The 2022 Kia Sportage arrives with a fresh exterior, available all-wheel drive, a number of standard driver-assistance features, and the stunningly sleek Sportage Nightfall Edition Trim. Complementing a coupe-like profile and athletic stance are interior and exterior details that make every adventure a stylish one. The available Smart Power Liftgate opens automatically by sensing your key, giving you hands-free access to the cargo area.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The 2022 Kia Sportage‘s driving behavior depends on what’s under the hood. Most models have a 181-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder that’s sedate but will satisfy most people’s needs. Those looking for a zestier option with quicker acceleration will want the 237-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four, which is only available on the top-of-the-line SX Turbo trim.
While a front-wheel-drive version of the spiciest Sportage that we tested several years ago was speedy, our more recent test of an all-wheel-drive SX Turbo was less impressive in that department. Still, we appreciated the prompt responses from its six-speed automatic transmission, which comes standard on every model.
There’s also not a night-and-day difference in driving enjoyment between the two engines, although the turbocharged engine can turn mundane milk runs into rollicking rides. All Sportage models have above-average handling characteristics.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
In its segment, the 2022 Kia Sportage lives near the bottom of the fuel-sipping hierarchy, well below what the Mazda CX-5 and Honda CR-V achieve. The front-drive, base-engine Sportage earns 23 mpg city and 30 highway, according to the EPA. Those numbers drop by 1 and 4 mpg, respectively, when all-wheel drive is added. The front-drive turbo model has EPA estimates of 20 mpg city and 28 mpg highway, but those figures drop to 19 mpg city and 24 mpg highway with all-wheel drive.
The all-wheel-drive SX Turbo returned a measly 23 mpg on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen. The Kia’s real-world result is substantially lower than the 29 mpg we saw on an all-wheel-drive, turbocharged CX-5. For more information about the Sportage’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Some editors have compared this Kia’s interior to those of Audi products, which means that Kia is doing something right. The Sportage’s cabin is well executed and filled with a pleasing mix of quality materials and nifty, functional features. It’s a spacious enough environment for passengers but not cargo.
The rear-seat accommodations will fit adults, but you might hear some complaining about the low placement of the seat cushion. Cargo space is limited for the class and storage room for smaller items is lacking, but its seats-down carry-on-luggage capacity and adjustable load floor make up for some of that.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Every model is fitted with an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system that includes standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. The system is easy to use thanks to physical knobs and buttons, but its menus have small icons, and the design doesn’t look as sophisticated as the rest of the interior. Desirable options are wireless device charging and built-in navigation.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The 2022 Kia Sportage offers an assortment of standard driver-assistance technology as well as a couple of options. For more information about the Sportage’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites.