• Mar 4, 2011
2011 Kia Sportage SX Turbo - Click above for high-res image gallery

Kia has dropped all the juicy details on its 2011 Sportage SX Turbo. The vehicle will hit the streets with a 256-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that's also good for 264 pound-feet of torque. That makes the Sportage the second vehicle in the Kia lineup to take advantage of the automaker's all-new direct-injection engine, the first being the 2011 Optima. The forced-induction four-pot will come bolted to a six-speed automatic transmission, which should help the Sportage SX nab 27 miles per gallon on the highway in front-wheel-drive guise. The automaker says that the figure gives its CUV better fuel economy than any of its competitors.

In addition, the Sportage SX Turbo will use a firmer suspension compared to its naturally aspirated kin, and a host of aesthetic changes will set the vehicle apart from the rest of the Sportage line. Look for special 18-inch wheels, dual exhaust and a different grille to adorn the new turbo model.

Prices start at $25,795 for the front-wheel drive version. Opting for all-wheel drive will set you back an additional $1,500. Both prices exclude a $695 destination charge. Hit the jump for the full press blast.

[Source: Kia]
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New Model Offers Advanced Turbocharged Engine and Dynamic Handling

Kia's popular compact CUV adds powerful yet efficient 2.0-liter Turbo GDI engine for enhanced performance and class-leading fuel economy

SX model offers sport-tuned suspension and unique exterior and interior enhancements

ORLAND, Fl, March 4, 2011 - On the heels of its 2011 International Truck of the Year recognition by ICOTY jurors, Kia Motors America (KMA) today announced the launch of the all-new 2011 Sportage SX compact CUV, scheduled to arrive in dealer showrooms later this month. As part of Kia's design-led transformation, the Sportage has become a strong player within the Kia line-up, offering power and class-leading fuel economy1. SX models take a solid foundation and up the ante with a more powerful four-cylinder turbo engine, exterior styling enhancements and unique interior options. The 2011 Sportage SX front-wheel drive (FWD) features a starting Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $25,795 while all-wheel drive (AWD) models feature a starting MSRP of $27,2952.

The Sportage SX joins the 2011 Optima Turbo as Kia's second vehicle in the U.S to feature the powerful Theta II 2.0-liter Turbo GDI engine and adds unique exterior and interior features and luxury appointments to provide consumers a high performance and high value CUV. In combination with a highly efficient six-speed automatic transmission, the new Sportage SX features up to 256 horsepower while maintaining class-leading fuel economy1 of 27 miles per gallon on the highway, better than any other turbo-equipped compact CUV on the market today. In addition to powertrain enhancements, the Sportage SX employs sport-tuned suspension featuring firmer shock and strut rates for improved handling and dynamic performance over non-SX models.

"Sportage offers an ideal mix of performance, fuel efficiency and utility for the discriminating compact CUV buyer," said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing & communications, KMA. "With the addition of a more powerful Turbo GDI engine, unique interior appointments and improved performance, the Sportage SX makes an already appealing CUV even more fun to drive."

On the outside, SX models receive unique 18" alloy wheels, a signature SX grille, dual exhaust, and special side sill moldings. Exterior updates are complemented by SX-specific interior appointments adding more refinement inside the cabin, including standard aluminum door sills and a sleek new supervision gauge cluster. Available exclusively on the Sportage SX, Orange and Blue interior color packages offer more interior color choices for potential buyers. The Orange Color Package includes orange stitching on the steering wheel, center console, and seats coupled with orange accents on the door panels and air vents. A unique blue patterned cloth seat and blue interior accents are included as part of the Blue Color Package.

More Powerful, Fuel-Efficient SX Engine

Kia Motors' Theta II 2.0-liter Turbo GDI engine delivers significant performance with a powerful inline four-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces up to 256 horsepower and 264 pound-feet of peak torque. The Sportage SX turbo utilizes a twin-scroll design which offers improved combustion efficiency, more available low-end power, and reduced turbo-lag as compared to more traditional single-scroll turbo systems.

The twin-scroll design features two valve-operated exhaust gas inlets responsible for feeding exhaust flow through separate paths into the turbine. Utilizing a divided manifold, exhaust gasses from separate cylinders travel more efficiently into the turbocharger's turbine, avoiding possible interference. The result is a system that improves efficiency and pressure distribution, lowers exhaust and cylinder temperatures, and prevents loss of exhaust energy. The quantity of the air entering each cylinder is increased, resulting in more power.

Sportage LX and EX trims come standard with a 2.4-liter DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder engine with Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT), offering more power (up to 176 hp3) and better fuel economy (22/31 city/highway4) than the previous 2.7-liter V6 engine.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm really super-bummed out the SX doesn't come in white. Dangit Kia why you no make white? I love love love the white Sportage... it looks like a rolling, blinged-out storm trooper helmet.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I am hoping that Kia adds this engine to the EX model as well. I don't really want or need all of the extra equipment that the SX brings to the table, and I certainly don't want to pay for it.

