2011 Kia Sportage – Click above for high-res image gallery

Kia's Sportage compact crossover initially launched in Europe with a choice of either a 2.0-liter gasoline-fueled mill or an oil burner of identical size. The good news is that the CUV's engine choices will soon grow by two with the introduction of new powerplants that displace even less. Available exclusively on two-wheel drive, six-speed manual trans-equipped Sportage models, Kia's new 1.7-liter diesel and 1.6-liter Gamma gasoline engines boost efficiency by slashing displacement.

The 1.7-liter diesel engine is fitted with a variable geometry turbocharger and cranks out a reasonable 113 horsepower at 4,000 rpm and offers 188 pound-feet of torque at a mere 1,800 rpm. The downsized diesel has a CO2 emissions rating of 139 grams per kilometer.

Rated at 133 hp, the 1.6-liter Gamma gasoline engine's output trumps that of the diesel, but with only 122 lb-ft of torque on tap, the oil burner offers far more low-end grunt and considering that the gasoline mill emits 158 g/km, the diesel option is much cleaner as well. Both engines can be equipped with Kia's optional ISG stop/start system that reduces emissions while slightly increasing the Sportage's overall efficiency. No need to cross your American fingers, though, Kia's downsized mills simply aren't coming our way.

Photos by Jonny Lieberman / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.

[Source: Green Car Congress]

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