2017 KIA Sportage SX Turbo Debut – Quad LEDs + Euro Handling Focus

The new Sportage is here in USA form, which we pleased to say looks exactly like the min-Cayenne of the Euro GT-Line rangetopper.

The poshest trim for the USA is the SX Turbo AWD, as shown here.

2017 KIA Sportage SX Turbo


2016 v 2017 kia sportage

KIA’s push to excel globally is ramping up nicely. Frankfurt, California and Korea-based teams are now aligned to make the most of each area’s strengths.

Korea as the lead manufacturing hub/supplier base, Cali as a tech and design center of excellence, and the European R&D division taking a much bigger role in vehicle development.

It is a smart foundation for KIA’s move to become Hyundai’s sportier cousin. As it stands, the Kia range is broad but lacks a cohesive, defining nature. The firm has their eyes on BMW. If they can engineer cars to be sold world-wide in one chassis setup, why do others spend millions on localization of springs/steering etc?

The new handling push should be the most impressive thing about the new Optima and now the 2017 Sportage.

First look today at the revamped CUV via Kia UK: showing new panels, an all-new nose and tail, and tech goodies galore on a GT Line package. And check out those gorgeous machined alloys!

Most prominent are the quad LED foglamps in the lower bumper corners. A stellar look that emulates the Porsche signature nicely, if a bit less sexily. The new Sorento features these LEDs but they light up sortof dimly thanks to big reflector housings.

Regardless, it is a big step into the future of the Sportage’s look. A triple LED forms the highbeam to seal a very tech-savvy nose look.

Gloss black abounds for 2017 in the place of the 2016 Sportage’s chrome accents, while a new vertically-aligned grille moves forward into the bumper face. This visually extends the hood beyond its previous edge at the upper grille.2017 KIA Sportage 1-horz

The look is meant to share some of the cool urban assault vehicle style of the Provo concept, and is certainly eye-catching. Not exactly beautiful at first sight, but a memorable face to help the Sportage compete with a bumper crop of all-new compact crossovers.

Pricing for the 2016 model is just above $22k, and we expect that for the refresh with a slight bump upward. The posh LEDs front and rear are likely to be a top SX-L trim accent versus standard, by the way.

All told, we’re excited to see KIA move in this handling and sportiness direction — both with exterior design and oily chassis excellence underneath.

2017 KIA Sportage



Fourth-Generation Sportage Compact CUV Boasts Sophisticated Design, a Refined Premium Interior and Significant Ride and Handling Improvements

  • Stiffer structure, new suspension, advanced driver assistance systems, and premium materials take Sportage to the head of the class
  • Cutting-edge design, engaging driving dynamics and intelligent packaging stand out in a staid compact CUV segment
  • First Kia to offer UVO3, featuring 14 telematics services, 8 GB of music storage, access to onscreen apps and Wi-Fi tethering capability, all free of charge

Los Angeles, November 18, 2015 – Kia Motors America (KMA) today unveiled the all-new 2017 Sportage at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The fourth-generation Sportage, KMA’s longest-running nameplate, wraps stunning contemporary design around a structure that is both stiffer and more spacious than before. Advanced driver assistance technologies, significant suspension and steering improvements, and available intelligent AWD vastly improve the Sportage’s driving dynamics while premium materials and world-class craftsmanship create a class-up experience in an otherwise utilitarian segment.

“Simply put, the Sportage is a breed apart in the compact CUV segment,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning KMA. “Instead of bland utility, the Sportage combines distinctly European and sporty styling with thoughtful design and functionality, including innovative packaging, premium materials, a turbocharged engine and surprising features. Sales of compact CUVs are on a sharply upward trajectory, and the all-new 2017 Sportage hits the sweet spot by providing an alternative for those seeking to express themselves with a vehicle that’s versatile enough to suit their unique lifestyle.”

The all-new Sportage’s roomier, more luxurious cabin features an impressive level of craftsmanship, with high-quality, soft-touch materials and a range of technologies improving overall comfort, convenience, and connectivity. Updates to the drivetrain provide enhanced efficiency and performance, while changes to the suspension deliver better ride and handling. Like the outgoing model, the all-new Sportage will be built at Kia’s production facility in Gwangju, Korea, and be available in three distinct trim levels (LX, EX, SX Turbo) when it goes on sale next year. Pricing will be announced closer to the Sportage’s on-sale date.

