The 2017 Kia Sportage SX gets the brand’s top of the line four-cylinder engine, a 2.0 liter with turbocharging and direct fuel injection. In the Sportage the engine offers 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque with front-wheel drive and slightly less horsepower at 237 with all-wheel drive.

The Kia Sportage SX with this engine is only available with a six-speed automatic transmission that can be shifted manually with the shift lever and even steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. On regular unleaded, the EPA rates this engine at 21 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined in the front-wheel drive model we have here.

The engine has most of the modern tools to crank out the power with dual-overhead cams, variable valve timing and the aforementioned direct fuel injection and turbocharging. The turbocharger unit itself is easy to see here with the engine cover off, mounted up top at the rear.

Much of the fuel injection system is hidden away under the composite plastic valve cover, but you can see a pretty thick foam insulating cap on top of its fuel-pressure regulator for the direct-injection. The insulator isn’t seen with the engine cover on, and is mostly there to keep fuel cool from the nearby turbocharger in addition to sound attenuation.

Following the airflow, the intake charge starts up front behind the grille and routed to the air filter box. From there it heads back into the turbocharger, then up and back forward through an insulated aluminum pipe.

Seen here, boost is managed with a bypass valve on its way to the air-to air inter-cooler, but there’s also exhaust side waste gate controlled by the ECU. The inter-cooler is mounted up front next to, not in front of, the radiator and can be easily seen through the front grille.

From there, air heads back up to the drive-by-wire throttle-body and into the engine through a composite plastic intake manifold.

Stepping back you can see the engine bay is laid out pretty cleanly in spite of all the technology here. Thus servicing the engine yourself is simple from the standpoint of locating and accessing all of the pertinent items.

The air filter is one of the best designs I’ve seen, with a flip up panel that opens easily. Removing and replacing the filter is as simple as turning a few tabs and pulling it out like a dresser drawer. There’s no screws or clips to wrangle with. I love it.

Oil fill cap and the dipstick are easily seen up front on the passenger side of the engine. Close by is the coolant reservoir as well as the windshield washer fluid down low and up front.

On the other side, accessing the battery will require removal of the air inlet tube, but the fuse block is easily accessed. The engine’s ECU is packed in there between them and checking or filling the brake fluid is handled where you’d expect, up on the driver side fire wall.