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2011 Kia Sportage

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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
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 127 Ratings for the 2011 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.6/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    8.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.4/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

150000 flawless miles

By on Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

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: "Great service life LX models reasonably priced."

Cons: "Loading up equipment makes them pricey."

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

"I have been looking forward to this day.I wouldn't have believed it but out of the 60 cars in my family of all domestic Nissan Toy Dats. Audi BMW Merc. Fiat and Alfa manufactures over 40 years we have never seen one go without any issues before the 100000 mile mark I am extremely pleased with these cars and am fast becoming a KIA believer. I also have an Optima with about 50000 trouble free miles on it. The cars are still tight as new. The Sportage other then road rash you'd never know it has 100000 miles on it. Unless you can afford it for a great value stick with base models."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Meets my needs and wants perfectly.

By on Sunday, August 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,700

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Stylish, quiet, practical and a great price."

Cons: "I wish it had a remote tail gate opener."

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

"The longer I own this car the more I love it. I have the EX model with the Premium Package with FWD. I recently drove it on a 1400 mile road trip and while I admit that the suspension is quite stiff, it did not detract from my comfort. I was surprised about that. I wanted a stylish vehicle with a quiet cabin that I could put a bike rack on that I could get for under 30k and the Sportage ticked off all of those boxes. I had a Honda CRV previous to my KIA and the road noise in the cabin would drive me crazy because I had to blast the radio in order to hear it. Not the case with the KIA Sportage."

nice suv

By on Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,790

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fun to drive"

Cons: "no backup sensors"

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

"Love my sportage, except for a couple of minor problems like excessive wind noise at times and some water inside just on the rubber under the doors when it rains hard, by hard meaning torrential rain with wind blowing from all directions.."

6 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Good Value for a small SUV...!!!

By on Saturday, July 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 260

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Very quick..!! Good Handling."

Cons: "Small fuel tank."

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

"Great vehicle just for my wife and I. Our model is the SX FWD, the vehicle handles great for an SUV of this size. The suspension is a bit harsh in very bumpy area due to the stiffness for the SX model, but when it comes to the back roads and lots of curve this thing is awesome. Smooth riding on the interstate and plenty of power to merge unto traffic. We get very decent mileage, but wish it had a tad bigger fuel tank. Overall we are very happy with it and no issues whatsoever."

9 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Very reliable and fun to drive.

By on Thursday, May 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 115,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, good gas mileage, decent tow car"

Cons: "Busy ride, poor visibility to the rear"

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

"I drive 400 miles per week to and from work and my Sportage has never given me a problem. My lifetime gas mileage average is 27.3 MPG. Most of my driving is on Interstate highways at 70+ MPH. Besides oil and filter changes, the only parts I have replaced are tires, and at 115,000 miles the front brake pads and rotors. The interior still looks new and everything works like it is supposed to."

38 people out of 61 found this review helpful

This is my second Sportage

By on Wednesday, May 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "great value, reliable, fun to drive, beautiful."

Cons: "rear window does not open"

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

"After having reliability and value problems with American Cars I purchased my first Kia Sportage in 2008 new. The car was so enjoyable to drive and a true SUV, I began to realize all of the negative reviews of Kia's was total malarkey. The Kia Sportage had better quality and reliability than any American car I had ever owned, including a Lincoln, purchased new, and a year 2000 Corvette purchased new. In 2011 I purchased my second Kia Sportage and after 48000 trouble free miles found the same outcomes; reliable, comfortable and a great value. The only complaint I have about the 2011 is that the rear window does not open making the vehicle less utility than the 2008 model. Unfortunately it appears to be a trend in the SUV market, for all companies, that the rear window does not open. If Kia fixed the rear window problem it would make Sportage even more desirable as an SUV."

17 people out of 27 found this review helpful

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