Aggressive, Inspired Design
Designed under the direction of Kia’s president and chief design officer, Peter Schreyer, the 2017 Sportage’s exterior juxtaposes smooth curves with sharp creases. Although every body panel is new, the “face” of the new Sportage features the most significant change over the outgoing model. Kia’s hallmark “tiger-nose” grille resides vertically in the front fascia while the headlights are positioned higher, sweeping back along the outer edges of the sharply detailed hood. A lower, wider front clip – enlarged to provide greater engine cooling – adds visual volume to the lower half of the Sportage’s face, resulting in a planted and aggressive stance, though it keeps the same overall width, 73.0 inches, as its predecessor. The wheelbase has been stretched 1.2 inches (now 105.1 inches), while overall length has increased 1.6 inches to 176.4 inches.

Despite its increased dimensions, the all-new Sportage remains instantly recognizable thanks to its sloping roofline and sharply raked rear window. Short overhangs and wheels pushed to the corners continue to be Sportage signatures, while a longer, more aerodynamic spoiler and bolder wheel arches give the compact CUV a more dynamic appearance. Tasteful chrome touches surround the windows, giving the Sportage LX and EX a more upscale look, while the top-of-the-line SX Turbo model adds more visual interest with new “ice cube” LED fog lamps, HID headlamps, LED tail lights, satin exterior trim, metal-look skid plates, and 19-inch alloy wheels.

Modern and Refined Interior
Inside, the new Sportage’s driver-oriented cockpit features a simple and modern design with clean horizontal lines emphasizing a more spacious interior. The lateral design of the dashboard divides it into two clear zones. The upper “display” zone delivers information to occupants via the instrument panel and new color touchscreen, which is canted 10 degrees toward the driver. The lower half, or the “control” zone, features easily identifiable switchgear to operate the available dual-zone climate system, audio and secondary controls. Similar to the touchscreen, the center console has been angled to face the driver.

Giving the Sportage a more premium feel is the availability of either a single-tone (black) or two-tone (Dark and Light Grey or Black and Beige) cabin, while metalwork elements blended with soft-touch materials contribute to a more upscale interior. The EX and SX Turbo models add sumptuous leather upholstery, and the SX Turbo includes a D-shaped, heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters, piano black trim along the center console, aluminum alloy pedals, and authentic stitching on the dashboard.

As a result of the increased exterior dimensions and clever packaging, interior dimensions have grown, offering more space and comfort. Headroom has increased 0.2 inches to 39.3 inches in the front and 0.6 inches to 39.1 in the rear, while legroom has increased slightly in front and 0.3 inches in the rear to 38.2. The second row has a 1.6-inch lower interior floor (ground clearance is unchanged at 6.4 inches for front-drive models and 6.8 inches on AWD) and 1.2-inch lower rear bench hip point, benefitting second-row passengers with more headroom (up more than a half inch) and a more comfortable seating position. Offering even more comfort are options such as three-level front seat heaters, 10-way power control with lumbar support for the driver’s seat, and eight-way power control for the passenger seat.

Just as passenger space has increased, so has cargo room. Thanks to an innovative dual-level cargo floor and a widened luggage area, cargo capacity behind the second row has grown substantially from 26.1 cu.-ft. to 30.7 cu.-ft. (SAE). By relocating the license plate from the bumper to the tailgate, the lift-over height has been lowered for easier loading and unloading. A Smart Power Liftgate™, which automatically opens when the key fob is within three feet of the vehicle, is also available.

Outward visibility has been improved by mounting the side mirrors lower on the doors, using thinner A- and C-pillars and incorporating larger rear glass in hatch. This feeling of spaciousness is further enhanced with an available panoramic sunroof that is 4.1 inches longer than the outgoing model’s.

