- - Thursday, March 17, 2011

On the heels of its 2011 International Truck of the Year recognition by ICOTY jurors, Kia Motors America launches the all-new 2011 Sportage SX compact CUV, scheduled to arrive in dealer showrooms later this month. As part of Kia’s design-led transformation, the Sportage has become a strong player within the Kia line-up, offering power and class-leading fuel economy1. SX models take a solid foundation and up the ante with a more powerful four-cylinder turbo engine, exterior styling enhancements and unique interior options. The 2011 Sportage SX front-wheel drive (FWD) features a starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $25,7952 while all-wheel drive (AWD) models feature a starting MSRP of $27,2952.

The Sportage SX joins the 2011 Optima Turbo as Kia’s second vehicle in the U.S to feature the powerful Theta II 2.0-liter Turbo GDI engine and adds unique exterior and interior features and luxury appointments to provide consumers a high performance and high value CUV. In combination with a highly efficient six-speed automatic transmission, the new Sportage SX features up to 256 horsepower while maintaining class-leading fuel economy1 of 27 miles per gallon on the highway, better than any other turbo-equipped compact CUV on the market today. In addition to powertrain enhancements, the Sportage SX employs sport-tuned suspension featuring firmer shock and strut rates for improved handling and dynamic performance over non-SX models.

Sportage offers an ideal mix of performance, fuel efficiency and utility for the discriminating compact CUV buyer,” said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing & communications, KMA. “With the addition of a more powerful Turbo GDI engine, unique interior appointments and improved performance, the Sportage SX makes an already appealing CUV even more fun to drive.”

On the outside, SX models receive unique 18” alloy wheels, a signature SX grille, dual exhaust, and special side sill moldings. Exterior updates are complemented by SX-specific interior appointments adding more refinement inside the cabin, including standard aluminum door sills and a sleek new supervision gauge cluster. Available exclusively on the Sportage SX, Orange and Blue interior color packages offer more interior color choices for potential buyers. The Orange Color Package includes orange stitching on the steering wheel, center console, and seats coupled with orange accents on the door panels and air vents.

Kia Motors‘ Theta II 2.0-liter Turbo GDI engine delivers significant performance with a powerful inline four-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces up to 256 horsepower and 264 pound-feet of peak torque. The Sportage SX turbo utilizes a twin-scroll design which offers improved combustion efficiency, more available low-end power, and reduced turbo-lag as compared to more traditional single-scroll turbo systems.

The twin-scroll design features two valve-operated exhaust gas inlets responsible for feeding exhaust flow through separate paths into the turbine. Utilizing a divided manifold, exhaust gasses from separate cylinders travel more efficiently into the turbocharger’s turbine, avoiding possible interference. The result is a system that improves efficiency and pressure distribution, lowers exhaust and cylinder temperatures, and prevents loss of exhaust energy. The quantity of the air entering each cylinder is increased, resulting in more power.

Sportage LX and EX trims come standard with a 2.4-liter DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder engine with Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT), offering more power (up to 176 hp3) and better fuel economy (22/31 city/highway4) than the previous 2.7-liter V6 engine.