Before I talk about the 2016 Kia Sportage I need to have a little disclosure here. I like Kias. But it wasn’t always this way. I used to mock them on a regular basis. A dealer once tried to talk me into a Kia Amanti years ago and I think I actually laughed out loud. Not anymore. The Korean car maker turned a huge corner years ago and now it’s regularly a contender in every category. And the Kia Sportage is a solid choice if you’re looking for a compact SUV.
It’s a great option for many reasons. Let’s start with value. My test car wasn’t fully loaded but it had just about everything you could need including a 260 horsepower engine. All that cost $33,395 on a front wheel drive Sportage SX. Throw in a five-year/60,000 mile basic warranty and a ten-year/100,000 powertrain warranty (for the original owner) and even the most cost conscious buyers will melt.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not perfect. My test car with the 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder motor had great power, but only mediocre mileage. It managed 21 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway with a combined number of 23 mpg. But then you get that great horsepower so maybe it’s an equal swap. I was able to manage 28 mpg on my last half tank, but that’s because it was mostly freeway driving. Still, it’s nice to know that I could do better rather than worse.
Back to the good reasons. This car had plenty of safety options like blind spot detection, land change assist and lane departure warning. Frankly, I think every car should have this stuff but so far it’s mostly been the more expensive cars. It’s nice seeing all of this on a $33k car.
Just because the price isn’t high doesn’t mean you scrimp inside. My test car had baseball stitched leather seats that are both heated and cooled. There was a massive moonroof that my passengers loved. It doesn’t have as much cargo space as some others in its class, but we used the Sportage for hauling some furniture and were pleasantly surprised at how much we packed inside.
As I write this the 2017 Kia is about to hit the showrooms. The big news for 2017 is a styling redesign. There was nothing wrong with the old body, but the new look is a little more brutish. I have yet to see it in person, but it looks good in pictures. So you have a decision to make. Do you wheel and deal on the remaining 2016 models, or wait for the new and improved model. Frankly, I think you win either way.