In the last 7 years, I had 2 different turbo AWD models ('05 Legacy GT and a '09 Forester XT Ltd w/ Nav). It might seem like a step down to go from a Subaru to a Kia, but it actually was a large upgrade for the most part. My Kia Sportage SX AWD is equipped with the Premium Package with Leather, and the Navigation package. My Sportage SX outshines the Forester in terms of comfort, audio, and performance. The seats are very comfortable for long trips, the driver's seat is both heated and cooled, the cabin is much quieter, etc. Visibility is an issue here - looks great, but there are plenty of blind spots. Far less body roll than my Subarus. My fuel economy ranges from 23.1 to 25.5.
Bought a Sportage SX last week. Was looking for a small SUV with some punch, decent fuel economy and a cooled seat for summer days. Only thing I sould find was the Lincoln MKX but didn't want to spend 50K. SX model has 256 hp and 264 torque - it moooooves! Still on first tank of gas so not sure about fuel ratings yet. Several comments from people at work! Kia's qualty seems to have come around a lot lately. Traded my BMW 328xi and actually got better 0-60 acceleration, better gas mileage at almost half the cost! Stereo sounds great!
My vehicle has two distinct issues with the electronic steering. 1) When driving in a straight line the car wanders to the left and right. There does not seem to be a preference. Sometimes it goes left and sometimes it goes right. 2) There is some stiction in the steering wheel control. As you try to correct slightly for the wandering the steering does not react to the first slight control pressure but as the pressure is increased it does release usually resulting in an over correction. As a result of these two problems the car will weave down a straight road with the need for constant corrections on the steering wheel.
I gave 5 stars too... 3 years ago! The styling is cool, awesome sunroof, decent cargo and passenger room and... well... that's about it. 2 brake switch replacements* (recently recalled), less than expected gas mileage, squeeks and rattles and lately the transmission is reving too high. I have no faith that this rather expensive model will last me the 10 years I was hoping for. It might be a hard sale once the warranty expires! *when the brake switch blows, the car is completely dead. I know things happen but I shouldn't have to see my car being towed on a flat bed twice while making car payments.
Bought the LX 2WD on Saturday and though so far I like it, I have a few gripes. I traded in a 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe SE after only 9400 miles. It was a decent vehicle, but living in NJ just outside NYC with constant stop and go traffic, my MPGs were averaging around 20. I agree so far with other reviews, the Sportage's ride is very firm, and with a lot of local streets looking like the moon's surface, I found that out quickly. However, I'm used to it already as the Santa Fe was not the smoothest ride on its 18 inch rims (Sportage has 17 inch). Steering is also very light and will take some getting used to. Interior a little too plasticy, but I don't agree that rear visibility is all that bad.