The Kia Sportage is a compact sport utility vehicle that is very popular with those who want the advantages of an SUV, but with better gas mileage and a lower sticker price. Kia is the newcomer in the American automobile market, but is outperforming many of the big guys and it's only been here for 14 years.
In 1991, Kia first announced that it was breaking into the American car marketplace and one of the cars they would be selling was the Kia Sportage. In 1993, the Sportage was launched in the company's existing markets. In 1995, it was introduced in the 1-year-old American market and was for sale there the following year. In 1998, changes were made to the Sportage models, and it became available in a 2-door convertible version.
The vehicle was not sold from 2002 to 2004 because the original version did not enjoy good sales and had safety issues that necessitated 2 recalls. In 2004, a second generation of the Sportage was introduced and it went on sale for the 2005 model year. This new version of the Sportage is significantly larger than the original version, about the same size as the Mitsubishi Outlander, but at a lower cost. The old one was a mini-SUV while the new one is now classed as a compact crossover SUV. The 2-door convertible is no longer available.
The Sportage is offered in both a 4-cylinder and a V-6 model. Both models are available in on-demand 4 wheel drive. It offers a smooth ride and is quieter than before. The vehicle has become the first crossover SUV for Kia. It is no longer an off-road vehicle or as powerful as other compact SUVs, but it makes up for it with other assets, such as quality for the price.
The new Kia Sportage has great safety features such as 6 airbags, including side curtain airbags and anti-lock brakes on all 4 wheels. There are also a variety of other standard safety features on all Sportage models like traction control, electronic stability, side impact door beams and tire pressure monitoring. In safety testing, this versatile Kia got a 5-star rating.
Sportage has been never been as popular as it is now. The SUV has great fuel efficiency at 25 miles per gallon or less. It is very affordable with its top of the line model being under $25,000. The base model starts around $16,700 and the 2009 4-cylinder offers 173 horsepower.
The car has received tons of awards and made numerous best-of lists. However, one thing that contributes to making it a great choice, apart from its affordable price, is its generous 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty. For anyone who is looking for an unbeatable deal in an SUV, the Kia Sportage is a popular choice.