Produced by Kia Motors, the Kia Sportage is known for having high-quality features and a relatively low price. This SUV had some major flaws early in its history, and was even temporarily discontinued, but it has since overcome these obstacles in order to achieve some popularity, as well as decent reviews. However, there have been complaints regarding the handling and the stiffness of the seats.
The Sportage is a four-door vehicle that can seat up to five people. This vehicle comes equipped with a four-cylinder engine and is capable of producing 176 to 260 horsepower, depending on the trim level. It can tow up to 2,000 pounds. The Kia Sportage has a 14.5 gallon fuel tank and pretty good fuel economy. It is rated for 21 to 22 city miles per gallon and 25 to 31 highway miles per gallon of fuel. The Kia Sportage is currently assembled in multiple plants depending on which market the specific model will be sold. For example, European models are produced in Zilina, Slovakia.
The Kia Sportage was first released in 1993, although it was not introduced in the United States until 1995. The early models were available as either a four-door, compact SUV or a two-door convertible. These first generation models had two recalls due to safety issues and several design flaws. Probably the worst flaw was that an axle could come loose and dismount at high speeds. This SUV was not sold from 2002 to 2004. In 2005, the second-generation Kia Sportage was released. These models were larger than their predecessors and had several improvements, but they did not offer the same off-road capabilities as the first generation. The 2011 model began the third generation of the Sportage and offers a crossover design, rather than that of a standard SUV.
This SUV is available with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. All trims can also be purchased as a front-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicle. There are four total trim levels. These are the Base, LX, EX and SX. The Base model has the manual transmission, while the others have the automatic. This entry-level model does have some decent features, such as bluetooth and a CD/MP3 player. The LX adds a few extras, such as keyless-entry and tinted rear windows. The Kia Sportage EX has chrome accents, a rear spoiler and automatic climate control. The SX has more horsepower and some enhancements to the appearance of the vehicle, as well as a few other features.
The Kia Sportage has earned quite a few awards. In 2011, it was recognized as the International Truck of the Year. It was also awarded the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick" for the second consecutive year.
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