KIA Australia has announced the availability of its handsome 2011 KIA Sportage, on sale to Australian buyers from August 8. This follows its unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show in March and the earlier reveal of the KIA Kue concept on which the lines of the new Sportage are based.
"With the all-new Sportage, we have created a five-seat compact SUV with maximised customer appeal." KIA Motors President Hyoung-Keun Lee said.
"Despite the recent and ongoing global economic difficulties, KIA’s market research indicates that demand for C-segment SUVs in Europe will grow steadily over the next five years as customers down-size their vehicles and new models focus attention on the segment."
Designed by Massimo Frascella, the man responsible for the KIA Ray concept, the new KIA Sportage expands on the styling language created by KIA design boss, Peter Schreyer.
Based on the 2007 KIA Kue concept and with shared styling cues from its larger sibling, the 2010 KIA Sorento, the Sportage bears the now-familiar design language making its away across the Kia line-up.
A key feature of the Sportage's styling is the daytime-running-light strip along the bottom of each headlight, similar to those featured across newer Audi models.
At 4.4 metres long, 90mm longer and 15mm wider, the new Sportage is larger than before in virtually every direction - but 60mm shorter top-to-bottom than the second-generation Sportage first released in 2004.
The Sportage rides on a 2640mm wheelbase, 10mm longer than before, and the front and rear tracks are 74mm and 75mm wider than before, measuring 1614mm and 1615mm respectively.
It's also 23mm closer to the ground, and combined with the lower roofline, the Sportage benefits from a 0.37 drag coefficient - down from the old model's 0.40cd.
Depending on the specification, the KIA Sportage weighs around 1385kg for the entry-level 2WD petrol, through to 1609kg for the AWD diesel model. Overall, weight is improved by up to 91kg.
The new Sportage's Si and SLi vehicles come standard with black cloth interior. The top-grade Platinum model comes with full-leather seat trim.
Thanks in part to the new Sportage's 10mm longer wheelbase, interior space is dramatically improved. There is also improved exit and entry thanks to the seats being 29mm lower than before, while the driver's seat gains 24mm of slide, forward and back.
According to KIA, the reverse-angle C-pillar adds to the sense of spaciousness inside, being positioned 186mm further back and giving rear passengers improved vision.
Storage space within the cabin includes the larger glovebox (with cooling function standard in the Platinum), a larger 6.0 litre centre console (up from 3.0 litres), and four door pockets.
Two large cup-holders are located between the gear selector and the centre console, while the folding centre armrest in the rear seat has twin cup-holders.
Luggage space benefits from the new model's 70mm increase in rear overhang, making the cargo bay 80mm longer with the rear seats up. Storage capacity in the rear is 564 litres with the seats in their upright position, and 1353 when folded flat.
Manual air-conditioning is standard in the Sportage Si model while the SLi and Platinum feature dual-zone air conditioning with full, automatic climate control.
The Si and SLi sound system features a CD player with MP3, USB and iPod connectivity, with six speakers. The Platinum features a six in-dash CD player with external amplifier and sub-woofer which can also connect seamlessly to an MP3, USB and iPod.
All vehicles have steering wheel mounted audio controls.
Other available high-tech 'comfort & convenience' features include a Smart Key, 'welcome home' escort lights and LED Daytime Running Lights (Platinum only).
The entire KIA Sportage range comes standard with the customary long list of safety features including ESC (electronic stability control), HAC (Hillstart Assist Control) which prevents slipping backwards, and DBC (Downhill Brake Control) which limits vehicle speed to just 8km/h on steep descents.
A reversing sensor is standard on Platinum models, alerting the driver with an audible warning when the vehicle approaches an obstruction.
Also standard on SLi and Platinum models is a rear-view camera fitted to the tailgate. The camera offers a 130-degree wide-angle view, transmitting images to an LCD display set within the interior rear-view mirror.
ANCAP crash safety testing has yet to be carried out for the new Sportage, although a 5-Star rating is expected.
Built on the same platform that underpins the new Hyundai ix35, but with revised suspension settings, the 2011 Sportage is powered by two petrol engines and one diesel engine.
On the petrol front, the Sportage is available with KIA's revised 2.0 litre Theta II engine and a more powerful 2.4 litre version.
In 2.0 litre form, the Theta II engine develops 122kW at 6200rpm and 197Nm of torque at 4600rpm, while the 2.4 litre version produces 130kW at 6000rpm and 227Nm of torque at 4000rpm.
Fuel consumption for the 2.0 litre is listed at 8.7 l/100km when paired with the five-speed manual, and 8.8 l/100km with the six-speed automatic.
Available only with the automatic transmission, the 2.4 litre engine nearly matches its smaller sibling, listing a claimed fuel consumption of 9.2 l/100km.
The single diesel option for the 2011 Kia Sportage is the new 2.0 litre R diesel, developing 135kW at 4000rpm and 392Nm of torque between 1800-2500rpm.
As with the 2.4 litre petrol, the 2.0 litre R diesel is available in six-automatic form only, with fuel consumption listed as 7.5 l/100km.
The Sportage is available in both two-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive configuration depending upon the model. The entry-level Si model comes in 2WD only, linked to either the five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.
The SLi and Platinum AWD models feature Magna Powertrain's continuous and fully-active AWD coupling system, known as Dynamax.
The Dynamax system monitors driving conditions on-the-go, keeping the AWD system instantly prepared for changes in surface or conditions.
Through a multi-plate clutch, the AWD coupling system is controlled via an electro-hydraulic actuation system. While transparent to the driver in normal conditions, it provides instantaneous torque and traction (torque vectoring) across all four wheels when slip is detected.
Suspension is handled by MacPherson struts up front, and all-new fully-independent multi-link suspension at the rear.
The Sportage's suspension comes with Australian-specific tuning and calibration. With the involvement of Australian engineers, the suspension geometry, dampers and coil springs have been set up specifically for Australian conditions. Keep an eye out for our 'first drive' review this week to see how these changes manage in the real world.
Braking is managed by ventilated front discs and solid rear discs, backed by ABS anti-lock and Electronic Brake-force Distribution systems.
- 2011 KIA Sportage Si - 2.0 litre petrol - five-speed manual - 2WD - $25,990
- 2011 KIA Sportage Si - 2.0 litre petrol - six-speed automatic - 2WD - $27,990
- 2011 KIA Sportage SLi - 2.4 litre petrol - six-speed automatic - AWD - $31,990
- 2011 KIA Sportage SLi - 2.0 litre diesel - six-speed automatic - AWD - $34,990 (coming soon, but not yet available)
- 2011 KIA Sportage Platinum - 2.4 litre petrol - six-speed automatic - AWD - $35,990
- 2011 KIA Sportage Platinum - 2.0 litre diesel - six-speed automatic - AWD - $38,990