Car Reviews – 2011 Kia Sportage Review (T-GDI)

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Things are changing at Kia. To say how many of us saw this coming is unknown, but the Korean car company as released new models, updated others. We took the opportunity to test drive the Kia Sportage AWD SX, and we were very happy that we did.

Gone is the day of that cheap styled Kia that you may have, or may not have rented years ago. With a base price starting under $19,000, the 2011 Sportage makes an economy play, such as hard plastics in the cabin (that look great by the way) to reflect that strategy. But other positive aspects of the Sportage such as ride quality and handling boast a more upscale ride.

At its highest trim, and fully loaded, Kia says the price only gets to be about $28,000. At the highest trim, the 2011 Sportage includes features such as dual-zone climate control, a heated and cooled seats, locking all-wheel-drive, and of course navigation. All Sportage trims come with a Bluetooth phone system that lets you dial by name using voice command and a USB port for iPod integration.

It’s smooth modern look, and a strip of LED parking lights gave the car a more than upscale style than its price would suggest. Kia’s new design was apparent in the grille; with it’s up and down tabs. Our model also had 18 inch wheels, with a glossy black paint trim along the inside of the alloys. The back of the car was also smooth and very well moulded. All and all, this Sportage looks great!

Based on the Microsoft’s automotive platform, UVO does incorporate many of the features we’ve previously seen in Ford Sync. It integrates a wide variety of MP3 players with the car, also enabling voice commands for playback, and also has a gigabyte of onboard memory so that you may copy MP3 files from a USB drive. You can rip CD’s to the onboard music database. Although you’ll have to choose between the UVO system of NAV system, after further research into the car, I felt the UVO option was worth mentioning.

The 2.4 litre four cylinder engine comes standard at all trims. This engine is nothing to laugh at, with a output of 176 horsepower, making it even more powerful than its previous V-6 models. The base model does pair this engine with a six speed manual transmission, something not commonly seen among SUV’s, but the LX and EX trims get a six speed automatic, all wheel drive. All-wheel-drive is optional in the LX and EX trim vehicles.

Our staff had a terrific time with reviewing the Sportage. We recommend that your test drive one at your nearest Kia dealership today!

Daniel Iglic
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