The Kia Sportage is all-new for the 2011 model year. The third generation Sportage is longer and wider than its predecessors. For 2011, it offers better fuel economy, a more powerful engine, improved interior features, and a much sleeker design.
Kia has made design a statement for all of its new models. Thus far, the move has paid off. New models such as the Forte and Soul have sold well. Kia’s sales for April 2010 were up 36% in comparison to April 2009. The new Sportage has European like styling, with a wider and lower stance and should be a positive contributor to Kia’s sales figures.
Kia is also targeting a younger demographic. The new Sportage offers colorful interior door panels, with colors such as bright orange. The Sportage has a chromed-frame grill, chiseled flanks, and a sporty look.
The 2011 Kia Sportage is 3.5″ longer and more than two inches wider than the 2010 model. However, in light of its sportier more aerodynamic design, the 2011 model is more than three inches shorter than the prior year. Cargo volume is still greater in the 2011 model. The Sportage seats five passengers and does not offer third row seating.
For 2011, the Sportage LX will come standard with black cloth seat, Bluetooth connectivity, six air bags, hill-start assist, air-conditioning, and an MP-3 capable CD player with iPod connectivity. Kia also offers an EX line for the Sportage which has larger wheels, a power driver’s seat, leather on the steering wheel and shift knob, dual-zone climate control, and a roof spoiler. Four-wheel drive is an option in both trims.
For a compact SUV, the Sportage offers an impressive level of optional features including heated and ventilated front seats, backup sensors, rearview camera, Sirius traffic data, navigation system, paddle shifters, push-button start, a panoramic sunroof, and a Microsoft-based Uvo infotainment technology.
The 2011 Kia Sportage offers a significantly more powerful standard engine than the 2010 model. A 2.4-liter engine will power the Sportage. It is expected to produce about 170 horsepower. In comparison, the 2010 base model had a 2.0 liter 140 horsepower engine with a V-6 option. Fuel economy for the 2011 model is expected to be in the mid 20s mpg in mixed driving. Despite the greater size and power, the 2011 Sportage is actually 200 pounds lighter than the 2010 model.
A V-6 option will not be offered for 2010. Kia will be offering a turbocharged direct injection four-cylinder engine that is expected to produce in excess of 200 horsepower for the Sportage after the new model goes on sale.
The base price of the 2011 Kia Sportage LX is expected to be about $18,000. For 2011, it is a true competitor in the compact SUV class. The new Sportage is expected to go on sale this summer.