Pros: Strong value for the money; peppy acceleration from SX model’s 260-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder; generous level of standard equipment
Cons: Steep price premium for SX model; thick roof pillars compromise rear visibility; SX models ride stiffly
CG Says: Kia’s 5-passenger compact SUV gets freshened exterior styling, suspension tweaks, and updated infotainment features for 2014. Also, the base 4-cylinder engine gets a slight horsepower boost, from 176 to 182 hp. Sportage’s racy styling sacrifices some outward visibility, and fuel economy falls a bit below par for the class. Otherwise, Sportage delivers a host of standard features, an impressive list of luxury options, and the bonus of Kia’s strong warranty. We especially like the high-value LX and EX models. The SX’s quicker acceleration and sharper handling are nice upgrades, but even they can’t overcome a stiff ride and significantly higher price.