Kia Sportage

The 2018 Kia Sportage is available in one of three different trims. LX and EX models feature a 2.4L 4-cylinder making 181-hp, while the top of the line SX Turbo uses a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder rated at 240 hp in FWD trim. All three trim levels are available with all-wheel drive as a $1,500 option, though opting for AWD on the SX Turbo does decrease power slightly (it's rated at 237 hp) and costs only a couple of miles per gallons. Generally though, the Sportage is pretty miserly with its fuel, with up to 30 mpg achievable on the highway when configured correctly. The only transmission choice is a 6-speed automatic.

Even base Kia models tend to be pretty well equipped and the Sportage LX is no exception. Some surprising standard features are available on the under-$24,000 vehicle. 17-inch alloy wheels come as standard equipment as do daytime running lights, power adjustable outside mirrors, a rear spoiler, body colored door handles, SiriusXM Satellite radio, Bluetooth connectivity, a backup camera and steering wheel mounted audio and cruise controls.

Mid-level EX models build on the LX by adding additional chrome work to the exterior, roof rails, heated exterior mirrors and 18-inch wheels. Inside, EX-trimmed Sportages include a 7" touchscreen display, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats and leather seating surfaces.

The top of the line SX Turbo comes with everything on the EX, while jazzing up the interior with a bigger touchscreen in the center console, a Harman-Kardon sound system, a built-in navigation system, steering wheel mounted paddle shifters, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with a built in garage door opener and LED interior lighting. The SX Turbo also comes with a full sensor suite, including a blind spot warning system, a lane departure warning system, an emergency autonomous braking system and rear cross traffic alert. These sensors also make a very handy, self-parking mode possible on the SX Turbo, again included as standard equipment. The SX turbo looks upscale too, with bigger, 19-inch wheels, a unique gloss-black grill, power-folding mirrors with integrated turn signals, a big, panoramic sunroof, a powered liftgate and bi-xenon HID headlights.

Editors' First Take

The redesigned 2023 Kia Sportage is only now hitting dealers, and if you're looking for some extra efficiency to back up this crossover's sharp style, I've got good news. The new Sportage Hybrid has the same flashy looks as the standard SUV, but it comes with an efficient powertrain and lots of tech for a relatively affordable price.

Kia offers the Sportage Hybrid in LX, EX and SX Prestige trims. The LX is available with front-wheel drive, but the others are all-wheel-drive only. Regardless of drivetrain, all Sportage Hybrids use a 1.6-liter turbocharged I4 engine paired with a 44-kilowatt electric motor. There's a tiny, 1.5-kWh battery on board, but this is a standard hybrid and not a plug-in hybrid, so don't expect any kind of usable all-electric range. (Kia will soon offer a Sportage PHEV with 32 miles of electric range if that's more your style.)

The turbocharged gas engine takes care of most driving duties, but when extra chutzpah is required the electric motor seamlessly kicks in. All put together, the Sportage Hybrid delivers a healthy 227 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It's powerful and efficient in its Eco mode, but switch the Sportage Hybrid to Sport and the experience gets noticeably more aggressive.

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