The Kia Sportage is probably one of the more sporty crossovers on the market. When Kia first broke onto the scene some 20 years ago, it tried to go head to head with the smaller 4x4 SUV versions, but realized over time that the public really wanted a versatile, easy-to-drive, compact SUV with the comfortable-stylings of a car.
Now 20 years later, the individual desires are changing again and the Kia Sportage is again leading the charge. The public is now asking for even a little more sporty pop in their crossover; so in 2014, Sportage brought in a fresh new look to the front of the vehicle. They added new HID headlamps and then designed new housing for them. The engineers also changed up the grill area, and Kia brought in a sportier wheel design. For the 2015 year, the vehicle will remain pretty much unchanged because of the public’s approval of the 2014 changes.
The Sportage is purely a daily driver for the person or family with no interest or desire of leaving a paved road. This would be the car part of the crossover. You would never think of going off-roading in your Optima, and the same thought process applies to the Sportage. The Sportage differs from the Optima however in its ability to act like an SUV when hauling a small family and all their gear. The rear cargo area behind the seats is roughly 26 cubic feet with the seats up; and you more than double the cargo area at 54 cubic feet with seats folded down (if you decide to leave the kids with grandma).
When I drove the Sportage, I really liked how easy it was to see out.It has been said that it is a bit difficult to see out the back window because of the body styling and the smaller window, but I didn’t feel restricted like I have with other crossovers.There was also discussion about a bigger than normal blind spot; and again, I didn’t see or experience it. I was able to maneuver in and out of traffic with ease because the Sportage offers nice-sized side mirrors that allow you to see really well. When it comes to awards, the Kia Sportage has won many vital awards for safety, customer satisfaction, resale value, and Kelly Blue Book’s top car 2013.Click to see all the awards.
The Sportage has a 16-valve 182hp engine; and although I liked how it responded and acted around town while running errands, I was interested to know if those 182 ponies would to be enough for extensive weekend travel and ‘sporting.’ Kia does offer a 260 hp turbocharged option, so I wanted to see if there was a need to spend the extra money for the turbo or whether the standard engine would be enough.
During the time I had the crossover, I decided to take a run to Lake Whitney which is roughly an hour south of Dallas on I35. My wife and I left Dallas early; and after a quick trip through Starbucks, we were off and running toward our reserved campsite at Lake Whitney. Once we got through downtown Dallas, I put the pedal down to see what the Sportage really had to offer.I’ll say that it is not geared to break any 0-30 or even 0-60 records; but once it is up and running, it does quite nicely.There is a place just before Hillsboro at Carl’s Corner that I35 increases to 75mph. We had been flowing with traffic really well and passing slower cars when needed. So when we hit the speed increase who was I not to ask for more? I asked the Sportage to give me more and it fully obliged.The Sportage had no problem finding the extra speed I asked for, and maintained the ‘new’ requested speed really well too.
I believe the demographic sweet spot for the Kia Sportage is pretty is wide with the vehicle making a great first vehicle for a 16 year old, or a fourth vehicle for 30 year old, and everyone in between. The Sportage’s versatility meets a lot of different people’s needs, and it’s easy to see why it has won so many awards the past few years.