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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 133 Ratings for the 2011 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    8.7/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    8.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.4/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

Great family vehicle That is fun to drive!

By on Friday, January 15, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000

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
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Fast and fun to drive for a four door family car."

Cons: "Electric assist steering is a little touchy."

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

2012 Sportage

"We needed a family vehicle with a little more room. with that being said We have always owned sporty two door cars and truck, so the thought of buys a four door grocery getter was not something I looked forward to. We had looked at comparable vehicles like the Ford Escape, but ultimately chose the Kia Sportage for the better standard 10 year 100,000 mile warranty that was upgraded for free to the 20 year 200,000 mile warranty during a promotion event and it had all virtually all of the same features for less money. My wife loves this car and she use to have a Mercedes C230! We opted for the T-GDI and I am glad we did. This little 4 banger really dishes out the power and is great on fuel mileage. We have almost 50,000 miles on it so far and it has been a good investment so far. My only complaint is the electric assist steering is a little touchy and takes some getting use to, but after driving it for a while its not that bad. If you want a reliable fast crossover style car that has cargo space for the family road trips or just trips to the grocery that won't break the bank, this is the car for you."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

2012 Sportage

Love my Sportage

By on Tuesday, January 12, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,770

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Gorgeous looks, fun to drive, precise, reliable"

Cons: "Engine noise, poor front seats, thick A pillars"

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

"Got a used 2014 Sportage with 32000 miles on it. However, it looks and feels almost brand new. Real smooth to drive. Love almost everything about it and it looks absolutely unlike anything on the roads. I feel safe and comfortable in it. The dashboard and centre console is neat and meaningful which is a really big thing for me. I absolutely despise the busy fussy curvy dashboards. Minimal, clearly marked and neatly laid out buttons you push and rotate are what is needed when you are driving. Also love the sound system - its unlike any other car of a similar price range that I have seen. The car feels precise, and a bit sporty. You get an awesome steering feedback, but have to live with a stiff suspension. Seating height is very good and to my liking, though the front seats lack lumbar support. Rear seating space is really good - lots of leg room and head room and a flat floor. Lots of clean cargo space too and the cargo floor is at a perfect height from the ground. Greenhouse is pretty good with great front visibility, but the A-pillars could have been thinner. You have to crane your neck to lookout for an incoming car when taking a left curve on winding roads. I didn't have any issues with rear visibility though - instead I think that curved rear is one of the best looking parts of this car. I'm getting around 20mpg in city. No issues with the car yet. Braking and handling is all to my liking. My only complaint is that it somehow lacks the punch when pressed up from an idling state of 60-75mph. Seems like it went to sleep and I have to press real hard to wake it up out of slumber when it downshifts and accelerates. It may be a driving behaviour thing or a thing with the automatic transmission, but it sometimes makes me less confident while changing to higher speed lanes. That being said, it quickly gathers speed in the 40-60 range, and also feels pretty capable beyond 75. Additionally, the idle engine noise is pretty high for my liking and it only gets higher when accelerating from zero. Feels like i've turned on a truck. The noise can even be heard inside the cabin and does feel uncomfortable having experienced other cars with pretty silent cabins. Inspite of a few negative things that I pointed out, it is a car that gives you greater value for money than any other car out there without cutting down on quality, functionality and reliability. Love it. Its a neat little fun, reliable and meaningful car."

Good value

By on Thursday, November 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Good price, Stylish, Lots of features."

Cons: "Small trunk space, poor visiblity rear window"

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

"Kia put together a nice package at a good price which is why I bought the EX model with the premium package. It had everything I wanted without adding things I did not care about. I'm getting about 20 mpg in the city and 24 mpg highway with overall mpg at 22.43. I have not had any problems with the Sportage."

23 people out of 29 found this review helpful

Very pleased

By on Tuesday, November 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000

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
8/10

Pros: "Sporty and satisfying to drive. Deceptively quick."

Cons: "Front seats not perfect. Slippery steering wheel"

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

"We looked at all the offerings in this category and none had the value/dollar that the Sportage offered. The Sportage is fun to drive and has excellent power. I was concerned that it would get terrible mileage because of feedback I had read on the internet, however once we hit the 10,000 mile mark we are consistently seeing 23-24 mpg around town and up to 32 mpg highway. Considering the performance I have no complaints with the mileage. My only complaints are in the area of comfort. It's very good, but could be better. The seats need some work, they tend cut off the circulation on my legs and the steering wheel doesn't have enough down adjustment for my liking, plus the steering wheel is made of a material that is slippery, which makes it fatiguing to grip on long trips. I have to wear driving gloves to add some grip."

10 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Great for the snow!

By on Tuesday, September 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000

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
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Price, gas mileage, dependability"

Cons: "None"

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

"Love the Kia brand and this vehicle is no exception. I am not a "big" vehicle person but needed something especially for the winters in Erie, Pa. Extremely happy!"

14 people out of 25 found this review helpful

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."

11 people out of 19 found this review helpful

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