The all-new 2011 Kia Sportage has been a big hit here in Vermont because it offers all-weather capability, rides and handles well and most important, gets good fuel economy. As part of Kia’s design-led transformation, the Sportage has become a strong player within the Kia line-up, and is in-part responsible Kia’s rapid growth.
The new SX model takes the solid Sportage foundation and ups the ante with a more powerful four-cylinder turbo engine, exterior styling enhancements and unique interior options.
The Sportage SX joins the 2011 Optima Turbo as Kia’s second vehicle in the U.S to feature the powerful Theta II 2.0-liter Turbo GDI engine and adds unique exterior and interior features and upscale appointments to provide buyers a high performance and high value CUV.
In combination with a six-speed automatic transmission, the new Sportage SX has 256horsepower and still has reasonably goodfuel economy of 27 miles per gallon on the highway. In addition to powertrain enhancements, the Sportage SX has a sport-tuned suspension featuring firmer shock and strut rates for improved handling and dynamic performance over non-SX models.
“Sportage offers an ideal mix of performance, fuel efficiency and utility for the discriminating compact CUV buyer,” said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing & communications, KMA. “With the addition of a more powerful Turbo GDI engine, unique interior appointments and improved performance, the Sportage SX makes an already appealing CUV even more fun to drive.”
On the outside, SX models have unique 18” alloy wheels, a signature SX grille, dual exhaust, and special side sill moldings. Complementing those exterior upgrades are SX-specific interior features that add a bit of refinement to the cabin. They include standard aluminum door sills and a sleek new “supervision” gauge cluster.
Orange and Blue interior color packages offer more interior color choices for SX buyers. The Orange Color Package includes orange stitching on the steering wheel, center console, and seats coupled with orange accents on the door panels and air vents. A unique blue patterned cloth seat and blue interior accents are included as part of the Blue Color Package.
Kia’s 2.0-liter Turbo GDI engine delivers a significant performance improvement with its 256 horsepower and 264 pound-feet of peak torque. The SX turbo uses a twin-scroll design which offers improved combustion efficiency, more available low-end power, and, most important, reduced turbo-lag as compared to more traditional single-scroll turbo systems.
The twin-scroll design features a divided manifold that channels exhaust gasses from separate cylinders into the turbocharger’s turbine, avoiding possible interference within the manifold. The result is a system that improves pressure distribution and prevents loss of exhaust energy. The quantity of the air entering each cylinder is increased, resulting in more power.
From the driver’s perspective, the SX package gives Sportage some real character. It’s not that the non-SX models are wimpy, it’s just that the SX offers real satisfaction when you step on the gas pedal. Further, with a full load of passengers, all of their gear and perhaps towing something behind, the SX can deliver the goods. Better yet, the turbo part of the package eliminates the loss of power that all normally aspirated engines exhibit at high altitude.
Best of all, the 2011 Sportage SX front-wheel drive has a starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $25,795 while all-wheel drive models start at of $27,295 MSRP.