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Kia's second smallest crossover is at it again. Here's what we thought:

Utility

  • Have a rear-facing baby seat? This isn’t the vehicle for your family. The average height front passenger will feel crunched.
  • Rear cargo space is decent, but lacks some of the underfloor storage seen in other vehicles who utilize a run-flat.

Performance

  • Rev-happy 2.0-liter 4-cylinder is extremely peppy, at all speeds.
  • Great acceleration from 70-90 mph, as well as off the line.
  • A great engine.

Technology

  • UVO (Kia's branded infotainment system) is awesome.
  • Apple's CarPlay capability is amazing.
  • We loved the Stitcher app and the use of Apple Maps (just say the name of the restauratnt you want to head to and Maps pulls it up. Tap “GO” and you are already on your way. It's way better than any built-in navigation system from any manufacturer. Seriously.)

Economy

  • With all of this power and peppiness, there is going to be a trade-off. The trade comes in fuel economy.
  • We saw 20.6mpg after 500 miles of mixed use driving.
  • The EPA estimate is 20 city/ 23 highway, with a combined 21 mpg.

Ride & Handling

  • Smooth ride, not a ton of body lean.
  • Stays mostly flat in the corners.
  • The AWD setup helps alleviate some of the understeer, but in the wet it still plows through corners more like a front-wheel-drive vehicle.
  • Crossover characteristics mean the Sportage is a little lower to the ground with a stronger sense of balance and lower center of gravity than a traditional SUV.
  • At highway speeds, there is a little more road noise than we’d like.
  • Hit 65 mph and road noise emanates from the floorboards, making for a noisier cabin.

Value

What can we say, this thing is loaded: Blind Spot Detection (BSD), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), heated/ventilated seats/steering wheel…the only thing that was missing was radar cruise control and perhaps a Head Up Display (HUD), but we’re being picky.

Pricing: Visit NADAguides.com