2017 Sportage EX

2017 Sportage EX

The fourth-generation Kia Sportage first made its global debut during the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. This time, the SUV makes landfall in the US during the ongoing LA Auto Show. Marked as a 2017 model, the Kia Sportage will be manufactured at the carmaker’s facility in Gwangju, Korea for the US market, with three trim levels offered – LX, EX and SX Turbo.

Dimension-wise, the Kia Sportage is larger than before, measuring 4,480 mm long (40 mm more), contributing to a larger wheelbase of 2,670 mm (30 mm up). However, the overall width remains unchanged from its predecessor at 1,854 mm. Depending on the presence of roof rails, the Sportage stands at 1,645 mm or 1,656 mm tall.

The bold new exterior design first seen at Frankfurt is retained here. Highlights include the new tiger nose grille that is positioned below the boomerang-shaped headlights. Meanwhile, the lower fascia plays host to the “ice cube” LED fog lights, which are found on all variants. However, the SX Turbo gets bi-xenon headlights with Dynamic Bending Light, while the LX and EX only gets projectors.

Other distinctive details that separate the SX Turbo from the other variants in the range include large 19-inch alloy wheels (EX gets 18-inch and LX, 17-inch), panoramic sunroof (option for the EX), LED taillights and dual exhaust tips. A Smart Power Liftgate is also standard on the SX Turbo, and an option on the EX.

2017 Sportage SX Turbo

2017 Sportage SX Turbo

On the powertrain front, the Kia Sportage receives a 2.4 litre GDI engine and a 2.0 litre T-GDI turbocharged mill, with the former being fitted on the LX and EX, and the latter on the top-spec SX Turbo. Both inline four-cylinder petrol engines are paired to a six-speed Sportmatic automatic transmission, with drive sent to either the front or all wheels.

In terms of power output, the 2.4 litre mill produces 181 hp and 237 Nm of torque, while the turbocharged 2.0 litre T-GDI dishes out significantly more at 241 hp and 352 Nm of torque. The drive system can also be set to different modes – Normal, Sport and Eco as and when needed.

Step into the revamped cabin of the Sportage SX Turbo and you’ll be greeted by an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment unit that features Android Auto connectivity, navigation and UVO eServices telematics. The multimedia unit handles music playback via an impressive Harmon Kardon 320-watt sound system with eight speakers and CLARI-FI system.

The entry-level LX meanwhile gets a five-inch touchscreen unit, with the option of upgrading it to a seven-inch Android Auto-compliant system, which is standard on the EX. Other luxuries on the SX Turbo include heated and ventilated (front) leather seats, black gloss trim pieces and dashboard stitching.

Drivers of the SX Turbo will also benefit from the power adjustable eight-way seats with two-way power lumbar support (available for front passenger), auto-dimming rearview mirror (option on the EX), metal sports pedals and a flat-bottomed heated steering wheel. There is even a 4.3-inch colour LCD Supervision multi-info display (3.5-inch LCD for the LX and EX).

As for the safety side of things, all Kia Sportage variants for the US market gets six airbags (dual front, dual front-seat mounted curtain and dual full-length side curtain), ESC, traction control, hill start assist, downhill brake control and ABS.

The Kia Sportage also includes a slew of driver assistance systems. On the SX Turbo, this includes the Blind Spot Detection System (BSD) with Lane Change Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Pedestrian Detection System and Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS). Only a select few of these systems are available as options on the EX (LX gets none).

GALLERY: 2016 Kia Sportage at 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show