Add on-demand all-wheel drive (AWD) to Kia’s 2012 Sportage EX to get the EX AWD, a traction-heavy, compact crossover that goes confidently into winter and looks good doing it. This 5-seat, 4-door mini-ute also packs 54.6 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded, as well as enough high-end appearance, comfort and convenience goodies to keep the family heated and cooled, entertained and in touch.
Starting with 18-inch alloy wheels, a roof rack and a rear spoiler, the 2012 EX AWD continues its tradition of value by flaunting premium cloth upholstery, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob, simulated alloy dashboard trim and an upgraded instrument cluster with trip computer display. Cruise control, meantime, as well as telescoping tilt-wheel steering, full power accessories, a rear-view camera and rear parking sensors provide a full measure of driver convenience amenities.
Meanwhile, occupants can bask in dual-zone automatic climate control, while an MP3-capable single-CD player pumps tunes out of 7 premium speakers, including a subwoofer. Satellite radio, a USB connection Kia’s UVO voice activated audio and communications interface, and Bluetooth hands-free technology, of course, remain standard equipment, as well.
The EX Premium Package, with a power sunroof, heated front seats, cooled driver’s seat, leather-trimmed upholstery and remote keyless entry, remains one of the EX AWD’s more popular options. An auto-dimming rear-view mirror, meantime, is integrated with the Homelink universal remote garage door opener as a standalone option, with a navigation suite with dashboard display and Sirius XM Traffic also available independently. Further free-standing options include a trailer hitch, all-weather floor mats, cargo-management tools and an interior lighting kit.
A 2.4-liter variable-valve-timed inline 4-cylinder (I4) powerplant mates with a 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission in the 2012 Sportage EX AWD to put out 176 hp and 168 lb-ft of torque. All these ponies will tow up to 2,000 pounds of trailer, when properly set up, and gas mileage is some 20 mpg city/27 highway. The AWD system, meanwhile, allows cruising in front-wheel drive (FWD) until deteriorating conditions demand an automatic and instantaneous torque split to all four wheels for surefooted traction in any weather.
Safety-wise, this traction-heavy crossover sports 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front and rear head airbags, front side-mounted airbags and front head restraint whiplash protection. Turn-signal-integrated mirrors also come standard, as do daytime running lights, front fog/driving lights, dusk-sensing headlights and a remote antitheft alarm.