2019 Sportage New Car Test Drive
The popular Kia Sportage crossover stands out for its swoopy lines and its excellent warranty. Unchanged for 2019, it comes as standard front-wheel drive with available all-wheel drive, and with a standard 4-cylinder engine making 181 horsepower or available turbo-4 making 240 hp.
There's also an SX with sharper handling and the turbocharged engine that changes the character of the crossover. Every Sportage uses a 6-speed automatic transmission, which might not get the fuel mileage of a CVT, but it's worth it not to have that big rubber-band slinging the car along.
Active safety equipment such as automatic emergency braking is optional on all but the SX, where it's standard. All models but the base LX get Kia's useful Uvo infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a big, high-resolution touchscreen.
The front-wheel-drive LX is EPA-rated at 23 mpg city, 30 highway, and 25 combined. All-wheel-drive LXs check in at 21/25/22 mpg.
The EX model, with a bit more equipment, is rated at 22/29/25 mpg with front-wheel drive, or 21/26/23 mpg with all-wheel drive.
The SX pays for its horsepower, with front-drive models at 21/26/23 mpg, and all-wheel drive at 20/23/21 mpg.
The NHTSA gives the Sportage five stars overall, with four stars for front-impact and rollover prevention..
The 2019 Kia Sportage LX comes with power features, air conditioning, cruise control, 17-inch wheels, and a 5.0-inch touchscreen. Notable is the sterling Kia warranty: a 5-year, 60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper promise with 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain coverage.
An optional package upgrades the infotainment to a 7.0-inch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and adds heated front seats, a power driver seat, and automatic climate control. Another package includes automatic emergency braking.
For $30,000, the EX adds that infotainment system, as well as blind-spot monitors, 18-inch wheels, and an extra USB port. Options include cooled front seats, a power tailgate, Harman Kardon audio, an 8.0-inch infotainment system and automatic emergency braking.
The $35,000 SX Turbo adds the turbocharged engine, automatic emergency braking, and sharper handling from revised dampers, firmer springs, and slightly modified steering settings.
Leather, a sunroof, and a premium sound system are available. .