In short, we're running out of reasons why the Sportage isn't a head-of-the-class standout among small crossover SUVs.
By the numbers, at least, another 2017 Sportage shortcoming is its cargo capacity, which is limited to 60.1 cubic feet with the rear seatbacks folded down, easily outdone by the RAV4's 73.3 cubes and the CR-V's 70.9. Still, you might find it more than adequate for your needs, and the Sportage is notably nose-to-tail shorter than both rivals, making it a bit more maneuverable in close quarters. Additional strengths include an upscale cabin that's surprisingly quiet at speed, an excellent optional 8-inch Uvo touchscreen and responsive steering that gives this Kia an appropriately sporting feel.
The 2017 Kia Sportage joins a group of affordable crossovers that's never been more competitive. In addition to the above-mentioned RAV4 and CR-V, there's the smaller Honda HR-V, which offers an exceptionally spacious interior for its size and impressive fuel economy but suffers from laggardly acceleration. The Mazda CX-5 is a perennial favorite among our staffers for its capable handling and well-rounded feature set, while the reinvented 2017 Ford Escape merits strong consideration. But if you're shopping for a crossover in this genre, you owe yourself a drive in the thoughtfully redesigned 2017 Sportage.