Kia Sportage SX turbo debuts in Montreal

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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Kia's Sportage might be the darling of the compact crossover segment when it comes to styling, but with 176-horsepower at a lofty 6,000 rpm and 168 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm from a 2.4-litre four-cylinder, it won't exactly challenge Toyota's V6-powered RAV4 off the line or, more practically, when pulling your boat home from the marina.

Kia's answer isn't a V6, as some might expect, but rather a version of the same turbocharged four-cylinder already in place under the sleek hood of parent company Hyundai's turbocharged Sonata 2.0T, and soon to be offered in Kia's Optima EX Turbo and SX (Optima trim levels are U.S.-specification and therefore may differ when introduced to Canada).

Despite less displacement at 2.0 litres, the twin-scroll turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder pushes out 274 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque with most of its power ranging from 1,800 to 3,000 rpm. Like the base engine, the turbo will come mated to Kia's segment-leading 6-speed automatic, unlike the RAV4 which continues to make do with a 4-speed autobox in base trim and a 5-speed unit when mated to the V6.

Fuel economy? Kia hasn't announced it yet, but the same engine in the Optima is good for a claimed 9.3 L/100km in the city and 5.8 on the highway.

The Sportage already won 2011 International Truck of the Year and that was without the turbocharged upgrade, so the 2011 Kia Sportage SX, as it is called, will make certain the honeymoon that auto scribes and new car buyers are currently experiencing with the little crossover will continue on into everlasting love.

The price of the Sportage SX will be less than many weddings too, at $36,995, and comes well fitted with standard features such as a UVO infotainment system with full connectivity, similar to the Ford Sync system.

Finally, the Sportage has some serious muscle to back up its sporty good looks.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Crossover, Kia, 2011, Sportage, $30,000 - $39,999, Turbocharger,

Geographic location: Montreal

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