We certainly get bored with the same old thing. I find myself dreading the same turkey sandwich every day, and I’m getting sick of working out on the same bike path. When I switch up one of these routines, I find that it can change my entire demeanor. We embrace changes, however scary they may be.
You know who apparently doesn’t like change? Automotive engineers. We’ll routinely see brands roll out identical models year after year, with the lone change being the addition of a new exterior color.
Luckily, Kia’s engineers have consistently found ways to revamp their vehicles without diminishing the attributes that have made them so popular. This is certainly the case for the 2017 Kia Sportage. The vehicle will see several revisions for the upcoming model year, but the compact SUV will still retain all of its qualities that we know and love. These changes apply to the exterior, technology, and even the vehicle’s mechanics, so the 2017 version certainly won’t be identical to the 2016 model.
Curious about the changes to the future Kia Sportage? Continue reading to see the major revisions coming to the nameplate…
Apple CarPlay Technology
Kia’s innovative UVO system provides practically every application a driver could possibly need, and those hoping for seamless iPhone integration will now get their wish. The brand recently announced that the Apple CarPlay technology would be available via the UVO navigation system or UVO3 unit. This advanced technology will initially be included in the 2017 Sportage, as well as the 2016 Optima.
This technology makes it easy and safe to access your iPhone’s basic capabilities while operating a Kia Sportage. Drivers can utilize a number of functions via the touchscreen, whether it be making phone calls, playing music playlists, reading or sending text messages, or using a navigation service. Drivers can even access Siri voice control for hands-free use.
“The arrival of CarPlay compatibility follows on a promise we made when Optima launched last year. These running changes and available downloads will seamlessly bring iPhone’s easy-to-use interface and functionality to our newest and best-selling models,” said Henry Bzeih, the Managing Director of Connected and Mobility Services at KMA. “Kia is taking the UVO platform to yet another level of enhancement by extending the customer’s personal mobility technologies safely and easily into a Kia vehicle. CarPlay will bring an additional element of convenience while maximizing the benefits of connectivity.”
Of course, you don’t need an iPhone to enjoy all that the UVO eServices have to offer. The technology, which is accessible via either the seven-inch color touchscreen or the “voice-command navigation system” with eight-inch color display, allows drivers to access navigation, play music, or even search through Google. A number of accompanying applications, like Yelp, will provide recommendations on events or restaurants. Drivers can even pull up important vehicle diagnostic information, alerting them of their speed, efficiency, and mechanics.
If you’re planning on jamming out to your favorite tunes, you can do so via the Harman Kardon audio system. The unit includes a subwoofer and amplifier. If you’d rather, buyers can opt for the standard six-speaker audio system.
Already ordered a 2017 Sportage? No need to worry. If your vehicle is equipped with the corresponding systems, owners can download Apple CarPlay via myuvo.com.
Exterior Design Changes
The Kia Sportage will still retain that familiar, muscular design, so drivers can still expect a stylish and aerodynamic compact SUV. However, engineers did slightly revise the exterior for the 2017 model year. A new Tiger Grille has been included up front, and designers also added four LED running lights on the side of the vehicle. Out back, a rear spoiler has been added, as well as new wraparound taillights. Speaking of lights, the Sportage will also feature the new ice cube LED fog light clusters, replacing the retired halogen lights. This helps give the SUV a distinctive look while also improving nighttime visibility.
While the 105.1-inch wheelbase wouldn’t suggest that the vehicle is any larger, the Sportage at least takes a stronger stance than previous models. One thing that is certain regarding exterior changes, however, is the inclusion of high-strength steel. An estimated 51-percent of the vehicle’s body is composed of this material, compared to only 16-percent in last year’s model. As a result, several other aspects of the exterior have been bolstered, including the side sills and roof. Drivers will notice an improvement in overall rigidity, and the rugged body will also play a role in keeping its occupants protected during a collision.
The wheels have also been slightly revised for the 2017 model. With three alloy wheel options to choose from (17-inch, 18-inch, and 19-inch offerings), buyers will have quite the difficult decision to make.
While potential car buyers would predictably be focused on how their vehicle looks, they’re also interested in how the Sportage operates. Engineers refined several mechanical aspects of the 2017 Kia Sportage, delivering an optimal driving experience. The rear suspension now includes a dual-member shock absorber and a dual lower-arm setup, while MacPherson struts have been added up front. Drivers will find that they’re in better control of their SUV, and they’ll also learn that the vehicle can easily adapt itself to weather or road conditions.
One major factor that will remain is the supercharged engine. The 2.0-liter I-4 engine is still kicking under the Sportage’s hood, pumping out 241 horsepower and 260 pounds-feet of torque. While these specs have decreased slightly over last year’s model, you’d still be hard-pressed to find another compact SUV that can deliver these kinds of numbers.
As we’ve become accustomed to, the Kia Sportage will also be incredibly efficient. Thanks to the Gasoline Direct Injection and the electronic six-speed automatic overdrive transmission (with Sportmatic), drivers can expect a 23 city/30 highway mile per gallon fuel efficiency from the 2017 model.
We should all appreciate that the 2017 Kia Sportage isn’t a carbon copy of the 2016 model. The compact SUV will see several changes to this year’s model, and these revamps should certainly revolutionize the nameplate. Whether it be the inclusion of Apple CarPlay, the new Tiger grille, or the revised suspension, we’re confident that these changes are here to stay.