Originally a cheap, poorly made, the 2018 Kia Sportage is a stylish and well-rounded compact crossover. Redesigned in 2017, the Sportage is now in its fourth generation. The current model builds on the strength of its predecessor, while offering an enhanced rear passenger and cargo space and improved driving quality. Thanks to the excellent build quality and stronger performance, the current model is the most appealing Sportage.
The 2018 Kia Sportage is a small crossover SUV with seating for five. It’s sold in three trim levels: LX, EX and SX Turbo.
The 2018 Kia Sportage LX and EX are backed by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 181 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. The SX Turbo model gets a stronger turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that generates out 240 horsepower (237 hp with all-wheel drive) and 260 lb-ft. Both engines come with a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive available as an option.
In track testing, the 2018 Kia Sportage EX AWD went from zero to 60 mph in 8.6 seconds, which is average for the class. The turbo SX AWD do it better in 6.9 seconds.
EPA estimated fuel economy for the 2018 Kia Sportage 2.4L return 25 mpg combined (22 city/29 highway) with front-wheel drive and 22 mpg combined (21/25) with all-wheel drive. The SX Turbo drops to 23 mpg combined (21/26) with FWD and 21 mpg combined (20/23) with AWD.
Although these fuel economy numbers are better than the previous Sportage, it still unimpressive for a small crossover with four-cylinder power. Many competitors, especially those with AWD, are typically better.