MPG-o-Matic 2011 Kia Sportage EX AWD Review Summary: The aggressively-styled 2011 Kia Sportage stakes out a bold space in the highly competitive five-seat crossover market. Sharing its platform with the Hyundai Tuscon, the Sportage plays the design card, and trumps the competition with features for the dollar. This one is stuffed with all the goodies, in a quest to one-up the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.
The 2011 Kia Sportage is equipped with a 2.4-liter DOHC 24-valve inline four cylinder engine producing 176 horsepower (HP) and 168 foot pounds of torque, and is available in both front-wheel- (FWD) and all-wheel-drive (AWD). The LX and EX models are fitted with a six-speed automatic transmission, while the base model is equipped with a six-speed manual. AWD is only available in the LX and EX models.
The official fuel economy estimates for the automatic-equipped 2.4-liter 2011 Kia Sportage EX are 22 city / 31 highway miles per gallon (MPG) with FWD and 21 city / 28 highway with AWD.
We traveled roughly 300 miles in our Techno Orange review unit and fell a bit short of the official mileage estimates, with an average of 26.2 MPG on the Interstate highway and 23.7 MPG combined. Testing was performed in Eco Driving mode. Temperatures ranged from the mid-thiries through fifty degrees, with Interstate highway testing temperatures in the low forties. Highway results may have been skewed due to 20-25 MPH winds. The test vehicle was delivered with just under 3200 miles on the odometer.
The 2011 Sportage EX is equipped with distinctive 18-inch alloy wheels clad with P235/55R18 Hankook Optimo tires. The base and EX models are fitted with 16-inch alloys and 215/70R16 tires. 225/60R17s are optional on the LX.
Interstate Mileage Testing:
- Cruise control set to 68 MPH, A/C off, windows up: 25.5 MPG
- Cruise control off, target speed 60-72 MPH, A/C off, windows up: 26.9 MPG
We found the Sportage to be capable of covering the 0-60 MPH run in the nine second range.
Highway driving range is acceptable when driven conservatively. The Sportage is fitted with a 14.5 gallon fuel tank, and is designed to run regular unleaded fuel.
Curb Weight: The 2011 Sportage EX weighs in at 3,355 pounds with AWD and 3,186 pounds with FWD.
The Sportage is equipped with four wheel anti-lock (ABS) brakes, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control (TCS), and Downhill Brake/Hill-Start Assist Control (DBC/HAC). The AWD model is fitted with 11.8 front (vented) rotors and 11.2 rear (solid) rotors, while the FWD model uses 11.0 front (vented) rotors and 10.3 rear (solid) rotors.
The center mounted Trip Computer toggles the Sportage’s Eco Driving mode on and off, and provides two trip meters and fuel range, along with average and real-time fuel economy displays. We always recommend driving with the real-time display active to encourage light-footed driving.
The electronically controlled six-speed automatic provides a slap-stick Sportmatic manual mode, for those so inclined.
While we have no qualms over the Sportage’s handling under most conditions, the little crossover’s aggressive looks and name suggest something a bit more sporty … we’ll just have to wait for the upcoming turbo-equipped model to see if it meets its billing.
The cabin is a definite high-point. Our Sportage EX was decked out with the Premium Leather Package and the result is quite a bit more than you might have previously expected from a Kia.
The Premium Package includes leather seat trim, two-level heated front seats, an air-cooled driver’s seat, push button start, a panoramic sunroof, and rear sonar. An eight-way power-adjustible driver’s seat with two-way power lumbar is standard.
The leather-wrapped steering wheel provides integrated controls. Hands-free Bluetooth is standard, as a six-speaker audio system and SIRIUS satellite radio.
There’s one twelve-volt outlet in the cargo area and two at the base of the dash, where you’ll also find the (standard) USB iPod and auxiliary audio inputs.
Our test unit was equipped with the Navigation/Premium Audio option package, which includes SIRIUS Traffic and rear back-up camera, along with an external audio amplifier and subwoofer. Not a bad deal for an additional $1,500.
The iPod integration and interface is well done, with full access to playlists from the LCD screen.
The second row includes a center armrest. There are 38.5 inches of rear seat head room and 37.9 inches of rear seat leg room. Opening the panoramic sunroof’s shade aids headroom slightly.
The cargo area provides 26.1 cubic feet of storage with the 60/40 rear seat up and 54.6 cubic feet with the rear seat down.
All-in-all, the 2011 Kia Sportage delivers compelling value in a crowded field. From its Audi-esque LED running lights through a ventilated drivers seat, the Sportage provides a host of standard and optional features that are unmatched at its price point.
Parts Content Information:
U.S./Canadian Parts Content: 1%
Major Sources of Foreign Parts Content:
Final Assembly Point:
- by Daniel Gray
January 1st, 2011
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