2019 Kia Sportage Introduction

The popular Kia Sportage crossover stands out for its swoopy lines and its excellent warranty. Unchanged for 2019, it comes as standard front-wheel drive with available all-wheel drive, and with a standard 4-cylinder engine making 181 horsepower or available turbo-4 making 240 hp.

There’s also an SX with sharper handling and the turbocharged engine that changes the character of the crossover. Every Sportage uses a 6-speed automatic transmission, which might not get the fuel mileage of a CVT, but it’s worth it not to have that big rubber-band slinging the car along.

Active safety equipment such as automatic emergency braking is optional on all but the SX, where it’s standard. All models but the base LX get Kia’s useful Uvo infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a big, high-resolution touchscreen.

The front-wheel-drive LX is EPA-rated at 23 mpg city, 30 highway, and 25 combined. All-wheel-drive LXs check in at 21/25/22 mpg.

The EX model, with a bit more equipment, is rated at 22/29/25 mpg with front-wheel drive, or 21/26/23 mpg with all-wheel drive.

The SX pays for its horsepower, with front-drive models at 21/26/23 mpg, and all-wheel drive at 20/23/21 mpg.

The NHTSA gives the Sportage five stars overall, with four stars for front-impact and rollover prevention.

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