Kia has revamped the Sportage's base 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine to add direct injection, which is said to improve efficiency, although no fuel economy numbers have been released yet. Switching to DI has also increased the engine's output, up slightly from 176 horsepower and 168 pound-feet of torque in 2013 to 182 hp and 178 lb-ft for 2014. Additionally, LX models now receive the sportier shock setup previously available only on EX and SX trims.
More importantly, the base trim level has been dropped from the 2014 Sportage lineup, meaning the car's manual transmission has been axed, as well. Pricing hasn't been released yet, but the 2013 Sportage already undercut competitors like the Chevy Equinox and Toyota RAV4 by thousands of dollars, so even a modest increase for 2014 would still position the Kia rather nicely in the segment.
From a styling perspective, Kia has given the Sportage a new grille and some slightly difference foglamps on the EX trim level, and inside, changes include a standard tilt/telescoping steering wheel and the inclusion of UVO eServices (optional on LX and standard on EX and SX). Read about all the changes in Kia's full press release, below.
Stylish CUV Adds Premium Amenities and Convenience Features
-Kia's longest running nameplate offers an enhanced 2.4L powertrain for greater efficiency
-Award-winning CUV equips drivers with UVO eServices for advanced voice-activated telematics control
IRVINE, Calif., Sept. 13, 2013 –The 2014 Sportage advances Kia's brand to the next level with an array of design enhancements as well as a host of comfort and convenience features. Building upon the already award-winning platform, Sportage now offers – 2.4L GDI I4 (LX and EX) and 2.0L Turbo GDI (SX) powertrains – for enhanced efficiency.
Refined and Sophisticated Exterior
Available in three trims – LX, EX and SX – the 2014 Kia Sportage features a high beltline, sweeping angles and pronounced wheel flares, conveying an indomitable road presence with an aggressive, hunkered-down stance. The full-sectioned body, defined by a spearing shoulder line throughout the length of the car, helps to visually connect the available HID headlamps and LED tail lights. The crispness of this line, together with its lowered body, creates a distinct sense of precision while the pronounced C-pillar conveys an air of solidity and balance when viewed from the side. Sportage continues the evolution of Kia's design language with a new grille design and as well as new fog lamps on the EX trim.
Added Comfort and Convenience
The 2014 Sportage enhances ride quality and dynamic handling through standard high performance dampers across all trim levels (previously only on EX and SX). For added driver comfort, a tilt and telescopic steering column is now standard across all trims.
For enhanced passenger comfort, all trims feature standard rear ventilation and reclining outboard seats. Moving to the EX trim adds standard heated front seats, Infinity® Premium Audio, auto-dimming mirror with Homelink® and heated outside mirrors. Meanwhile, an available Premium package adds ventilated front seats, navigation with SiriusXM TrafficTM, leather-trimmed seats, panoramic sunroof, smart key with push button start, and power-folding outside mirrors.
Standard on the EX and SX models and available as a package on LX, the Sportage takes in-car connectivity to the next level with UVO eServices. The system represents an evolutionary leap from the original UVO system's capabilities, adding a new telematics suite ("eServices") enabled by an exclusive, free smartphone app that provides drivers with an innovative in-vehicle connectivity experience including diagnostics capabilities and added convenience features. UVO is short for "Your Voice" and through Advanced Voice Recognition technology, allows consumers to control music and mobile phone operations while keeping their hands on the steering wheel and their eyes on the road. When equipped with UVO eServices, the 2014 Sportage also features a Rear Camera Display with a Back-Up Warning System and auto headlamp system.
Kia: One of the World's Fastest Moving Global Automotive Brands
Kia Motors America is one of only three auto brands to increase U.S. sales in each of the past four years, and in 2012 the company surpassed the 500,000 unit mark for the first time. With a full line of fun-to-drive cars and CUVs, Kia is advancing value to new levels of sophistication by combining European-influenced styling – under the guidance of chief design officer Peter Schreyer – with cutting-edge technologies, premium amenities, affordable pricing and the lowest cost of ownership in the industry. Kia recently joined the exclusive ranks of Interbrand's "Top 100 Best Global Brands," and is poised to continue its momentum with seven all-new or significantly redesigned vehicles scheduled to arrive in showrooms in 2013. Over the past decade Kia Motors has invested more than $1.4 billion in the U.S., including the company's first U.S. assembly plant in West Point, Georgia – Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia – which is responsible for the creation of more than 14,000 plant and supplier jobs. The success of the U.S.-built* Optima and Sorento in two of the industry's largest segments has fueled Kia's rapid growth and is complemented by Kia's comprehensive lineup which includes the Cadenza flagship sedan, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Sportage compact CUV, Optima Hybrid, the Forte sedan, 5-door and Koup compacts, Rio and Rio 5-door sub-compacts and the Sedona minivan.
About Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 765 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA and LPGA. In 2012, KMA recorded its best-ever annual sales total and gained U.S. market share for the 18th consecutive year. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, advanced safety features and new technologies.