The 2011 Kia Sportage is one great-looking crossover, and with a starting price of $18,295 (*$18,990 with destination) it's rather affordable as well. Kia announced Tuesday that its longest running nameplate will start well below the $20,000 mark while sporting standard features like a six-speed manual transmission, air conditioning, power everything, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, MP3 inputs and Bluetooth connectivity.
At $20,295 ($20,990 with destination) the mid-level LX model adds outside mirrors with LED turn signal indicators, keyless entry and privacy glass. Another $3,000 ($23,990 with destination) adds 18-inch alloy wheels and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Standard safety features include six airbags, four-wheel ABS and electronic stability control.
The Sportage appears to be a screaming deal – though it's starting price is $1,300 higher than the outgoing model, it's a much improved vehicle – and its 176-horsepower 2.4-liter will deliver an impressive 22 miles-per-gallon in city driving and 31 mpg on the highway. A far more powerful 270+ horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter Sportage variant will be available later in the model year. Hit the jump to read over Kia's press release.
- New design and AWD system for longest-running Kia nameplate
- Sportage boasts more refinement, power, fuel efficiency, technology and convenience features than its predecessor
"Adding world-class design and cutting-edge technologies to an already successful value-packed CUV equation, the all-new Sportage offers Kia the opportunity to attract an entirely new and more sophisticated customer," said Michael Sprague, vice president marketing & communications, Kia Motors America (KMA). "The 2011 Sportage retains the functionality and versatility of the previous generation model but repackages the CUV into a sleek, modern and bold style with new proportions and a completely new look to help elevate the Kia brand further as a world design leader."
Available later this month, the 2011 Sportage offers image-conscious yet practical consumers more power (176 hp) and improved fuel economy 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 (a compact CUV segment first). However, what first draws attention to the new CUV is the visceral connection drivers make with the striking new design of the all-new Kia Sportage. Also expected to be available in late 2010 is the UVO powered by Microsoft®1 in-vehicle communication and entertainment system based on the Windows Embedded Automotive platform.
"An increasing number of consumers are craving and expecting connected experiences in their vehicles including being able to quickly and directly access music files, change radio stations and make or answer phone calls through voice or touch-activated controls," said Mukund Ghangurde, director of product management for Microsoft's Windows Embedded business. "It's exciting to see Kia Motors embrace the power of the Windows Embedded Automotive platform to deliver Kia UVO. We look forward to our continued partnership to deliver connected and engaging in-vehicle experiences for drivers."
Available in three trims – Base, LX and EX – pricing for the dynamic compact CUV will begin at $18,2952 for the base trim, offering standard convenience features, including air conditioning, power windows, door locks and mirrors, SIRIUS® Satellite Radio capabilities with three months complimentary service,3 MP3 connectivity and Bluetooth®4 wireless technology. LX will start at $20,295* and will include standard outside mirrors with LED turn signal indicators and privacy glass. Moving up to the EX trim level offers a beginning price of $23,295* with standard features such as 18-inch alloy wheels, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
Emotion-Evoking Exterior Design
With a high beltline, sweeping angles and more pronounced wheel flares than its predecessor, the team at Kia's U.S.-based design center in Irvine, Calif. aimed to convey an even more demanding road presence within Sportage's compact size by emphasizing its hunkered-down position. The all-new 2011 Sportage projects a modern and clean CUV and greatly expands beyond the current generation's basic and reliable appeal. The full-sectioned body, defined by a spearing shoulder line throughout the length of the car, helps to visually connect the headlamps and tail lights. The crispness of this line, together with the lowered body, offers a distinct sense of precision while the pronounced C pillar gives a sense of solidity and balance when viewed from the side.
