2011 Kia Sportage SX Turbo Preview

March 4, 2011

It's been coming for months now, but it has finally arrived: the turbocharged version of the 2011 Kia Sportage. Adding some pep and solid fuel economy to the Sportage range, the SX still features Kia's bargain pricing.

Starting at $25,795 for the front-wheel drive model and $27,295 for all-wheel drive, the Sportage SX gets its power from a Theta II 2.0-liter turbocharged direct-injection four-cylinder engine. Rated at 256 horsepower and 264 pound-feet of torque while managing 27 mpg on the highway, Kia says it's t he most efficient turbo crossover on the market.

Unique styling aspects that help identify the SX models include special 18-inch alloy wheels, an SX-exclusive grille, dual exhaust, and revised side-sill moldings. A sport-tuned suspension upgrades the handling to make the most of the added power.

Inside the cabin, the SX gets a few upgrades, as well: aluminum door sills and a new "supervision" gauge cluster. Orange and blue interior trim packages area also available only on the Sportage SX, with the orange package adding stitching to the steering wheel, seats, and center console, plus orange accents on the door panels and air vents. The blue package adds patterned blue cloth seats and other blue interior accents.

A twin-scroll turbocharger reduces turbo lag and improves low-end power in the SX, which despite the added power is only a bit less fuel efficient than the standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder found in the Sportage LX and EX. That engine, rated at 176 horsepower, is good for 22 mpg city and 31 mpg highway.

The Sportage SX will arrive in dealerships later this month.

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