2018 Kia Sportage Reviews

2018 Sportage New Car Test Drive

Introduction

The Kia Sportage compact crossover exudes a sporty character, led by its distinctive design but augmented by sharp handling and a turbocharger option. 

Redesigned for the 2017 model year, the Sportage sees only minor revisions for 2018. Vital safety technology, including autonomous emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring, is more broadly available on 2018 Sportage models. 

The 2018 Kia Sportage comes in three trim levels: LX, EX, and SX Turbo. 

Each is available with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Biased toward the front wheels, the all-wheel-drive system is fully automatic, needing no input from the driver. Like most crossovers in its category, the Sportage promises no off-roading credentials. 

Sportage LX and EX versions hold a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, rated to deliver 181 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. In the SX Turbo, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder produces 240 horsepower (237 hp with all-wheel drive) and 260 pound-feet. Either way, a 6-speed automatic is the sole transmission. 

Kia has a long tradition of offering well-equipped vehicles for the price, and the Sportage carries on that standard. 

A rearview camera is standard. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts are standard on Sportage EX and SX Turbo. Technology Packages with modern safety features, including autonomous emergency braking and lane-departure warnings, are available for LX and EX trim levels, standard on Sportage SX Turbo. 

Ratings of Good for each crash-test performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety resulted in designation of the 2018 Kia Sportage as a Top Safety Pick when fitted with emergency braking. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has rated the Sportage at five stars overall and for the side-impact crash, but just four stars for frontal collision and rollover crash protection (the latter a calculated figure, not based on testing). 

Lineup

Sportage LX ($23,600) has front-wheel drive and the 2.4-liter engine. Standard equipment includes a rearview camera, cloth upholstery, basic 5.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, six-speaker audio, Bluetooth, 17-inch alloy wheels, power windows and locks, and air conditioning. (Prices are MSRP and do not include $990 destination charge.)

All-wheel drive is optional ($1,500) on all models. 

Sportage EX ($26,400) adds 18-inch alloy wheels, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, leather upholstery, a power driver's seat, heated front seats, 7.0-inch touchscreen, foglamps, and heated power-folding mirrors. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity is included. 

Sportage SX Turbo ($32,900) substitutes the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, adding a sport-tuned suspension. Standard features include autonomous emergency braking, lane-departure warning, parking sensors, paddle shifters, 19-inch wheels, panoramic sunroof, and power tailgate. 

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