Named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2011 Sportage crossover is the embodiment of Kia’s unparalleled commitment to passenger safety and security.
The IIHS’ Top Safety Pick designation isn’t casually granted, it’s arduously earned through superior engineering and painstaking testing. So, with its standard inclusion of stability control and advanced steering safety systems, as well as high scores in roof strength and front, side and rear government crash tests, Kia’s newest Sportage carries on the automaker’s tradition of creating some of the safest, and most desirable, new models on the road.
In base, LX and EX trims, the sleek and sophisticated 2011 Sportage (starting MSRP $18,295) has been engineered to maximize visibility and structural integrity. Kia’s crossover gets a lightweight, high-strength steel unibody backed by energy absorbing side-impact door beams and strengthened A and B pillars (the vertical supports connecting the vehicle’s body to its roof). Sportage’s commanding ride height is complemented by the superior visibility of standard projection headlamps, as well as available LED daytime running lights, heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals and front foglamps.
The Sportage gets a 176-hp four-cylinder engine and surrounds it with steering and safety systems designed to provide a smooth, comfortable ride with exceptional responsiveness and capability. LX and EX trims offer Kia’s optional full-time, electronically-control, on-demand Dynamax 4-Wheel Drive system, which, on rough or slippery surfaces, diverts power to the crossover’s rear wheels as needed. Sportage has a well-balanced stance set on available 18-inch alloy wheels. It features a MacPherson strut front, multi-link rear suspension setup with coilsprings and gas shock absorbers that delivers a smooth, surprisingly nimble driving experience.
To limit wheelspin and maximize traction, all Sportage trims come capably equipped with standard Electronic Stability Control and Traction Control (requisites for Top Safety Pick consideration). Kia also adds standard four-wheel antilock disc brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), (which keeps brake power balanced as vehicle loads change) and Brake Assist (BA), (which detects emergency braking and applies the crossover’s full brakeforce when needed). To keep you in control during steep declines and hill starts, the 2011 Sportage gets standard Downhill Brake Control (DBC) and Hill Assist Control (HAC).
The Sportage’s comfy insides are some of the safest and most technologically advanced in the segment. Enter its spacious, five-passenger cabin using Kia’s available Smart Key remote system, which allows you to open the doors and start the vehicle (using a pushbutton ignition) even if the key is buried at the bottom of your purse or pocket. Available heated and cooled leather seating provides an extra measure of comfort. All trims come with an integrated trip computer, and Bluetooth® hands-free communication and streaming audio systems with steering wheel-mounted controls are also standard.
All Sportage occupants are well protected. Front seats offer height adjustable seatbelts with pretensioners, as well as active, whiplash-mitigating head restraints. Backseats feature child seat anchors and tethers and child safety door locks. Sportage’s airbag protection includes crash severity-sensing dual front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags and rollover-detecting side-curtain airbags. For even greater confidence and security, backing it all is Kia’s industry-leading 10-year/100,000-mile Limited Powertrain Warranty.
With some of the most advanced standard safety features in its class, the 2011 Kia Sportage is the deserving recipient of the IIHS Top Safety Pick designation.