New Kia Sportage Breaks Cover in New York

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Have you heard?  Korea has taken over Manhattan!  True, South Korean brands Hyundai and Kia have used the Off Broadway stage of the Jacob Javits Center, home of the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS), to unveil a bevy of new cars and crossovers. 

Hyundai has shown a couple of Sonata variants, the new ultra-powerful four-cylinder turbocharged Sonata and a hybrid version of the same car that looks like a standalone model from the front, while separate-but-familial brand Kia has come to the Big Apple with no less than four new models!  A special sporty variant of the all-new Sorento joins a new Forte five-door liftback, the all-new Magentis (dubbed Optima in the US) and this little crossover, the completely revised 2011 Sportage. 

You've come a long way baby!  To coin an old cigarette ad slogan, the Sportage has transformed from a once coughing and hacking (after a few years of service) rudimentary SUV in its formative first generation to a very good albeit homely crossover in its outgoing guise.  This week's introduction shows Kia's stylish new design language added to what appears to be an even better compact crossover than the current model. 

The new Sportage, which made its global debut at the Geneva auto show last month and made a sneak peak in Atlanta more recently, will get a new 176hp variable valve timing enhanced 2.4-litre four-cylinder that not only delivers better fuel economy than the outgoing 2.7-litre V6 but also boasts greater power and performance.  It comes mated to a standard six-speed manual or optional six-speed clutchless automatic, which is top-tier stuff for this class. 

Speaking of top-tier, the new Sportage will also get a particularly enticing turbocharged and direct-injected 2.0-litre four-cylinder capable of 274hp!  This not only bests the performance of any Sportage ever offered, but it blows the current class-leading Toyota RAV4 V6 out of the proverbial water too, and no doubt will tout better fuel-economy when these numbers are announced closer to the new crossover's date of availability later this year. 

The new Sportage will sport an impressive array of infotainment technology and premium-level luxury features, while delivering high-level safety features as standard.  Combining Kia's class-leading warranty and much improved dependability ratings with styling that is arguably best-in-class should result in strong sales for this already popular compact crossover.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Crossover, Kia, 2011, Sportage, $20,000 - $29,999,

Geographic location: New York

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