Earlier Kia Sportage version had harsh suspension, mid fuel economy with ok interior. Looks like company is trying to overcome all those points in 2017 version. Latest Kia Sportage comes up with turbo four cylinder producing 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, touches 60 mph in 6.7 seconds, electronically governed 135 mph, all good but with front wheel drive while Subaru Forester 2.0XT comes with four wheel drive.
To provide better fuel efficiency and smooth power delivery, Kia reduced 20 hp and 9 lb-ft of torque, though at 3000 rpm engine has issue of strong surge. 30 mpg EPA is achievable on highway. Need to pay additional $1500 for all wheel drive system, which adds 119 lb-ft and more 0.2 seconds to reach 60 mph.
Kia Sportage chasis is more complaint as regular Sportage and provides quiet and smooth ride even at highway speed. Brakes are good takes 173 ft to stop from 70 mph which is good in this segment. Interior is well executed with dashboard and door panels having classy soft touch materials and quality plastics. nice to hold steering wheel. Plenty of legroom at rear seat, seat cushion is at lower side, USB slot with 12 volt power plug. Cargo space is large and rectangular. Rear seats gets completely flat fold.
Infotainment comes up with every touchscreen functions using hard buttons, three strips of control shortcuts beneath center display for radio, phone, media, navigation, setup menus, climate controls, cooled and heater front seats, heated steering wheel.
Volume and tuning knobs on either side of climate controls to set temperature for left and right hand climate zones. Headlights stacked on grille, big wheels , chrome trim, this makes Sportage to look expensive than it is. Dual zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, Harman sound system, automatic emgergency braking, LED fog lights, LED tailights, LED running lights, panoramic sunroof, power liftgate, Android Auto, no Apple CarPlay yet.
Paying $33,395 for 2017 Kia Sportage seems at higher end but worth enough.