Drawing generously from the distinct styling elements of the Kue concept, the 2011 Sportage's front end proudly displays the new face of Kia, the brand's signature grill, with dramatic swept back headlamps, tabbed grill outline and a distinctive lower fascia treatment. The dynamically sculpted hood, framed by a distinctive windshield design, adds to Sportage's fresh appeal. The rear view offers a clean and contemporary look with pronounced unique tail lights set solidly within the rear lift gate. Longer, wider and lower than the previous model, the all-new CUV successfully retains the key features, including a commanding driving position and of security and powerful road presence, which helped make the second-generation Sportage so popular among consumers.
Starting with the Base trim, Sportage offers numerous standard exterior features, including 16-inch alloy wheels matched with 215/70R16 low-rolling resistance silica tires, body-color door handles, body-color and electrically adjustable side mirrors and a 6-speed manual transmission. The LX adds side mirror LED turn signal indicators, keyless entry, and tinted glass. Moving to the EX trim offers more prominent 18-inch alloy wheels mated with 235/55R18 silica tires, roof rails, a rear spoiler and chrome body trim and door handles. Available later in the model year will be the SX trim, featuring Kia's all-new efficient and powerful 2.0L turbo GDI engine.
Contemporary and Comfortable Interior Space
Sportage's sleek aesthetic design from the exterior flows seamlessly into the interior, establishing an inviting and comfortable ambience with well-appointed features and the availability of numerous convenience and technology features. With the signature three-pot instrument cluster set prominently within the dash, Sportage's interior exudes contemporary design and an upgraded driving experience.
All LX models come standard with a host of convenience features including 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 appointed cloth seats provide comfortable seating while 60/40 split-folding rear seats effortlessly accommodate driver and passenger cargo needs.
Further increasing the level of refinement, EX models benefit from 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. Both trim levels come equipped with an active EcoMinderTM indicator for optimal fuel-efficient driving.
Impressive technology features also come standard throughout, including an AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sat audio system with SIRIUS® Satellite Radio capabilities with three months complimentary service. Also standard on both trims are auxiliary and USB audio input jacks for connecting with MP3 players and Bluetooth® wireless technology connectivity with steering wheel-mounted voice activation controls to enable hands-free operation for compatible mobile phones. The 2011 Sportage also will be among the first Kia models to offer UVO powered by Microsoft®, an advanced hands-free in-car communication and entertainment system (standard on EX models) that enables drivers and passengers to answer and place phone calls, receive and respond to SMS text messages, access music from a variety of media sources and create custom music experiences. HD Radio® also will be made available to enhance listening enjoyment.
Available upgrades for the LX trim include 17-inch alloy wheels paired with 225/60R17 silica tires, navigation with SIRIUS traffic data, rear sonar detector and rear-view back-up camera, heated side mirrors, an air-conditioned and illuminated glove box, telescopic steering wheel, roof rails and a rear spoiler.
Sportage EX models can be further enhanced with available features, including leather-trimmed seats, heated front seats, an air-cooled driver's seat, push button start with Smartkey, rear sonar detector and rear-view back-up camera, heated side mirrors and a panoramic sunroof.
More Powerful, Fuel-Efficient Engine
The all-new Sportage comes standard with a 2.4-liter DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder engine with Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT), offering more power (176 hp) and better fuel economy (22/31) than the previous 2.7-liter V6 engine. A more powerful but extremely fuel efficient 2.0-liter turbo GDI engine delivers V6-type power with a four-cylinder engine that produces 270-plus horsepower also will be available in the 2011 model year. Offered with either a front-wheel drive (FWD) or a Dynamax™all-wheel drive (AWD) configuration paired to either a six-speed manual transmission (Base) or a six-speed automatic transmission, consumers will have a variety of powertrain combinations to fit their driving needs. The six-speed automatic transmission, first seen on the 2011 Sorento CUV, is a proprietary design for Kia that was designed, engineered and built specifically for Kia vehicles, making the brand one of only three manufacturers to employ such a transmission. All automatics feature Sportmatic® clutchless shifting.
Perfectly suited for on-road driving through the city or on the highway, the FWD configuration offers an efficient package with responsive acceleration, enhanced fuel economy and impressive ride and handling. For drivers who typically face more difficult road and weather conditions, the AWD powertrain provides even more possibilities.
