept of cross-over SUV has been an emerging trend, and to no surprise, many auto-makers have caught on with the trend. In terms of competition, the Mazda CX-5 offers very close performance and driving behavior.  If driving excitement is what you’re looking for, neither of the two options will deliver at the sub 30k price tag unfortunately.  Save up your piggy bank for the Acura RDX/MDX for that.  Or if you’re willing to diverge off of the Cross-over SUV road, the Ford Focus, or Subaru hatchback models will offer the cure to the adrenaline rus

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Specifications

 

  • Vehicle : 2016 Kia Sportage
  • Model : 2016 Kia Sportage Sx Luxury
  • Price as Tested : $37,295
  • Vehicle Type : 4 Door Crossover
  • Seating Capacity : 5
  • Powertrain Configuration : FWD / AWD
  • Engine : T-GDI
  • Transmission : 6 Speed Automatic
  • Fuel Economy: 18.7/24/2 MPG city/highway

 

Pros

 

  • Cute and contemporary looks
  • Silky smooth ride
  • Quiet Interior

 

Cons

 

  • Not the best fuel economy for its class
  • non-existent driving excitement