      This looks pretty promising, but I'll be honest and say I was expecting a bit higher as far as MPG is concerned. I understand that it isn't even close to being as aerodynamic as the Optima/Sonata but 27MPG is a bit disappointing, for me at least.

      I wonder if Hyundai is going to announce their turbo Tucson soon...
      • 3 Years Ago
      Is it me or do these wheels look like flower petals? I think I like the 18" wheels on the ex better.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This thing sure has come a long way from all the Sportages I saw at the pick-n-pull junkyard last weekend.

      • 3 Years Ago
      If the 'awd' has the 3.195 axle ratio, then this is a 150mph CUV!
      • 3 Years Ago
      How quickly the Koreans are rising.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Aesthetically Kia has made great strides. I like how the new Sportage looks but from practical point of view, the car is more about looks than about practicality. For such a big footprint, the cargo area is one of the smallest in the segment and that huge D pillar kills rear visibility. I can see how some enthusiasts can get excited over this but this is nothing new. Mazda with CX-7 and Acura with RDX has offered small displacement turbo engines in USA for few years with mixed results sales and reliability wise. As much as I don't like Toyota, their 3.5l engine found in Rav4 is not only more powerful but also more fuel efficient even without direct injection. Its definitely a great attempt and huge improvement for Kia but considering that most of its competition is about to get all-new replacements, I don't think Kia is particularly better in any category than competition and they better figure out how to get better MPGs for their CUVs because I am more than sure Honda/Toyota are not sleeping in the fastest growing segment in USA.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Actually, it has a small cargo area because it has small footprint. A RAV4, for instance, is something like 10 inches longer.
        • 3 Years Ago
        and likely the 2gr-fe only makes more power at high engine speeds.
        Probably only in the 5400-6400rpm engine speed range.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Good points. essende. The base Tucson has a brand new 2.0L that makes 165hp *without* DI that should put down close to 190hp when it does. That should be the volume engine in these cars -- not the regular 175hp 2.4L.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Awesome!!! Definitely worth considering since this fall I was going to be looking at a 2012 Forester XT Touring as one of my choices.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The typical (as of late) Kia combo: great warranty, good power, decent fuel mileage, and one heck of a bargain. This thing should put up one heck of a fight!

        • 3 Years Ago
        @ MyThreeRocks

        The RAV4 also has a terrible interior and a TWO STAR front passenger safety rating.

        That last bit disqualifies it for me, two stars for a modern vehicle is embarassing.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ LongDucDong: You forgot "great looks".

        There's up to 6 months wait on Sportages in Australia, only 1000 Optimas for 2011... stop taking them all!!
        • 3 Years Ago
        Except the RAV4 comes with a 269hp V6 for $1500 less and still 19/city27hwy on the mpg front. The V6 Sport is $25,655. With a new model coming out this year it will be hard to beat.

        Just sayin'.

        I do like how the Sportage looks though, at least it's different.
        • 3 Years Ago

        Only one problem with the "cheaper" bit. Not comparing Apples to Apples. Looking at other Kia "SX" version, you would need to hope up to the Rav4 limited with an options package to equal the SX equipment level. Its tough to say which one will be cheaper, but based on other Kia products, I bet Apples to Apples they will be 1,000-2,000 cheaper than the Rav4 V6 models.
        • 3 Years Ago

        The RAV4 is also the typical Toyota ugly, over-rated piece of garbage.

        What's your point?
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ MyThreeRocks:

        It might be a mistake on Toyota's website, but on the 2011 Rav4's configurator, you have to select the Limited 4x4 model to get the V6.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @nightflight...2 stars??????....its a Toyota...must be driver error.....
        • 3 Years Ago
        The current Rav4 is definitely competitive, especially considering how old it is, but assuming the new one will be an improvement? Debatable.

        From the front, there's no better-looking SUV than the Sportage. I just wish it had a bit more usable space.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Depends on who you ask I suppose.

        It gets good/good/acceptable rating from IIHS:

        Anyway, new models generally perform better so the 2012 should improve on the 2011.

        I realize it's like trying to convince Rush to put down the donut trying to reason with the Korean love on AB, but I still think the rav4 is tough to beat, especially considering how old it is.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Just take the badge off some people does that to their BMW and Mercedes too.
        • 3 Years Ago
        You are right. Take the badge off and it looks like a large Smart car. Priced about the same way - over priced and ugly.
      • 3 Years Ago
      "In addition, the Sportage SX Turbo will use a firmer suspension compared to its naturally aspirated kin".

      FIRMER than it's naturally aspirated kin!!! Better put in your mouth guards because their will be some broken teeth!!
      • 3 Years Ago
      256hp from a Kia 2.0 turbo 4 cylinder? That's more than the 2.0 turbo in the GTI and even more than the 4 cylinder Ecoboost twin turbo that's supposed to come in the new Focus ST. Color me impressed.
        • 3 Years Ago
        They actually downgraded the power from the original 274hp to improve torque.
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