- Compact crossover with seating for five
- Mostly unchanged for 2016
- Good value with many standard features
Carrying over into 2016 without notable changes, the Kia Sportage is a five-seat compact crossover that competes in a crowded segment alongside stalwarts like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.
The Sportage got styling updates back in 2014 that it has kept and they help it to stand out. The Sportage is best viewed from the front, where the larger pinched grille and expressive front fascia give it a handsome face; from the rear, it looks somewhat pedestrian. 17-inch alloy wheels come standard, with 18-inch wheels coming on EX/SX models.
There are two available four-cylinder engines for the Sportage. The base engine is a 182-hp, 2.4-liter, four-cylinder that makes 168 pounds-feet of torque and is found in LX and EX models. The top-of-the-line Sportage model, the SX, comes with a 260-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 269 pounds-feet of torque. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic, with front-wheel drive standard and all-wheel drive optional. The best fuel economy comes with the base engine and FWD, an estimated 21/28 mpg city/highway, with AWD models slightly behind that at 19/26 mpg city/highway. With the more powerful EX and the turbocharged engine, the ratings come in behind that at 20/26 mpg city/highway with FWD, and 19/24 mpg city/highway with AWD.
For 2016, the EX trim adds leather upholstery and push-button start to the standard features list. The Sportage does not disappoint when it comes to standard features and value for money. Satellite radio, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, auto-down power windows, tilt steering wheel, and 60/40 split rear seat all come standard. Option highlights include Infinity premium audio with HD radio, dual-zone automatic climate control, automatic headlights, and a cooled glove box. The UVO eServices information and entertainment system is also optional; eServices integrates with your smartphone via Bluetooth to offer emergency crash notifications, a parking minder that will remember where you left the Sportage, vehicle diagnostics and maintenance reminders, Pandora internet radio, and personalized Google maps points of interest.
Standard safety features include electronic stability control, antilock brakes, and six airbags. The available rearview camera and rear parking sensors make for easier reversing. AWD models of the 2016 Sportage got a full five-star overall crash test rating from the NHTSA, while FWD models got four-stars.