Kia’s Sportage has been named as one of Autotrader’s 2017 Must Test Drive vehicles. The list is made up of vehicles Autotrader thinks consumers need to see and experience before making a decision. The ones that make it on the list are decided by a team of editorial experts who believe that said vehicles have the potential to change customer perceptions on an entire segment or brand.
“Winning an Autotrader 2017 Must Test Drive Award is further testament to the transformation of the Kia brand and marks another accolade for the Sportage, our longest-running nameplate,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning Kia Motors America (KMA). “Sportage balances world-class craftsmanship and outstanding design, while delivering a host of standard features at a low starting price.”
For a vehicle to be eligible for this title, it has to be currently on sale, be priced under $75,000 and said to offer a significant value – however, that might be somewhat subjective. Apart from that, said vehicle needs to score no lower than a 3.5 on Autotrader’s five-point scale, a tough list of criterias for any vehicle. But that said, since Peter Shreyer took over the reigns of the Kia design team, the automaker has been churning out stunning econoboxes that wouldn’t look out of place parked next a BMW or Audi.
The latest 2017 Sportage has a structure that is stiffer and more spacious when compared to the previous generation. It comes equipped with advanced driver assistance technologies, suspension and steering improvements and an AWD system that Kia says helps improve the vehicle’s driving dynamics. The Sportage with the FWD SX Turbo trim comes equipped with a 2.0-litre turbo engine that produces 240bhp or 237bhp on AWD models and 353Nm of torque. When in LX and EX trims, it is fitted with a normally aspirated 2.4-litre engine that produces 181bhp and 237Nm of torque.