True to its name.

– Detroit, Michigan

Compact crossovers are very similar in their general forms, price structures, and other key statistics. It’s a competitive segment that attracts a huge swath of the U.S. car-buying public, and Kia is eager to grab as much of the action as possible. The new 2017 Kia Sportage aims to attract more buyers than the outgoing model, which was always an also-ran in the sales race. One of the key ways it stands out from the competition? A fun character from top to bottom, with bold styling and a driving character that’s supposed to make it more fun than its rivals.

This Sportage SX example in particular places a big emphasis on fun: powerful turbocharged engine, unique suspension tuning, even a flat-bottom steering wheel and paddle shifters. That’s really appealing to someone like me, because the Sportage is much more exciting and youthful than other affordable crossovers – even though fuel economy takes a serious hit with that engine. Real-world buyers will have to balance the Kia’s fun perks against the sacrifices that it makes in terms of interior space, quietness, and fuel efficiency. To find out how the Kia Sportage stacks up, watch our latest Why Buy? video.

Kia Sportage

Engine 2.0L Turbocharged I4
Output 237 Horsepower / 260 Pound-Feet
Transmission 6-Speed Automatic
Fuel Economy 20 City / 23 Highway / 21 Combined
As-Tested Price $34,895

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