Realizing the importance that midsize crossovers and sport-utes mean to the bottom line of automakers, Kia’s looking to make a splash in the segment with the redesigned Kia Sportage for 2017.
The Korean maker promised a substantially different look for the new model, which is now in its fourth generation, and it appears from early pictures that the company’s design chief, Peter Schreyer, has been putting in some time on the CUV.
The new model not only adopts Kia’s uniform front end, like that of the new Sedona, but also the headlights are higher up on the hood than the previous model. It also has longer rear doors and a higher beltline giving it a more aggressive stance while also improving access to the back seat.
The redesigned headlights are matched by a new set of tail lights and rear bumper to complement the new look. Sportage not only gets a more substantial makeover for its base models, a new GT trim package is available for 2017 with larger allow wheels, chrome accents, fog lights and metal skid plates front and back.
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While the exterior gets a redo, the interior is also getting a touch up with improved materials for a more sophisticated look and feel, including a new dashboard and a flat-bottom steering wheel that seems to be the rage for new vehicles these days. As part of the new layout, the center stack is the home for the climate controls as well as infotainment display.
A more upscale look is supplemented with many of the features buyers would expect to find in a more upscale vehicle. Available on the 2017 Kia Sportage is an autonomous emergency braking system, plus options for blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert, both of which are optional on several other Kia models. The safety technology is paired with creature comforts like heated and cooled seats as well as a heated steering wheel.
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The Sportage may get bit bigger this time around. Not only would it allow the new crossover to better compete in the segment with the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 when it comes to people and cargo space, it may also clear the deck for a smaller, B-segment crossover to take on the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, and Jeep Renegade, which is one of the hottest selling segments right now.