The Sportage has been a solid crossover offering in a highly competitive segment in recent years, and for 2014, Kia is giving it a slight makeover in hopes to keep it competitive. Although the Sportage has been around longer than Kia might care to remember (1993-2010), the CUV got a very nice, ground-up redo for 2011 after Hyundai /Kia hired Peter Schreyer from Audi to be their Chief Design Officer in 2006.
Once the Sportage went under the Schreyer knife, the CUV’s popularity skyrocketed with its much more handsome appearance and resemblance to its other Kia cousins. That third generation is still ongoing, though for 2014, the Korean automaker has reshaped its front end ever so slightly and added a few bells and whistles to keep buyers interested.
Sales for the Sportage spiked in 2011 when the third generation came to market, beating the previous year’s 23,873 sales figures by over double at 47,463. Sin ce then, sales have steadily slumped to only 32,965 units sold for 2013. A slightly altered look, swanky new interior features, and a revised engine seem to be what Kia’s hopes for a brighter sales forecast are riding on. The question is, will those new additions be enough?
Starting with the exterior, Kia has given the Sportage a more three dimensional design that seems to convey a higher level of refinement to the CUV. Backing up that perceived refinement is an updated infotainment system that relies heavily on voice commands that help keep the driver’s eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. Lastly, a revised base engine adds power the Sportage by bringing direct injection to the table.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Kia Sportage.
The refreshing Kia has done for 2014 doesn’t pay off until a closer inspection is done. The overall look of the CUV is somewhat the same, but taking a detailed look reveals some quality exterior pieces that simply weren’t present in 2013. The main example of this lies in the front grille. The lower black trim piece that runs the width of the vehicle is now more three dimensional, giving it a much richer feel. New HID headlights and a deeper, more detailed main grille further add to the look. Out back, new LED taillights brighten up the appearance and put the Sportage closer to its rivals in terms of standard features.
It’s rear window, however, still remains small and intrusive to rearward visibility. Combined with large C-pillars, blind spots are easy to find. Thankfully, a backup camera is standard equipment regardless of trim level. Speaking of outward visibility, large A-pillars and small front side windows work together in limiting the driver’s view of the road, especially in tight turns. It’s not Hummer H3 bad, but it will take some getting used to.
The Sportage’s overall profile lives up to its name. It conveys a sense of sportiness and an eager willingness to hit the open road. Large fender openings help accommodate the nicely detailed 17- and optional 18-inch wheels. Those fender openings are still lined with black, molded plastic that give the little CUV a more full-size SUV feel; not to mention the reduction of parking lot dings and rock chips.
2014 Kia Sportage - Exterior Dimensions:
|Ground clearance||6.8 in.|
|Approach angle||28.1 degrees|
|Departure angle||28.2 degrees|
|Curb Weight FWD (Max / Min)||3,512 lbs. / 3,433 lbs.|
|Curb Weight AWD (Max / Min)||3,664 lbs. / 3,585 lbs.|
|Gross Vehicle Weight (FWD / AWD)||4,568 lbs. / 4,696 lbs.|
|Towing Capacity||2,000 lbs|
2014 Kia Sportage LX - Standard Exterior Features:
- Solar glass
- Projection headlights
- 17" Alloy wheels (225/60R17)
- LED positioning lights
- Body color mirrors
- Body color door handles
- Privacy glass
2014 Kia Sportage LX Adds:
- 18" Alloy wheels (235/55R18)
- Fog lamps
- Rear spoiler
- Chrome side body trim
- Roof rails
- Chrome door handles
2014 Kia Sportage SX Adds:
- HID headlights
- LED daytime running lights
- Dual exhaust
- Unique SX grille
Not much is changing design-wise with the interior for 2014, but Kia is now offering a host of new technology upgrades that make the Sportage even more livable and competitive in its segment. New is Microsoft’s updated UVO eServices system that far exceeds the previous version’s capabilities. A new telematics suite, free smartphone integration with vehicle diagnostics capabilities, and more advanced voice recognition software are part of the new packaging. The updated voice integration (hints the system’s name that’s short for Your Voice) let you control music, cell phones, and navigation all hands free and on the move.
SiriusXM radio is available, and when selected, comes with SiriusXM Traffic to help avoid congested streets and music is pumped through an optional Infinity audio system. Keeping the driver and front passenger comfortable are heated and vented seats. Rear outboard passengers are also treated to vented seats, especially handing on those hot summer days. Even the front glove box gets its own integrated air vent. A large panoramic sunroof is also available on EX, LX, and SX trims, along with push-button starting from a smart key system.
Fit and finish inside the Sportage is on par with what we’ve come to expect from Kia and its corporate sister Hyundai . Materials are mostly soft touch an panels fit nicely together. The cabin is also quieter than last year’s model.
