2017 Kia Sportage Front

COMPARISON: 2017 Kia Sportage Fights for a Share of the Crossover Pie

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2017 Kia Sportage Front

The Kia Sportage is redesigned for 2017, which keeps this crossover in step with the competition. Everyone is buying crossovers these days so automakers simply cannot let their products become outdated. A styling update, competitive pricing, and good performance ensure the Sportage doesn’t lag behind the rest of the pack.

Its looks are unique, though nothing too edgy. This is a family car so it’s not supposed to be flashy, but the lines are appealing and the overall stance is sportier and less soft than the previous model.

There are two powertrains and our tester boasted the more powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. It’s paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission that is smooth, however, there was the occasional hitch when it hunted for the right gear on steep hills.

Looking for a Kia Sportage? Check out BestRide’s listing here.

Most people aren’t buying a crossover for performance, although the Sportage won’t disappoint on that front. They’re buying it for its passenger and cargo space and the flexibility to reconfigure the interior on a whim. The 60/40 split rear seats let you do just that and feature an adjustable recline for improved rear passenger comfort.

There’s also plenty of tech with the SX featuring an 8-inch touchscreen with navigation, blind spot detection, lane change assist, lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and a Harman Kardon premium audio system. Comfort features like heated and ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, and leather seats are also standard on this trim.

Looking for a new or used car? Check out BestRide’s listing search here.

Kia excels at delivering a well-equipped vehicle at an affordable price and the Sportage is no exception. Our test model came in at $34,895, which puts it in the same ballpark as other crossovers. The Sportage packs a lot in at that price point offering a more well-equipped car than similarly priced competitors.

Here’s how the 2017 Kia Sportage compares to other crossovers on the market.

2017 Kia Sportage Profile

2017 Kia Sportage SX AWD

Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged I4
Horsepower: 237
Torque: 260 lb-ft
Transmission: 6-speed automatic transmission

Seating Dimensions (inches)
Front Headroom: w/without sunroof 37.6/39.3
Front Legroom: 41.5
Rear Headroom: w/without sunroof 37.5/39.1
Rear Legroom: 38.2

Cargo Capacity (cubic feet)
Behind First Row: 60.1
Behind Second Row: 30.7

Fuel Economy (mpg)
City: 20
Highway: 23

Pricing: $34,895

2016 Honda CR-V

2016 Honda CR-V Touring AWD

Engine: 2.4-liter I4
Horsepower: 185
Torque: 181 lb-ft
Transmission: CVT

Seating Dimensions (inches)
Front Headroom: 38.0
Front Legroom: 41.3
Rear Headroom: 38.6
Rear Legroom: 38.3

Cargo Capacity (cubic feet)
Behind First Row: 70.9
Behind Second Row: 37.2

Fuel Economy (mpg)
City: 25
Highway: 31

Pricing: $33,495

2016 Toyota RAV4

2017 Toyota RAV4 Limited

Engine: 2.5-liter 4-cylinder
Horsepower: 176
Torque: 172 lb-ft
Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Seating Dimensions (inches)
Front Headroom: 38.9
Front Legroom: 42.6
Rear Headroom: 38.9
Rear Legroom: 37.2

Cargo Capacity (cubic feet)
Behind First Row: 73.4
Behind Second Row: 38.4

Fuel Economy (mpg)
City: 22
Highway: 29

Pricing: $33,850

2017 Ford Escape

2017 Ford Escape Titanium SE 4WD

Engine: 2.0-liter I4
Horsepower: 245
Torque: 275 lb-ft
Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Seating Dimensions (inches)
Front Headroom: 39.9
Front Legroom: 43.1
Rear Headroom: 39.0
Rear Legroom: 37.3

Cargo Capacity (cubic feet)
Behind First Row: 68.0
Behind Second Row: 34.0

Fuel Economy: (mpg)
City: 20
Highway: 27

Pricing: $31,790

The Kia Sportage doesn’t excel in any one area, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a worthwhile buy. Looking purely at the numbers, the Kia falls short on fuel economy, cargo capacity, and passenger room. Those numbers don’t take into account the additional features offered in the Sportage that you won’t find at the same price point with the other guys.

The Sportage offers more power than the CR-V and RAV4 and just slightly less than the Escape. Although this isn’t a sports car, don’t underestimate the importance of having enough power to make a crossover fun to drive rather than dreary. On this front, the Kia Sportage excels.

Looking for a Kia Sportage? Check out BestRide’s listing here.

Nicole Wakelin

Nicole Wakelin