Changes for the 2015 Kia Sportage:
This year, Kia offers two separate packages for the base Sportage LX model: the Popular Package and the UVO eServices Package. The Sportage SX models gain standard equipment in the form of a navigation system, keyless passive entry with push-button engine starting, and power folding outside mirrors.
The 2015 Sportage is sold in LX, EX, and SX trim levels, with a choice between front-wheel and all-wheel drive. Note that the AWD models are thoughtfully equipped with a windshield wiper de-icer system.
Select EX trim for heated side mirrors, upgraded exterior trim, fog lights, and larger 18-inch wheels. Inside, the EX includes UVO eServices, a premium surround sound audio system, dual-zone automatic climate control, and special Clean Tex fabric for the seats. Heated front seats, a 6-way power driver’s seat, nicer interior trim, and a number of other small upgrades are also included for EX models.
The Sportage SX adds a more powerful engine, HID headlights, LED running lights, LED taillights, rear parking assist sensors, power folding mirrors, and a unique wheel design. Inside, the SX gets navigation and push-button engine starting.
Engines and Transmissions:
A 182-horsepower, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine is standard for the Sportage LX and EX models, while the Sportage SX features a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine generating 260 horsepower and, perhaps more importantly, 269 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,850 rpm to 3,000 rpm.
Both engines are paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. An all-wheel-drive system is optional.
Fuel Economy Ratings:
In combined driving, the Sportage LX and EX models are rated to get 24 mpg while the turbocharged Sportage SX is expected to return 23 mpg. Add the optional AWD system, and those figures each decline by 2 mpg.
Oddly, the NHTSA says that a Sportage AWD gets a 5-star overall crash-test rating while those models with front-wheel drive receive a 4-star overall rating. Delve into the details, and both versions perform equally well in individual evaluations, so the different scores must be attributable to curb weight in some fashion.
As impressive as the NHTSA crash-test results are, those from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) produce one of the only reasons to skip a Sportage in favor of a competing model. In the small overlap frontal-impact assessment, the Sportage earns a “Poor” rating. In all other tests, this compact crossover receives the highest rating of “Good.”
Kia equips every 2015 Sportage with Bluetooth and a USB port. Depending on the trim level, Kia’s UVO eServices technology is either optional or standard. Using this technology, Sportage owners pair their smartphone to the system to enjoy an array of subscription-free benefits including 911 Connect, a Parking Minder that helps you to locate your SUV, Bluetooth music streaming, and more. A reversing camera is also included.
Additionally, the Sportage is available with a navigation system including a 7-inch touchscreen display, rear parking assist sensors, keyless passive entry with push-button engine starting, heated and ventilated front seats, and more.
Written by Christian Wardlaw
August 30, 2014
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