It was a beautiful Twilight Blue Kia Sportage that showed up for a test drive vehicle. I was careful to review the specifications. It was a 2011 model, EX trim level, front-wheel drive, and had a beautiful color scheme inside and out. The EX is the top trim level for the Sportage. I was excited to try out this revised but well-known vehicle.
The Sportage is a compact SUV and was first introduced to the North American Market about 1996 and is one of the most recognized and long-lasting nameplates. It is certainly older than the Honda CRV or the Toyota RAV4, which are major competitors in the Compact SUV category.
For the 2011 model, KIA has changed their designation from an SUV to a CUV – Cross-over Sport Utility. To most consumers, this does not make a lot of difference, but it does signify KIA’s emphasis on more car-like comfort and less emphasis on off-road capability. For those interested, All-Wheel-Drive is still available, but the Front-Wheel-Drive models are selling well.
The Sportage has a clean exterior look, but slightly muscular as well. Maybe the looks are engineered to appeal to the masculine or maybe not, but those 18-inch alloy wheels really help set off the attractiveness.
The test model was powered by a 2.4 liter inline 4 cylinder engine and matched with a 6-speed automatic transmission. There was a laundry list of standard items for a base price of $23,296. This included such items as dual-zone temperature controls with Air Filtration, Keyless entry, electrically adjustable outside mirrors, 60/40 split rear seats, a cooling glove box, rear spoiler, roof rails, chrome door handles, and a lot more.
Additional equipment was installed in the test model (for extra costs, of course). The upgraded Premium Audio System and a Navigation system added $1,500. The Premium Package with color pack added heated front seats, push button start, a panoramic sunroof, rear sonar, automatic dimming rearview mirror, a cargo cover, and even heated outside mirrors. This package was only $2,500.
The Kia Sportage is often compared to the Hyundai Tucson because they are linked in corporate ownership, but the Sportage is definitely different than the Tucson. The outstanding ten year, 100,000 mile warranty is the same, of course
USAA Insurance reports the Kia Sportage as their Best Value choice in Small-sized SUV’s. The EX test model was EPA rated at 22 mpg city and 31 mpg highway. Bottom sticker price, including delivery and handling charges, was $27,990.
Check out the new Kia Sportage yourself at a Kia dealership.