The Kia Sportage just got a little more interesting as the company has introduced the new SX variant.

On the design front, the high performance model is distinguished by a revised grille, modified side skirts, a dual exhaust system and unique 18-inch alloy wheels. Inside, changes are minor but include new aluminum door sills and a revised instrument cluster.

Under the hood, power comes from a turbocharged 2.0-liter GDI engine with 256 hp (191 kW / 260 PS) and 264 lb-ft (358 Nm) of torque. It is mated exclusively to a six-speed automatic transmission which gives the crossover an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 22 mpg city / 27 mpg highway (21 mpg city / 25 mpg highway with all-wheel drive).

Additionally, the SX is equipped with a sport-tuned suspension which features stiffer shocks and revised struts.

According to Michael Sprague, Kia's American Vice President of Marketing and Communications, "[The] Sportage offers an ideal mix of performance, fuel efficiency and utility for the discriminating compact CUV buyer. With the addition of a more powerful Turbo GDI engine, unique interior appointments and improved performance, the Sportage SX makes an already appealing CUV even more fun to drive."

The Sportage SX will start arriving at U.S. dealerships later this month and pricing starts at $25,795.

Gallery: Kia Sportage SX Turbo with 256 hp announced - $25,795

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