2017 Kia Sportage EX

The Kia Sportage is one of Kia’s longest selling vehicles in the United States.

The Kia Sportage has always been a good small SUV and given a lot for a modest price.  Some of the Sportage’s competitors include the Chevy Trax, Nissan Juke and Subaru Crosstrek. That should give you a good idea of where the Kia Sportage sits in the car world.

I’m eating Wheat Thin’s right now, and this segment of SUV’s is kind of like Wheat Thins.  I know that sounds super off-the-wall but let me explain…

If you’re shopping for a bag of chips (an SUV) you can go for the bold; Over the top Doritos nachos or whatever their latest oddly flavored option is (the luxury SUV’s). Or, you can something much more sensible.  Something you probably need: Wheat Thins (economy SUV’s).  If that still doesn’t make sense, you probably don’t like Wheat Thins.

But back to the 2017 Kia Sportage EX.  Kia redesigned the Sportage for 2017, and made some key tweaks to keep the Sportage competitive and up to date.

As for the redesign, the 2017 Kia Sportage EX is much more rounded and tall-looking than the previous generation.  It  looks like a very different car than the previous Kia Sportage.

The Specs-2017 Kia Sportage EX:

 

Vehicle Type: Compact Crossover
Power Plant: 2.4 L 4-cyl / 2.0 L Turbo 4-cyl
Gearbox: 6 speed automatic
Power: 181 – 240 HP
MPG: Up to 29 Highway/22 City 
Torque: 175 Lb-ft – 260 lb-ft.
Length: 176.4 Inches
Width: 73 Inches
Height: 65 Inches
Wheelbase: 105.1 Inches
Top Speed: 110 MPH
Seating: 5 Adults
0-60 MPH (0-120 KPH): 8 seconds
Base Price: $23,200

 

The Exterior-2017 Kia Sportage EX: 

2017 Kia Sportage

Some point to the front end of the 2017 Kia Sportage EX as being some sort of a baby 2017 Porsche Macan.  While I can see where they got this sort of comparison from, I can’t help but disagree. The 2017 Kia Sportage EX does have some…Macan-ness, but it is not a Macan.

From the front, the 2017 Kia Sportage EX has a similar stubby face to the Macan.  But the stubby-ness is pretty much the end of the comparisons.

The new grille sits up front in a new honey comb fashion, and Kia moved their badge above the grille rather than integrating it like the previous generation.

Kia now created an ice-cube fashioned fog light set up that rings around the whole line up.

The new headlights on the 2017 Kia Sportage EX now sit above the grille, rather than at its sides.

For 2017, the Kia Sportage looks much more childish than the previous generation from the front.  I’m personally not crazy about it, but it would make a perfect “We just got our first child” car.

The side profile of the 2017 Kia Sportage EX is largely unchanged from the previous generation’s.

2017 Kia Sportage

From the rear, the 2017 Kia Sportage EX is much more convincing.

The new tail light design is much more professionally laid out and slender than the previous SUV’s style, which looks much better.  The 2016 Kia Sportage is already very outdated.

Kia also employed a new wing on the roof of the 2017 Kia Sportage EX which makes it look more athletic than it is, which is fine.    However, this almost makes the front look of the Sportage not coincide with the back.

While i’m not crazy about the design as a whole for the 2017 Kia Sportage, it definitely has its appeal.  Especially to those who think of it as a baby Macan…I still don’t see it, but that sort of thinking is really putting the Kia Sportage high up.

The Interior-2017 Kia Sportage EX:

2017 Kia Sportage EX

Kia completely redesigned the 2017 Kia Sportage EX’s interior.  The instrument cluster, steering wheel, center stack and infotainment set up get a good update.

The new infotainment set up is featured up front and prominently.  New controls and air vents complete the whole set up.  The new controls for infotainment don’t surround the screen anymore, but instead are located below the whole assembly.  That little change makes the whole stack look much less cluttered.

Kia updated the shifting column into a much more updated piece.  The 2017 Kia Sportage EX’s new shifter is much wider and the base is now rectangular rather than circular.  This change makes the whole stack much more upscale looking.

Climate controls are largely the same, but the surrounding designs make the assembly look much better.

The steering wheel looks more athletic than before.   The awkward center-spoke buttons are gone, and the wheel looks serious.  The addition of a flat bottom and thumb grips must be the reason “Sport” is in the name “Sportage”.

Overall, the interior of the 2017 Kia Sportage EX is very sharp.  You can see plenty of similarities between the new Sportage interior and the Stinger GT that is coming out.

I do wish the exterior was as professional as the interior, though.  There is a lot to be desired on the outside, and maybe the new model years from now will follow Kia in becoming a more professional brand.

The Performance-2017 Kia Sportage EX:

You can get the 2017 Kia Sportage in all wheel drive or front wheel drive.  The AWD option does suffer from some fuel economy woes, but makes up for it in some good power.

The two engine options for the 2017 Kia Sportage are a 2.4 L four cylinder naturally aspirated engine and a 2.0 L turbo four cylinder.  The 2.4 L four produces 181 horsepower and the 2.0 L four cylinder gets a good 240 horsepower.

Torque numbers are similar to horsepower figures and zero to sixty is done in 8 seconds.

As for the transmission, there isn’t any good news.  Kia is using a very outdated six speed automatic transmission for the 2017 Kia Sportage EX.  This is where the fuel economies ranking drops.

The outdated transmission is not a efficient as newer technologies, making it less efficient.

Sum It Up:

I’m still not sure where people get that the Kia Sportage is a baby Porsche Macan.  But I do like the 2017 Kia Sportage EX.  It is a great first SUV, and from a reliable company.

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