Kia's radical redesign of its crossover leads to a solid, multipurpose vehicle that, surprisingly, does not feel slow despite its four-cylinder engine. A modern exterior uses smooth sheet metal and the cabin gets useful tech.
Kia redesigned its Sportage crossover for the 2011 model year, using its new styling language and tech. The Sportage is a five-passenger vehicle with cargo capacity; a good multipurpose car for the average suburban family.
Kia calls out the two tabs on the grille as part of its design language. We also appreciated the smooth-looking sheet metal around the car. The headlight casings and grille form a single design element in front of the car.
The 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine's 170 horsepower does not sound strong enough to power the car, but we found it more than adequate. As the Sportage only weighs 3,355 pounds, the engine does not have to work very hard.
We found the ride a little hard, but in keeping with the economy car segment. Our vehicle also came with all-wheel-drive, a new system called Dynamax that uses sensors to predetermine which wheels to power.