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The FREE Complete Bay Area Auto Enthusiast Guide
REVAMPED 2017 KIA SPORTAGE IS ROOMY, SPORTY

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Completely revamped for 2017, the Kia Sportage is an extra 1.2 inches in wheelbase and 1.6 in length than its predecessor. The test-drive SX model was equipped with a 2.0-liter inline-4 turbo engine blasting off 240 horsepower @ 6000 rpm and 260 pounds-feet of torque @ 3500 rpm. The fourth-generation crossover utility vehicle, also the longest running nameplate for Kia, continues with the 6-speed auto gear box.
The front-wheel-drive Sportage adopts an all-new suspension with MacPherson strut front and multilink rear, ensuring that the SUV handles the rigors of daily driving with comfort. The tweaked motor power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering is quick and precise.
A centered gloss black “tiger nose” grille meets up with higher-positioned but sweptback bi-xenon headlights and unique ice-cube LED fog lamps to create a sleek and eye-catching appearance. The interior is spacious than before, thanks to 0.2 inches and 0.6 inches more front and rear headroom respectively. Cargo capacity behind the 60/40 rear seat is up from 26.1 to 30.7 cubic feet, a substantial difference. And yes, storage bins are scattered throughout, including a dual-level cargo floor. Standard amenities include dual-zone auto a/c, 10-way power driver and 8-way front-passenger heated/cooled seats, D-shaped tilt/telescopic steering column, leather seats and shifter, panoramic sun roof, push-button start, navigation, rear camera display, and power lift gate.
Kia needs to be commended for offering numerous standard safety features, which are optional in competitor vehicles. Some are dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag for both rows, rear-cross traffic alert, front/rear park assist, lane departure warning, blind spot detection, four-wheel antilock brakes, rollover sensor, Electronic Stability Control and traction control, Downhill Brake Control, hill-start assist and a tire pressure monitoring system.
The overhauled Sportage is a good-looking, sizeable, sporty, useful and inexpensive vehicle. That it comes with a 10-year or 100,000-mile power train and a five-year or 60,000-mile basis warranty is a bonus.

SPORTAGE SX (FWD)
Tires: P245/45R19
Wheelbase: 105.1 inches
Length: 176.4 inches
Weight: 3,898 pounds
Fuel capacity: 16.4 gallons
City: 21 mpg
Highway: 26 mpg
Price: $32,500
Web site: www.kiausa.com

CALLING ALL KIA DEALERS IN THE WEST CENTRAL AREA: if you would like to be listed here as one of the test-drive dealerships, e-mail us at motoringtampabay@gmail.com