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2011 Kia Sportage

Overview
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2011 Kia Sportage Review

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The Kia Sportage is the brand's longest-running nameplate and despite this, the Sportage SUV has mostly gone unnoticed in the minds of shoppers in the compact utility vehicle segment. Overshadowed by more well-known names like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, Kia's crossover was mainly considered for its low entry-price but not always held in the highest regard. For 2011, Kia hopes that its all-new Sportage will change some minds, and while the all-new-for-2011 Kia Sportage might not exactly be a game changer, it sure ups the ante in terms of style, in-cabin technology and overall value.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're on a modest budget, but still want all the capability, space and comfort that a compact SUV can provide, the 2011 Kia Sportage has a low entry price and an impressive list of standard features. Also, some may find its distinct looks more attractive than those of the Sportage's competitors.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The 2011 Kia Sportage SUV's styling makes it stand out among competitors, but it is polarizing. Those looking for something more subtle may find themselves more attracted to the Toyota RAV4 or Honda CR-V.

What's New for 2011

The 2011 Kia Sportage all-new this year, with a new look, new in-cabin technology and a new 4-cylinder that's standard across the board (with the single exception of the turbo 2.0-liter in the SX trim), with no V6 offered. Offered in both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive (awd) versions, the 2011 Sportage also includes a multitude of segment firsts on its list of standard features.

Driving the Sportage

Driving Impressions Aesthetics aside, the compact crossover SUV's driving dynamics are what put the "sport" in Sportage. With both the front-drive and awd forms, we found that in comparison to the Toyota...

RAV4 and Honda CR-V, the Kia Sportage rides a little stiff, and while this compromises highway comfort it makes up for it in the corners. Add in some well-weighted steering (although not razor sharp), and it's clear that Sportage is definitely the sportiest compact SUV in its class. The 2.4-liter and 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engines that motivate the Sportage both offer ample power in any driving situation, with our favorite being the latter turbocharged variant found in the Sportage SX. The 2.4-liter is more than capable in climbing steep hills and handling quick passing maneuvers, but the turbocharged 2.0-liter adds a new level of driving fun.

Panoramic sunroof
More sun equates to more fun and this dual-section sunroof lets the rear-seat occupants stare at the wonders above.

2.0-liter turbocharged engine
Found in the Sportage SX, the 260-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged engine makes the car surprisingly quick and a lot more fun to drive.

2011 Kia Sportage Details
2011 Kia Sportage photo Interior

The sporty design of the 2011 Kia Sportage carries over to the interior, which incorporates sharp edges and an overall futuristic feel. That's not to say that it's not functional, though. The rear seat can be easily folded to increase the cargo volume from 26.1 cubic feet to a more generous 54.6, which is much smaller than that of the Honda CR-V's 72.9, but that compact SUV doesn't have the same sense of style. Cloth seating surfaces are standard, while leather comes with an option package, as does the panoramic sunroof. Two things we must mention about the panoramic sunroof though: Only the front section slides open, and both sections are shielded by manually opened covers.

Exterior
2011 Kia Sportage photo

The 2011 Kia Sportage's design is a far cry from the model it replaces. Kia's Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer (known for his work on the current Audi TT), brought the Sportage back to the drawing board and completely revamped its styling, incorporating shapelier lines and edges, sweeping angles and a higher beltline. The result is some serious unique styling, with a sharply angled headlights and a large grille up front, sloping side character lines and high-placed taillights, all of which give the Sportage SUV an aggressive stance and a look that sets it apart from almost anything else on the road.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2011 Kia Sportage is offered in four front-wheel-drive trim levels: base, LX, EX and SX, with all-wheel drive available across the board. Standard equipment across all trim levels is air conditioning, power accessories, Bluetooth, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, a rear under-floor storage compartment, and a satellite-radio-equipped audio system with four speakers. Some notable standard features that come with the EX and SX trims include Kia's UVO infotainment system, back-up warning system, push-button start, a cooling glovebox, and auto-climate control.

Optional Equipment

All of the options available for the 2011 Kia Sportage come in the form of packages. Some noteworthy highlights of the Sportage option packages include a navigation system, heated front seats, a cooled driver's seat, a panoramic sunroof, and a premium audio system with a subwoofer.

Under the Hood

The 2011 Kia Sportage's new 2.4-liter engine is more powerful and fuel efficient than the engine it replaces, and the turbocharged 2.0-liter is a welcomed replacement for the previous V6. Both engines are mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, which delivers impressive fuel-economy numbers and can shifted manually. A 6-speed manual transmission is available, but only on the base trim level.

