2018 Sportage New Car Test Drive
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).
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.