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Kia Sportage SX gains power, gives up ride comfort

Consumer Reports News: July 30, 2012 04:08 PM

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Automakers are turning to smaller displacement, turbocharged engines to produce decent power without sacrificing fuel economy. Kia has followed suit with its Sportage SX, succeeding in delivering these goals.

Compared to the naturally-aspirated, 176-hp, four-cylinder model, this force-fed turbo Sportage spools out 84 more horsepower. Consequently, acceleration is much more brisk, yet fuel economy only gives up 1 mpg.

The underhood excitement is joined by a firmer suspension and larger wheels. While it would seem a natural supposition to think that the chassis must therefore be more engaging, it really isn't. The steering feels heavy and the ride is too stiff. But handling remains secure.

The SX does benefit from additional creature comforts, and there are some notable options, such as cooled front seats and a panoramic sunroof.

But as tempting as the 260-hp SX may be, it does come with compromises.

Check out the video below and our complete Sportage road test for details.

Automakers are turning to smaller, turbo engines for better mpg

Jeff Bartlett

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