2.4-liter in-line-four
176 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm (manual), 170 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm (automatic)
168 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm (manual), 163 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm (automatic)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/29 (FWD, manual), 22/31 (FWD, Auto), 20/27 (AWD, manual), 21/28 (AWD, auto)

2.0-liter turbocharged in-line-four
260 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
269 lb-ft of torque @ 1,850 - 3,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/29 (FWD), 21/26 (AWD)

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2011 Kia Sportage Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 118 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    8.3/10
  • Comfort
    8.3/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

Love my sportage!

By on Thursday, October 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought my sportage 3 years ago and have not had any issues! Handles and drives like a dream! Decent gas mileage for a SUV. The interior is very roomy! I upgraded to the EX with all the extras except the GPS system. Totally worth every penny!!"

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

The best for me

By on Monday, October 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I traded my 2011Sportage EX for the same 2014 because ride is less stiff and many features were upgraded."

6 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Great looks, drives great, best SUV for the money!

By on Tuesday, October 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Awesome looks, drives great, love the interior"

Cons: "Little better fuel economy would be nice."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love my Kia Sportage, got the LX w/rearview camera and upgrades. Drives and handles great, fuel economy is good, has more room inside than you would think looking at it. Looked at several other models, but this had the best looks and was the best buy."

18 people out of 26 found this review helpful

Great value for the money, needs few improvements

By on Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,900

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great value for the money"

Cons: "Needs radio visor and better gas mileage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"After shopping the competition bought the Sportage because of the surprising quality for the money. The fit and finish is comparable to CRV but seems quicker and quieter. Biggest annoyance is the inability to see the radio settings at all during bright daylight.. The gas mileage could certainly be better but for the price I can't complain that much because it feels like I am driving a more expensive vehicle with all wheel drive."

17 people out of 31 found this review helpful

Excellent and reliable

By on Monday, September 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great features"

Cons: "None really"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Not a single problem to report in 37000 miles. Fuel economy is outstanding. I average 27 around town and have gotten as high as 34 on the hwy. Excellent and quiet cruiser on the open road. Enough power for safe passing on secondary roads. I looked at the Honda, Chevy and Ford small SUV's and ended up with the KIA for the price and long list of standard features. We currently own 2 KIA's and I would recommend them to anyone."

14 people out of 26 found this review helpful

Hands down best value ! - owned for 2 years

By on Monday, August 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Best Value, spacious, attractive design"

Cons: "Thick window pillars"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"When I bought this car, I was comparing it to the following vehicles: Honda CRV, Toyota Rav4, Hyundai Tuscon, Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, VW Tiguan, and the Subaru Forester. All these vehicles are in a similar price range. VALUE: 10/10 The first thing I noticed when comparing the prices and options was that the Hyundai and Kia models were a much better value. Things that came standard on the Kia and Hyundai were sold as extras on the other models. This is why I gave this car a 10/10 on value. RELIABILITY: 10/10 I've owned this car for 2 years and I have had no problems whatsoever. The fact that it comes with a 10 year powertrain warranty says a lot about this car's reliability. QUALITY: 9/10 The reason I docked 1 point was because the seat fabric looks a little cheaper looking, but then again I could have paid for the leather package. Everything else is comparable to the other models in terms of quality. DRIVING DYNAMICS: 10/10 This car drives great. Some people complain about the road noise, but I don't notice it much at all. I feel that those that are complaining are probably comparing this car to luxury vehicles in the $30,000+ range. DESIGN: 9/10 In this price range, this car gets a perfect 10/10 for the exterior. KIA and Hyundai have done a 360 and completely redesigned their cars. No more child like looking cars from the past. I love the overall design of both the interior and exterior of the car. I would give the interior an 8/10. The reason I docked 2 points is because of the thick windshield pillars. I find them to be too thick which gives you a rather large blind spot. I suspect that these thick pillars are the reason this car got excellent rollover ratings from the consumerreports website. COMFORT: 8/10 I don't get what people are talking about when they say the seats are uncomfortable. I've driven dozens of cars and I have I would say that these seats are comparable to most vehicles. Of course if you are comparing it to a luxury vehicle, then you might not me so happy. I've driven 300 miles nonstop (LA to Vegas) several times and I have never experienced any discomfort. I'll also add that I'm a skinny guy with less padding on the rear than most! One thing I'll say is that the door arm rests and the center arm rest needs more padding. OVERALL RATING: 9/10 I am very happy with my purchase."

8 people out of 12 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?