Compressed model line, new tech highlight 2022 Kia Sportage

It’s never to early to plan an anniversary party, right? That’s relevant here because next year, the Kia Sportage compact crossover will mark 20 years in the global marketplace, following its rollout in 1993. Well, let’s make that almost 20 years, when you factor in the Sportage’s two-year production hiatus while the Mazda Bongo-based first-generation model was hurriedly retooled after it flunked an Australian crash test. If you’re even tangentially familiar with today’s auto industry, you know that Kia has upped its game enormously since those early years, and the Sportage, which shares its platform with the midsize Elantra sedan, is now in its fourth generation, is a consistently strong performer and, we should make clear, has rung up good scores in the safety category. Not much has been changed for 2022, except for the way Kia presents it to buyers. Read on.

Full disclosure, a low-mileage Sportage resides in one of the carports here. What’s new for 2022 is a streamlined model lineup, assuming you can refer to eight such choices as being streamlined. Kia’s 2022 lineup offers the Sportage in four appointment levels, each with your choice of front- or all-wheel drive. It’s kind like shifting gears in a heavy truck that uses both main and auxiliary transmissions. The realignment has led Kia to create a new Nightfall trim level, which replaces the previous S, and Kia has also added a panoramic sunroof as part of the EX package. Pricing will range from $24,090 for a front-drive Sportage LX to $35,250 for an SX Turbo AWD, whose 2.0-liter boosted engine brings output to 240 horsepower.

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