Never mind the debut of the Kia Telluride last year; it’s the approachable Kia Sportage that leads as the company’s top-selling SUV for the 2021 model year. Although expected to receive a complete redesign for the following model year, the 2022 Kia Sportage near Santa Fe NM still brings style and fun to the compact SUV segment, with more standard tech and a stunning new Nightfall Edition trim.
Despite its age (the last makeover debuted in 2016), the Sportage is still one of the better-looking compact crossovers currently offered. It has a sporty look without going too far over the top. A longer wheelbase puts the wheels closer to the corners, giving the compact a more assertive stance.
The company implemented minor changes for the 2022 model year. These include eliminating the S trim and adding a new LX Value Package, enhancing the affordable LX base model with previously reserved amenities for higher trims. It includes heated front seats, 18-inch dark gray wheels, and keyless entry with push-button start, to name a few.
The Nightfall Edition now replaces the S trim, and it incorporates eye-catching black accents all around the exterior, such as the wheels, roof rails, window surrounds, bumpers, and more. It raises the wow factor even further with a panoramic sunroof and a flat-bottom steering wheel with paddle shifters. The Sportage Nightfall Edition gives the smiling little SUV a bit of an aggressive look, making it feel like you’ve turned on stealth mode.
A panoramic sunroof with power sunshade is now standard equipment on the EX trim of the 2022 Kia Sportage near Santa Fe NM, along with dual-zone automatic climate control and a rear USB port. The lift-gate is now proximity-activated, giving you the ease of hands-free operation when you need it most. Additionally, LED lighting, which delivers cooler and brighter energy-efficient light, becomes standard for the interior.
There’s also a new EX Technology package if you want all the high-tech extras for a more luxe experience. It does add around $3500 to the price. Still, in return, you get ventilated front seats (every model already includes heated front seats), a 320-watt Harmon Kardon audio system with a powered subwoofer, front and rear parking sensors, navigation, and leather upholstery. It also includes a compact spare tire (instead of a tire kit), wireless charging, an 8-way power passenger seat, heated steering wheel, and Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go.
Also new for 2022, both the SX Turbo and EX Tech package get ten years of complimentary map updates with added points of interest and support for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).
Standard safety features across the range of the 2022 Sportage lineup now include auto emergency braking, forward collision avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, driver attention warning, high-beam assist, lane-keep assist, and lane departure warning. For comparison, the Ford Escape and Honda CR-V only include auto emergency braking as standard on their lower trims. Rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot warning are now standard safety tech on the Nightfall, EX, and SX Turbo models and are available with the LX Value Edition setup.
The base LX trim of the 2022 Kia Sportage even comes standard with an 8-inch touchscreen with a rear-view camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth calling, and music playback with voice recognition compatibility. For more perspective on value, the base CR-V gets a 5-inch screen with no Smartphone integration, and the base trim Escape comes with an even smaller 4.2-inch screen and no Apple or Android phone integration.
If you’re not convinced of the value built into the Sportage, take a look at Kia’s warranty coverage. An industry-leading 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, along with a 5-year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty, a 5-year/100,000-mile anti-perforation warranty, and a 5-year/60,000-mile roadside assistance plan are all included with your purchase.
Critics have compared the interior of the Sportage to the interiors of Audi vehicles, so that tells you Kia is onto something good. The cabin is filled impeccably with an attractive mix of terrific features and superior materials. But you don’t just have to take our word for it. Visit Fiesta Kia at 7400 Lomas Blvd NE in Albuquerque to see for yourself.