The Sportage's Dynamax™ AWD system, co-developed by Kia Motors Corporation and Magna International, Inc., continuously monitors driving conditions and anticipates AWD system requirements, compared to other common AWD systems which can only react to conditions after they occur. This offers drivers the benefits of improved lateral stability while cornering as well as the removal of unintended over and under steering by reducing unwanted traction to the front and rear axles. Aimed at achieving increased torque and improved performance on every surface, Dynamax™ offers true AWD for drivers who want an exciting driving experience with enhanced safety and performance.
Sportage's AWD design delivers 100-percent of engine torque to the front wheels during normal driving conditions, enhancing fuel economy, however when wheel slippage is detected a percentage of the torque is automatically transferred to the rear wheels to help maintain forward momentum. When driving in slippery conditions, such as rain, snow, mud, unpaved roads or off-road, the driver can manually select the "Lock Mode," distributing torque evenly between front and rear axles up to a speed of 25 mph for enhanced stability.
New and Improved Platform
The 2011 Sportage is all-new, including its platform, which has been completely redesigned for the new CUV. With an overall length of 174.8 inches, overall width of 73 inches, wheelbase of 103.9 inches, Sportage is longer, wider and lower than its predecessor, enhancing handling and aerodynamics. Built on a unibody frame, Sportage utilizes independent front-and-rear suspension systems. MacPherson struts are used in the front and have been fine-tuned to improve feel and stability, while new side-load coil springs reduce friction. An all-new, multi-link rear suspension system is used in conjunction with new dampers and coil springs mounted separately to minimize intrusion into the cabin and trunk space and add to Sportage's handling.
The newly engineered suspension offers the same comfortable ride as the previous generation but also delivers improved handling characteristics with more precise responsiveness to driver input. Both the front and rear suspension systems are mounted on a lightweight hydro-formed subframe, to help isolate the occupants from irregularities in the road surface.
Significantly quieter and more refined than its predecessor due to an aggressive series of NVH reduction measures, the all-new Sportage employs a new bodyshell design with greater use of high tensile strength steel.
Impressive Safety Features
Like all Kia vehicles, the 2011 Sportage is equipped with a long list of standard safety equipment. Both trims come outfitted with driver and passenger advanced front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, side curtain airbags and front active headrests, four-wheel Antilock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC) Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and a Brake Assist System (BAS), which recognizes an emergency stop and delivers significant braking power. Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) and Downhill Brake Control (DBC) also come standard on all models, the former assisting in preventing the vehicle from rolling backward when trying to pull away from an uphill gradient, while the latter locks the vehicle at a slow speed down steep grades so the driver can focus their attention on steering.
To assist drivers when the vehicle is in reverse, an available back-up warning sensor helps the driver avoid contact with certain objects in the vehicle's path by triggering an audible warning when the vehicle approaches an obstruction, while an available rear-view back-up camera enables drivers to view certain items behind the vehicle.
The 2011 Sportage is covered by Kia's warranty program, which offers unprecedented consumer protection. Included in this program are a 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, a five-year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty and a five-year/100,000-mile anti-perforation warranty. A five-year/60,000-mile roadside assistance plan also is part of the vehicle coverage.
Kia Motors America in 2010
Kia Motors is in the midst of a dramatic, design-led transformation, which has been delivering dynamically styled vehicles in several important segments at exactly the right time, contributing to the brand's continued gains in U.S. market share. With three new vehicle introductions and several other key initiatives planned for 2010, Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, safety features and with new technology such as the UVO powered by Microsoft® advanced hands-free in-car communication and entertainment system (expected to be available in select Kia models in the U.S. later this year). The launch of the all-new 2011 Sorento CUV, the official vehicle of the NBA and the first vehicle to be assembled5 at Kia's first U.S.-based manufacturing facilities in West Point, Georgia, further enhances the lineup, and is now in dealerships.