The new 2018 Kia Sportage is far from being a total overhaul of the vehicle that's grown in popularity in recent years. Coming off a redesign in 2017, the Sportage has some impressive new features. For example, it comes with a new stain-resistant upholstery, and technology like blind-spot monitoring and the rear cross-traffic alert system are now standard on all but the base trim. While not as roomy as its competitors, the Sportage is still very comfortable and fits a decent amount of cargo for short trips. Because of this, the 2018 Kia Sportage remains a great alternative to some of the more spacious and popular small SUVs on the market today, and it will do great with small families and those who like to get away on weekends.

Just like the 2017 edition, the 2018 Kia Sportage comes in three main trim levels, the LX, EX and SX. All come standard with front wheel drive but have the optional upgrade of all wheel drive for those who want the added road grip. For a base trim, the LX actually comes with a nice array of features like driver modes, a height adjustable driver's seat and a touchscreen display with satellite radio and Bluetooth. Both the LX and the EX come with a 2.4 liter, four cylinder engine with 181 horsepower, but the EX comes with a whole slew of extra tech and luxury features like blind spot monitoring, additional USB ports and heated mirrors. Then there's the SX trim, which comes with a turbocharged 2.0 liter, four cylinder engine with 240 horsepower. This top trim also comes standard with a redesigned suspension meant for sport use, xenon headlights, a panoramic sunroof, a hands-free lift gate and an electronic parking brake, among other cool features.

When it comes to performance, the 2018 Kia Sportage does not disappoint. Its average fuel economy is 22 miles per gallon during city driving and 29 on the highway makes the Sportage affordable and convenient. The Sportage also ranks highly when it comes to drivability. Its sturdy design may not look super innovative on the surface, but this helps it handle sharp corners with ease and avoid much of the rollover risk that comes with most other vehicles in its class. Both Edmunds and U.S. News and World Report rated the vehicle very highly in this area as a result, calling the Sportage more agile than its competitors. The other good news is the the SX's turbo-charged engine is among the best in its class, and it is available as an upgrade option on the lower trims.

The 2018 Kia Sportage comes standard with a modest amount of safety features to help protect drivers and their passengers. However, the optional upgrade packages are where it's at. The Technology package upgrade for the LX trim adds alerts like forward collision warning, rear cross-traffic warning and blind spot monitoring, in addition to lane departure alert and automatic braking. Meanwhile, the Technology package for the EX trim packs on all those items in addition to front and rear parking sensors and a navigation system. The SX already comes with all of these safety features, but the truth is that most consumers will be looking at the LX and EX because the SX is intended more for sport use. So, families in particular would do well to consider adding a Technology package when shopping to ensure the maximum amount of safety possible.