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CAR OF THE MONTH August 2010

2011 Kia Sportage EX

Über-Stylish CUV

A three-quarter front view of a 2011 Kia Sportage

In short: A sporty, city-friendly CUV.

Kia Sportage EX Review

Now in its 3rd generation, the all-new Kia Sportage can be seen as a great design exercise, and is indicative of Kia's ongoing brand transformation. Boasting cool looks, excellent driving dynamics, and a host of technologically-advanced amenities, this small CUV defies the typical norms of what a budget car is and should be; however, sometimes, as in the Sportage's case, breaking the rules is just too much fun.

Coming standard with Dynamax all-wheel drive, we found the Sportage to be responsive and sure-footed on the road—even around sharp bends and corners. Engineered by Magna Powertain, this unique all-wheel drive system doesn't just react to conditions; it continuously monitors them and responds accordingly. Furthermore, this cool Kia's compact frame imparts it with car-like handling, making it the perfect companion for city commuters.

A look at the interior of the 2011 Kia Sportage

Inside the car's cocoon-like cabin, the ride feels quiet and safe thanks to Kia's increased use of high-tensile steel. We found the interior to be quite roomy and comfortable, although the Sportage's squished-down dimensions can make seeing out the rear window difficult at times. However, with the available Microsoft-powered UVO in-car communications and entertainment system, navigation—and vehicle operations in general—are dramatically simplified and centralized. With this all-in-one infotainment center, drivers can make phone calls, select music and play from a digital jukebox, and safely park with the help of a rear back-up camera.

Although the Sportage's small size makes it ideal for city driving, this capable CUV is versatile enough to handle any setting. Country-dwellers will appreciate the increased cargo space and sharp handling, while extras like dual-zone climate control and a cooled driver's seat make road tripping a literal breeze. Driving down dark country roads is also made easier with the help of Kia's advanced projection headlights, which follow the car's movement around turns, providing light where you need it most. However, no matter where you plan on taking your Sportage—whether it be crowded inner-city streets or pitch black backroads—we're sure that you'll stay satisfied!

A three-quarter rear view of 2011 Kia Sportage

Warranty/Service: 5-year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty;
5-year/100,000-mile limited anti-perforation warranty; 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty; 5-year/60,000-mile 24-hour roadside assistance


QUICK SHEET
Base Price: $23,295 / As Tested: $28,490

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: front engine, front-wheel drive, 5-passenger, 4-door SUV

Engine: 2.4-liter, DOHC inline 4-cylinder engine with CVVT
Horsepower: 176 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque: 168 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic with Sportmatic shifting

Curb weight:
3,186 lbs
Wheelbase: 103.9 in
Length/Width/Height: 174.8/73/64.4 in
Turning circle: 34.7 ft

Brakes:
power-assisted disc brakes with ABS
Suspension: MacPherson strut front with coil springs; dual-link rear with struts

Traction: electronic stability control with traction control

EPA City:
22 mpg
EPA Highway: 31 mpg

Safety:
driver and front passenger front airbags and seat-mounted side airbags; full-length side curtain airbags

Likes: style; value

Dislikes: rear visibility; rocky ride; mpg could be better

 

Check out other Kia models
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Visit the Kia website

Photography: AlphaMedia

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