2014 Kia Sportage - Interior Dimensions:
|Headroom (front/rear)||39.1 in./38.5 in.|
|Legroom (front/rear)||41.4 in./37.9 in.|
|Shoulder room (front/rear)||56.7 in./55.1 in.|
|Hip room (front/rear)||53.7 in./49.1 in.|
|Cargo volume (rear seat up)||26.1 cu. ft.|
|Cargo volume (rear seat down)||54.6 cu. ft.|
2014 Kia Sportage LX - Standard Interior Features:
- Cargo organizer
- Cruise control
- Electrically adjustable outside mirrors
- Front cup holders
- Power windows (1-touch Down)
- Steering-wheel controls (Bluetooth/audio/cruise)
- Sunvisor extender
- Tilt and telescopic steering column
- AM/FM/CD audio with 6 speakers
- Bluetooth (Phone and streaming audio)
- SIRIUS satellite radio
- USB and auxiliary input jacks
- Manual air conditioning
- Rear air ventilation
2014 Kia Sportage LX Adds:
- Auto dimming mirror with Homelink
- Back-up warning system
- Cooling glove box
- Heated mirrors
- Leather wrapped wheel / shift knob
- Passenger central door lock switch
- Power windows (driver auto-up)
- Second row armrest with cupholders
- Keyless entry system
- Folding key
- Sunvisor illumination
- Trip computer
- Infinity premium audio
- Rear camera display
- UVO Powered by Microsoft® Infotainment System
- Fully automatic temperature control (Dual Zone)
- Clean Tex fabric treatment
2014 Kia Sportage SX Adds:
- Aluminum scuff plate
The Sportage gets a new 2.4-liter I-4 engine for 2014. The displacement is the same as last year, but Kia has added its GDI (gasoline direct injection) to the mix for increased performance and efficiency. The update is good for an additional six horsepower over the outgoing inline four, totaling 182 ponies and 177 pound-feet of torque.
The driver’s choice is the carryover 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 that’s good for 260 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission in all trim levels, as Kia has sadly dropped the manual option for ’14.
The Sportage fitted with the 2.0-liter turbo engine is pretty quick for a 3,500-pound crossover. Zero to 60 times happen around 8 seconds, which is not too shabby. Around town, the Sportage feels adequately powered though the turbo does exhibit some lag when the vehicle is placed in fuel-sipping Eco mode. Shifts from the automatic transmission are fairly quick, though not the quickest in the segment. The shifter does allow for manual control of the gears, but does not feature any sort of automatic sport mode.
All-wheel-drive is an option on the Sportage, which is becoming an ever-popular feature on crossovers today. The functionality it gives lends itself best in inclement weather and on twisty roads more so than deep mud and more rugged terrain. With only 6.8 inches of ground clearance, the Sportage isn’t the ideal replacement for a Jeep.
|Type||2.4L GDI I4 Engine||2.4L GDI I4 Engine||2.0L Turbo GDI I4 Engine|
|Valve gear||D-CVVT (16V Mechanical Lash Adjusters)||D-CVVT (16V Mechanical Lash Adjusters)||D-CVVT (16V Mechanical Lash Adjusters)|
|Displacement (cc)||2,359 cc||2,359 cc||1,998 cc|
|Horsepower (SAE net)||182 hp @ 6,000 rpm||182 hp @ 6,000 rpm||260 hp @ 6,000 rpm|
|Torque (SAE net)||177 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm||177 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm||269 lb.-ft. @ 1,850-3,000 rpm|
|Fuel System||Returnless Fuel System||Returnless Fuel System||Returnless Fuel System|
|Transmission||6-speed electronically controlled Sportmatic||6-speed electronically controlled Sportmatic||6-speed electronically controlled Sportmatic|
|AWD||Dynamax all-wheel drive||Dynamax all-wheel drive||Dynamax all-wheel drive|
Suspension and Brakes
The typical MacPherson strut and stabilizer setup resides up front with a multi-link suspension setup out back. That combination, plus Kia’s specific tuning, makes the Sportage a fun CUV to throw into the corners. Body roll is well handled and kept to a minimum though the electric-assisted power steering doesn’t give the driver much feedback on road conditions.
Bringing everything to a stop are 11.8-inch vented rotors up front and 11.2-inch rotors out back. Making contact with the ground are two different wheel and tire options. On the base LX modes, 225/60R17- tires are standard while EX and SX trims get larger 235/55R18 equipment.
The Sportage’s base price has jumped up from last years model in accordance with the extra standard features available for 2014, especially the updated 2.4-liter GDI four cylinder. $19,000 even could buy a base model Sportage with a manual transmission in 2013. That’s a $2,600 jump, but the extra dough seems worth it for the extra features, added power, and increased refinement.
