Multiple personalities

Posted: January 23, 2017 at 11:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

New Kia Sportage goes from workweek sensible to weekend fun with the flick of a button

Sport and utility define the category—but few do it as affordably and ably as the new 2017 Kia Sportage. I recently put the popular Sportage through its paces along the Bay of Quinte. I was immediately impressed by thefirm and solid feeling behind the wheel. It is a sense enhanced by the high visibility of the sport utility, delivering the driver a strong sense of command of the roadway.

With a standard 181-horsepower, 2.4-litre engine, the 217 Sportage is nimble enough in traffic and rugged enough for those times when the road gives way to logging roads or sandy beach. While I didn’t encounter any of those in my afternoon with this Kia, it convinced me it was up for anything. The SX version gets a turbo boost to the two-litre engine, cranking out 237 horsepower.

Kia’s intelligent all-wheel drive means it will remain stable on snow and ice. The Sportage comes in three driving modes: Eco, normal and sport. Eco mode is a little sluggish, but many drivers will find it just fine—and love the fuel economy. Sport mode tightens up the gear changes and shakes the 2.4 litre out of its gas-saving doldrums.

The result is an enthusiastic and energetic new personality from this car. Despite the extra zip, the Sportage never lost its balance and sturdy feel.

The interior is tidy and welltrimmed out. The EX model, as tested, comes with heated seats, rear view camera and Sirius radio as standard equipment. The Sportage accommodates four passengers comfortably with enough storage space for a weekend getaway. A bevy of controls is at your fingertips on the steering console.

My tester had cloth seats, but leather is an option. The Sportage comes stuffed with available options including heated steering wheel and a wireless charging pad for your devices—no more spider web of charging cables dangling from the 12-volt outlet.

Overall, this is a vehicle you will happily drive on your weekday commute and head to the country on the weekend. It has the civility needed for everyday as well as the energy and engineered stability to adapt when the terrain gets rugged and adventurous.

See your Quinte Kia dealer, Boyer Kia, for a test drive.

ENGINE: 2.4-litre GDI 4-cylinder (181 hp, 175 lb/ft@4,000rpm)
DRIVETRAIN: Six-speed sportmatic
FUEL ECONOMY: FWD, 8.0/10.4L/100km • AWD, 9.5/11.3L/100km
TOW RATING: 907kg (2,000lbs)
WHEELBASE: 105.1 in LENGTH: 176.4 in WIDTH: 73 in HEIGHT: 64.4 in
CURB WEIGHT: FWD: 1,631kg AWD: 1,696kg
PRICING: EX FWD MSRP starting at $27,995