Looking at Kia's redesigned 2011 Sportage crossover makes it apparent that the South Korean automaker aims to continue its emphasis on styling. Sportage is Kia's longest-running nameplate sold in the US. Its third-generation has picked up styling cues from Kia's 2007 Kue crossover concept, which was developed at Kia's design center near Los Angeles.
Set to arrive in showrooms in August, the Sportage will be the fourth new or redesigned model sent to dealerships in the last 18 months that was created in California.
The first three are the following: the Kia Soul subcompact, Sorento crossover, Forte and Forte Koup. Kia is hopeful that its emphasis on design will appeal to new, young buyers and help dismiss the perception that Kia vehicles are cheap or uninspiring.
Kia's design for the Sportage is created specifically for single male professionals in their mid-20s to early 30s who reside in urban areas and go on weekend excursions out of town.
Powering the 2011 Sportage is Kia's Korean-built, 2.4-liter four-cylinder Theta engine that delivers 176 hp. In comparison, the outgoing model's powerplant delivers 140hp while its higher trim models offer a 173hp V-6.
The 2011 Sportage will not be offering a V-6. Later in the model year, Kia will offer a more powerful SX trim model powered by a turbocharged, four-cylinder gasoline engine.
The new Sportage measures 3.5 inches longer and 2.1 inches wider. A fraction of an inch was added to the wheelbase, while 2.3 inches were cut from its height.
Cargo space is increased to 26.1 cubic feet behind the second-row seats due to these changes in combination with some interior modifications.
This represents a 10% increase when compared to the outgoing model. However, it is smaller than the cargo space offered by rivals Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 crossovers that have more than 35 cubic feet.