2019 Kia Sportage
Most compact SUVs follow a particular formula. You might say that they almost look the same – except for the front clip and badging. However, one vehicle in its class breaks the mold by not only showing off how different it is – it may be one of the best driving vehicles in its class.
The current Kia Sportage has been around for a few years. It is one of brand’s mainstays since almost the beginning of its journey here in the U.S.A. For 2019, it continues to provide solid transportation with its unique styling. We had a chance to drive a Sportage LX with all-wheel-drive to find out if this standout SUV is truly at the top of its game.
The Sportage shows a distinctive face that goes along with its distinctive look. You can see it in the details: The top-mounted headlamp units on each fender, a grille texture that is tied to each trim level. More compelling is the fact that the front end has an excellent angle of approach, eliminating any curb scrapes on driveways and cement parking stops.
Sportage owners will love the increased glass area on the side. The main reason would be the rear doors have been enlarged for a wider opening for better entry and exit. The liftgate has a sculptured look with a light strip across the middle of the tailgate. LED taillights and lower signals/backup lights finish up the look.
The quality inside the Sportage’s cabin is actually good, even in the lowest trim. The instrumentation is good to check on information and may require a look down for tall drivers. The small infotainment screen is also a bit low for taller drivers, but the controls are within reach for everyone.
The Sportage is a very spacious and comfortable place to be. Front seats offer support and some bolstering. Rear seat room is good, and your children will enjoy the volume of the rear area, even adult children! Not to mention, the spacious 30.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat, expandable to 60.1 cubic feet with those seats folded down.
Our LX tester came with the standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 181 horsepower. The six-speed automatic is a smooth shifting setup, especially with its all-wheel-drive system. Regarding fuel economy, we averaged 22.1 MPG.
The Sportage offers one of the smoothest rides in its class. It absorbs a lot of the road imperfections in its wake, creating a great atmosphere for drivers and passengers alike. When taking on the curves, once pushed to the limits, there will be plenty of roll and lean, along with some tire feedback. Probably best to drive it a little easier through the curves.
The steering is good, offering great feedback at the wheel and a solid on-center feel. The Sportage has a great turning radius for those tighter spots. Brakes are also good. exhibiting solid pedal and system performance in both normal and panic stops.
Pricing for the 2019 Sportage starts at $23,750 for a LX with front-wheel drive. Our all-wheel-drive version came with a sticker price of $26,730. Other Sportage trim levels include the EX and SX with a 241-horsepower turbocharged engine.
The uniquely designed Kia Sportage is positioned within the most competitive segment in the marketplace – the compact SUV. A Sportage customer may be looking at a Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Tucson, Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Escape, Dodge Journey, Volkswagen Tiguan, Subaru Forester, Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, Jeep Compass and Cherokee.
What makes the Kia Sportage worth looking at is its unique design matched by its spirited driveline, spacious cabin, and superb access to the interior and cargo hold. It is really a solid vehicle that is designed to handle all four seasons with ease. If you love breaking the mold – the Kia Sportage does it the best above all.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors