If you want a vehicle with a sporty flair, the 2014 Kia Sportage makes for an excellent choice. This compact crossover may fall short in terms of interior space and better fuel economy compared to competitors like Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Subaru Forester, but it does have sound features to boast that can bring tremendous value for your money.
NEW FOR THE 2014 SPORTAGE
- New grille design
- New suspension dampers
- Tilt/telescopic steering wheel
- Rear-seat heating vents and reclining outboard seats
- Optional HID headlamps and LED rear taillamps
- Optional ventilated front seats
- Gasoline direct injection for 24-liter engine
UNDER THE HOOD
The 2014 Sportage is offered in front-wheel and all-wheel drive and comes in three trim levels: LX, EX and SX.
A 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine with 182-horsepower comes standard for the base LX and EX trims. The said engine has an estimated EPA city/highway fuel economy of 21/28 mpg (front-wheel drive) and 19/26 mpg (all-wheel drive).
On the other hand, a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with 260-horspower revs up the SX trim. Its estimated EPA city/highway fuel economy is at 20/26 mpg (front-wheel drive) and 19/24 (all-wheel drive). Both engines are equipped with a gasoline direct-injection technology and are tied to a six-speed automatic transmission and can be manually shifted when desired.
ON THE ROAD
With improved engine comes better road performance for the 2014 Sportage. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine provides a good boost for the vehicle. Its mid-range torque offers enough power to rev up the Sportage from standing start, while also giving it better cornering capability. The six-speed automatic transmission also enables smooth gear changes, including downshifts for safer passing and merging.
Although the new Sportage’s steering and brakes are commendable and contribute to the car’s safety and fun factor, there is some sort of harshness with the way it rides, especially on rough roads. There is also a tendency for body lean in curves, which can become tiring after a while. 360-degree visibility is a bit hampered by the Sportage’s narrow windows and high beltlines. Overall, however, the ride quality of the vehicle is at par with other cars in its class.
INSIDE THE 2014 SPORTAGE
2014 Kia Sportage’s interior packs a lot of function and visual appeal as its exterior. There is nothing too fancy inside, though hard plastics are apparent. Despite these, however, you are assured that the quality of workmanship is superb.
The new Sportage has five standard cloth seats, with the rear one capable of being folded flat. The front seat, though comfortable and has sufficient thigh support, is limited in terms of adjustability as it only has a four-way manual setup. Back-seat passenger may also find the headroom a little tight.
Instrumentation is set in a clean layout, allowing for easier reading. The center stack is well organized, with audio/navigation interface placed at the top, the climate control panel at the midlevel and power points, USB and auxiliary input found at the low part of the panel.
The Sportage’s 26.1 cubic feet cargo space, which can expand up to 54.6 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded, is tighter compared to its rivals. However, the under-floor storage bin and tie-down hooks come in handy for storing additional stuff.
The base LX trim of Sportage comes with standard features like 17-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, tilt/telescopic steering column, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, Bluetooth, cruise control and a 6-speaker audio system with AM/FM/CD/Satellite capability and USB/iPod input.
As for the EX and SX trims some noteworthy standard features include, Infinity premium audio system with subwoofer, UVO entertainment system, rearview camera and warning system, auto-climate control and a cooling glove box. The top SX trim gets to have HID headlights, leather steering wheel and shifter trim and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Kia also provides optional features for the 2014 Sportage, which come in packages. Some of the notable optional features include new navigation system and UVO eServices, Supervision gauge cluster, power folding side mirrors, heated and ventilated front seats, panoramic sunroof, keyless entry and leather seat. A rearview camera and warning system can also be added to Sportage’s base trim.
Photo credit: kia.com