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Sportage Shows Kia’s Styling Growth

Small sport ute is beautifully designed, but please, fix the ride.

by on Feb.10, 2011

Kia's new Sportage continues the automaker's recent trend toward building stylish vehicles.

For the better part of two decades Kia has made progressively better cars, but the design and styling still lagged.

The designs were often boring (previous generation Sportage) and sometimes strangely ornate (Amanti).

Not many people looked at a Kia, any Kia, and said “Wow, I want to drive that.”

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That is changing rapidly. The latest Optima is a smartly styled mid-size sedan. The Soul is a funky little box, the type of shape that hipsters love. And now, Kia has an swoopy new Sportage small crossover.

Kia says the new Sportage design takes its – sorry about this – cue from the Kue concept that was introduced at the 2007 North American International Auto Show. Well, OK. That sleek two-door concept did have a high beltline and a low roof, much like the new Sportage, but after that, they don’t have all that much in common.

First Look: 2011 Kia Sportage

Korean maker adds another trio of premiers at Geneva.

by on Mar.02, 2010

The 2011 Kia Sportage is one of several new models the Korean maker is introducing at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show.

Kia celebrated its attendance at the Geneva Motor Show with the world premiere of its compact crossover, the 2011 Sportage.

With an all-new look that moves away from classic SUV design, and a new “ecoDynamics” powertrain, the Korean maker is betting Sportage should keep the momentum going in Europe, as well as its biggest global market, the U.S.

The new body looks more svelte, perhaps because it has been lowered by nearly an inch and put on a diet shaving almost 200 pounds of weight; but it’s actually about an inch longer, which translates into a more roomy interior.  Meanwhile, the CUVs aerodynamics have improved which, along with the lower weight, is expected to yield a noticeable bump in fuel economy.

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For the Europe market, Kia will come in with a pair of gasoline engines and another two diesels, Sportage coming to showrooms in either front- or all-wheel-drive configuration.  Reflecting the Continent’s increasing focus on global warming, Kia has added a new Start/Stop feature that automatically shuts the engine off while idling.  That means the crossover can cut CO2 emissions as low as 138 grams per kilometer, depending on powertrain.