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2011 Kia Sportage: First Pics, Preview Info Ahead Of Geneva

February 3, 2010
2011 Kia Sportage

2011 Kia Sportage

2011 Kia Sportage

2011 Kia Sportage

Kia has shown us the first pictures of the U.S.-spec 2011 Kia Sportage, several weeks ahead of its March 2 premiere at the Geneva auto show.

The new 2011 Kia Sportage, which will share its platform with the 2011 Hyundai Tucson, will have a longer wheelbase, more interior and cargo space, and an improved ride.

The face of the 2011 Kia Sportage (shown in U.S. spec in the pictures to the right) is becoming familiar; its bold, swept-back look and styling cues compare to those of the recently introduced Kia Forte, Forte Koup, and Kia Soul, as well as in the recently introduced 2010 Kia Sorento, though in the Sportage it's even more flamboyant, with the lower air dam pinched upward (at least visually) in the middle. From the side, its silhouette looks to be a more abbreviated, aggressive take on the stance and cues of the Sorento. The Sportage has a pronounced shoulder crease that runs from the edge of the headlights all the way to the taillights. "Fresh, bold, athletic and sporty" is how Kia describes the design, with a "commanding driving position and heightened sense of security."

Also of note to design connoisseurs: the nice, clean line running from the rear window down through the door edge and into the wheel well, and the carved-out sill area that flares out only to fade into the rear wheel well. And the wheels; just as with its 2010 Kia Forte Koup, Kia has chosen a very distinctive wheel design.

Overall, the new Sportage looks like it will be a huge leap ahead. The outgoing Sportage was first introduced for 2005. gives the 2010 Kia Sportage an overall score of 6.6 out of 10 versus other vehicles in its class, with likes including its carlike dynamics, overall practicality, and strong overall value, including strong warranty coverage. Dislikes include its old-tech four-speed automatic transmission, weak 173-horsepower V-6, and dated styling.

Kia's very brief preview release falls short on powertrain and mechanical information. But we know that the 2011 Kia Sportage is expected to share some underpinnings with the 2011 Hyundai Tucson. A direct-injection, four-cylinder engine with six-speed manual and automatic transmissions are expected for the U.S. market, with front- or all-wheel drive versions.

For an additional sneak peek, you'll also want to check out these teaser pics of the Euro-spec version.
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