Kia engineers reduced noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) through the application of a quad-bushing setup in the rear suspension to isolate road noise and additional sound-absorbent materials throughout the Sportage’s wheel arches. Wind noise also is reduced as a result of thicker front side glass, a lip seal for the panoramic sunroof, and additional soundproofing in the doors. The 2017 Sportage is also more aerodynamic, with a coefficient of drag that’s been reduced from .37 cd to .35 cd.

A Strong Foundation
The structure of the all-new Sportage is significantly improved due to the extensive use of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS). With 51 percent of the Sportage’s body-in-white consisting of AHSS versus the outgoing model’s 18 percent, torsional rigidity has improved 39 percent. Furthermore, the increased use of advanced hot-stamped steel improves body integrity. The material has been used to reinforce the A-, B- and C-pillars, side sills, roof structure, and wheel arches. As a result of its stronger core, Sportage engineers are targeting the compact CUV to earn an overall five-star National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rating and an Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick+ designation.

The 2017 will be available with a wide range of driver assistance featuresincluding:

  • Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), which can detect a potential collision with another vehicle or pedestrian and help bring the Sportage to a halt
  • Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), which emits an audible alert when it detects the driver straying from the current lane without using a turn signal
  • Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Lane Change Assist (LCA), which can monitor cars up to 230 feet behind the Sportage and provide the driver with a visual warning in the door mirror when another car enters the blind spot
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), which can warn the driver when other cars pass behind the Sportage as it backs out of a parking space
  • Bi-HID headlights with Dynamic Bending Light (DBL) technology

Refined and Spirited Performance
The completely redesigned fully independent front suspension achieves a leap forward in ride quality. A four-point bushing setup delivers greater stability and a more natural response to changing road surfaces, while stiffer wheel bearings and bushings result in more precise handling. The fully-independent rear suspension now adopts a dual-member shock absorber housing, while both AWD and FWD models now benefit from a dual lower-arm multi-link setup. The SX Turbo has been uniquely tuned with firmer shock absorbers to deliver sharper handling befitting its athletic personality.

The 2017 Sportage is offered in front or all-wheel-drive, both coupled with a six-speed Sportmatic transmission. The Dynamax intelligent AWD system is available on every trim and features a 50/50 locking center differential. The system senses, anticipates, and optimizes traction requirements for all road and weather conditions. AWD models feature a unique front fascia with a steeper approach angle for increased capability.

Steering is another area of improvement, as engineers mounted the steering box farther forward on the axle for better weight distribution. With 25 percent less friction than the previous unit, the 2017 Sportage offers smoother and more precise steering inputs and better feel.

Efficiency and driving performance were two major areas of focus when retuning the engines. The hard-charging 2.0-liter inline-four turbo found on the SX Turbo makes 241 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque and has been retuned to target improved fuel efficiency and offer better midrange torque. The LX and EX use a normally aspirated 2.4-liter engine that produces 181 horsepower and 175 lb.-ft. of torque and is also retuned to target better fuel efficiency.

Advanced Telematics, Audio and Entertainment
The all-new Sportage features a number of new and advanced on-board technologies2 to elevate the driving experience and keep drivers connected. The LX comes equipped with a standard 5.0-inch color touchscreen that features Bluetooth®3 hands-free phone operation and streaming audio, SiriusXM®4 satellite radio, and rear-camera display5. A move up to the EX brings a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen with the latest version of Kia’s award-winning telematics and infotainment system, UVO3, which is making its debut on the all-new Sportage. Complete with Android Auto6, Apple7 CarPlay® (late availability), and UVO eServices8 featuring 14 telematics services, the enhanced system features up to 8 GB of music storage, access to onscreen apps such as Pandora®9 and Soundhound and Wi-Fi tethering capability, all free of charge. The SX Turbo features all of the above, plus an 8-inch touchscreen and onboard navigation.

All Sportages come standard with a 160-watt six-speaker audio system, and a powerful 320-watt Harmon Kardon® premium audio system is available, featuring eight speakers including subwoofer, an external amplifier, and Clari-FiTM10 music restoration technology for unrivalled audio quality.


ng, Korea and Irvine, California design centres.

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About The Author

Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly expanding automotive news magazine. He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank. Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.