The Kia Sportage always has been a nifty little CUV, but the 2011 version is simply a delight; it’s pleasing to look at and fun to drive.
The all-new Sportage retains the functionality and versatility of the previous model, but has been repackaged into a sleek, modern and bold style, with new proportions and a completely new look. It was recognized as a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and received top ratings for front, side, rollover and rear impact protection.
Beautifully redesigned to be longer, wider and lower, Sportage now has a more flowing silhouette. It also has increased performance and efficiency, comfort and convenience, and the latest automotive technologies.
With a high beltline, sweeping angles and more pronounced wheel flares, the new Sportage has a spearing shoulder line that visually connects the headlights and taillights. From the side, the pronounced C pillar gives the vehicle a sense of solidity and balance, while the front end has the new face of Kia with the signature grille, sculpted hood, swept back headlights, tabbed grille outline and distinctive lower fascia.
Sportage exterior design flows seamlessly into the interior with an inviting and comfortable ambience and many technology features, including the signature three-pod instrument cluster set prominently within the dash.
Available in four trims — Base, LX, EX and SX — pricing for the compact CUV starts at $18,295, with standard convenience features including air conditioning, power windows, door locks and mirrors, Sirius Satellite Radio, MP3 connectivity and Bluetooth4 wireless technology, along with the options of a panoramic sunroof, navigation, push-button start, rear camera display, LED daytime running lights and an air-cooled driver’s seat.
Under the hood, Sportage has more power with a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder 176 hp engine and improved fuel economy (21/28 mpg).
Base has 16-inch alloy wheels matched with 215/70R16 low-rolling resistance silica tires, body-color door handles and electrically adjustable side mirrors; and a six-speed manual transmission ($18,295).
LX has side mirror LED turn signal indicators, keyless entry and tinted glass. Comes standard with air conditioning, power windows, 12-volt power outlets in the front and cargo areas, power side mirrors with integrated LED indicators, tilt-adjustable steering wheel, keyless entry with panic alarm and multi-way adjustable front seats. Stylishly cloth seats are comfortable, while rear seats split and fold 60/40 for cargo needs ($20,295).
EX has a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, telescopic steering wheel, illuminated vanity mirrors, automatic folding rear seats, a dual-zone temperature control air-conditioner with ionized filtration, illuminated and cooled glove box, and a power driver’s seat with lumbar support for additional comfort and support. Also adds 18-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, a rear spoiler and chrome body trim and door handles ($23,295).
SX is the top-of-the-line and has Kia’s efficient and powerful new 2.0-liter turbo GDI engine ($25,795).
Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com.