All told, a loaded-out SX Sportage with the 2.0-liter turbo and AWD tops out just over $30,000 - not a bad deal when considering the prices of its competition and their list of available features at that price point.
|LX||2.4L I4 - 6 A/T (FWD)||$21,600.00|
|EX||2.4L I4 - 6 A/T (FWD)||$25,000.00|
|LX||2.4L I4 - 6 A/T (AWD)||$23,100.00|
|EX||2.4L I4 - 6 A/T (AWD)||$26,500.00|
|SX||2.0L T-GDI - 6 A/T (FWD)||$26,900.00|
|SX||2.0L T-GDI - 6 A/T (AWD)||$28,400.00|
|EX Premium Package||$3,900|
|SX Premium Package||$2,900|
|Remote Start (Key Start)||$425.00|
|Auto Dimming Mirror with Homelink and Compass||$350|
The Mazda CX-5 is a challenging competitor to the Sportage, especially in the handling department. Mazda s have always been know for their fun-to-drive factor and decent powertrains and the CX-5 lives up to that. Powered by a 2.0-liter I-4 making 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque, the Mazda does fall short of the Sportage’s more powerful engines, but makes up for it by out handling it.
The CX-5 (as the name suggests) has room for five passengers and is squarely priced in the same territory as the Sportage. The base price begins at $21,395 and rises to over $28,000 for the Grand Touring model with a few options.
Gallery Mazda CX-5
The Nissan Rogue is another sporty competitor in the five-seat CUV class, and for 2014, the Rogue is all new. It’s got a very clean new exterior design that features many of the exterior features as the Nissan Sports Sedan Concept that debuted at this year’s North American International Auto Show .
The new Rogue is powered by Nissan’s familiar 2.5-liter I-4 that makes 170 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque in this application. The interior, like it’s outside skin, is all new. Beautiful swoops and curves appear everywhere throughout the cabin while a host of new technologies are found in the dash.
Pricing for the 2014 Rogue starts at $22,490 and rises to nearly $30,000 with all the option boxes checked.
Gallery Nissan Rogue
Overall, the 2014 Sportage represents a good improvement from the outgoing model. Kia seemed to chose wisely on keeping the good stuff and improving what needed it. With decent fuel economy numbers and a powerful 2.0-liter turbo engine, the Sportage is a smart buy for people looking for a five passenger crossover that looks more sporty than some of its more rugged competition, but still retains a level of capability when the weather turns sour.
- Sporty exterior design is an attention-grabber
- 2.0-liter turbocharged engine
- AWD gives added functionality
- Interior missed getting updates and isn’t better for it
- No more manual transmission
- Visibility issues can hinder its sporty theme
Gallery Kia Sportage
The 2014 Sportage advances Kia’s brand to the next level with an array of design enhancements as well as a host of comfort and convenience features. Building upon the already award-winning platform, Sportage now offers – 2.4L GDI I4 (LX and EX) and 2.0L Turbo GDI (SX) powertrains – for enhanced efficiency.
Refined and Sophisticated Exterior
Available in three trims – LX, EX and SX – the 2014 Kia Sportage features a high beltline, sweeping angles and pronounced wheel flares, conveying an indomitable road presence with an aggressive, hunkered-down stance. The full-sectioned body, defined by a spearing shoulder line throughout the length of the car, helps to visually connect the available HID headlamps and LED tail lights. The crispness of this line, together with its lowered body, creates a distinct sense of precision while the pronounced C-pillar conveys an air of solidity and balance when viewed from the side. Sportage continues the evolution of Kia’s design language with a new grille design and as well as new fog lamps on the EX trim.
Added Comfort and Convenience
The 2014 Sportage enhances ride quality and dynamic handling through standard high performance dampers across all trim levels (previously only on EX and SX). For added driver comfort, a tilt and telescopic steering column is now standard across all trims.
For enhanced passenger comfort, all trims feature standard rear ventilation and reclining outboard seats. Moving to the EX trim adds standard heated front seats, Infinity® Premium Audio, auto-dimming mirror with Homelink® and heated outside mirrors. Meanwhile, an available Premium package adds ventilated front seats, navigation with SiriusXM TrafficTM, leather-trimmed seats, panoramic sunroof, smart key with push button start, and power-folding outside mirrors.
Standard on the EX and SX models and available as a package on LX, the Sportage takes in-car connectivity to the next level with UVO eServices. The system represents an evolutionary leap from the original UVO system’s capabilities, adding a new telematics suite ("eServices") enabled by an exclusive, free smartphone app that provides drivers with an innovative in-vehicle connectivity experience including diagnostics capabilities and added convenience features. UVO is short for "Your Voice" and through Advanced Voice Recognition technology, allows consumers to control music and mobile phone operations while keeping their hands on the steering wheel and their eyes on the road. When equipped with UVO eServices, the 2014 Sportage also features a Rear Camera Display with a Back-Up Warning System and auto headlamp system.