It's "compelling." It "holds its own" with some of its fiercest rivals, such as the well-regarded Honda CR-V, the new Toyota RAV4, and segment standouts like the new Ford Escape. Compact and subcompact crossover, the competition has a touch time standing against it. Suffice it to paraphrase, the SUV research and valuation experts found much to impress in the latest Kia Sportage.

Fresh off a redesign from last model year, several updates for 2018 made the new Kia SUV the whole package for KBB. Besides novel styling to capture attention, the pro reviewers lauded both the premium-feel amenities and technologies of the new Sportage as well as its winning roster of safety features built to advanced spec.

In the base Sportage LX, they included stain-resistant YES Essentials® seating for durability, a six-speaker, 5-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth and USB interfaces to keep you connected on the go, and a rearview camera to ease maneuvering in tight spaces. Sportage EX at the midrange, however, kicked things up a notch, with luxurious leather seating, a range of cutting-edge driver-assist features from standard blind-spot detection and cross-traffic alert to lane change assist, and a sizable 7-inch touchscreen. The latter incorporates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so you can do the same with your smartphone.

Options abounded to capture the gurus' attention, too. Among them were Dynamax® AWD, complete with a locking differential for a firm grip of road and terrain through foul weather. Secondly, they appreciated the availability of top-tier trip-makers like 8-inch touchscreen navigation, a 320-watt premium Harman/Kardon sound system, and a panoramic sunroof. There was even a new Technology Package to pique interest, standard in the EX trim, with driver-assistance perks like autonomous emergency braking. Of course, that's not to mention the gain, along with high-performance horsepower and torque, of an electronic parking brake with an auto hold feature for incline management in the graduation to Sportage SX Turbo.

Kelley Blue Book's favorite aspects? Overall, luxury equipment readily available for less, from seats heated and ventilated to a heated steering wheel and convenient Smart Power Liftgate®. We'll bet you find plenty of your own to love, too. We sure did! For example:

  • Super fuel economy -- up to an EPA-estimated 23 city MPG, 30 MPG on the highway, and 26 MPG combined
  • The ability to take up to 2,000 pounds in tow with trailer braking equipment properly installed -- plenty for hauling a small pop-up tent
  • Even more intelligent tech to assist you down the road, from a Parking Assist feature with front and rear sensors to autonomous emergency brakes and a system that warns you when you unintentionally drift lanes
  • Up to 60.1 cubic feet of room for cargo with 60/40 split-folding rear seating collapsed, which even reconfigures for passengers, with 17-position reclining ability

Take the short drive out to see us here at Grand Kia, 1950 West 104th Avenue in Thornton, CO 80234, and we'll be delighted to introduce you to even more to look forward to!