As Kia further emphasizes design while integrating exceptional value and quality, the award-winning Sportage receives a face lift for 2009. In its second generation, Sportage features a fresh, new exterior look and new contemporary technological features on the interior. Not only does the 2009 Sportage offer exciting design and technological advancements, but fuel economy also has improved. The 2009 Sportage builds off of the award-winning 2008 Sportage, named Cars.com's "Best Bang for the Buck."
Improved Fuel Economy and Drivability
Two engines are offered with Sportage, a five-speed manual or four-speed Sportmatic™ transmission, and the choice of either two-wheel or full-time four-wheel drive. The 2.0-liter, 16-valve four-cylinder engine uses Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) to boost performance, enhance fuel economy and reduce emissions at low- and mid-range rpm. The engine generates 140 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 136 pound-feet of torque at 4,500 rpm, giving Sportage competitive power for its class.
For more enhanced performance, a more powerful V6 engine is available for LX, standard for EX models, which is mated to a four-speed Sportmatic transmission. The lightweight and compact DOHC 24-valve, all-aluminum 2.7-liter engine generates 173 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 178 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm.
Fully independent suspension systems in the front and rear are designed to deliver responsive on-road handling and a comfortable ride on a variety of road surfaces, while retaining long wheel travel and a genuine talent to perform with true off-road ability.
Sleek and Fresh Exterior
With its new face lift, Sportage's exterior represents elements of Kia Motors' new design direction. The attractive new grille design along with newly conceived headlamps and fog lights create a more modern appearance. Front and rear bumpers matching the body color add to the sleek, new look. Rounding out the new design are all-new alloy wheel features. These redesigned wheels have slick and fun styling and are found under a newly designed sweeping wheel arch. The 16-inch 215/65R16 alloy wheels come standard on all four-cylinder models, while V6 models receive new 16-inch 235/60R16 alloy wheels. For a more rugged look and for the first time ever, new 17-inch 235/55R17 alloy wheels are available with the Sport Package on LX V6 models.
The 2009 Sportage has a smooth demeanor with its exterior styling that includes multi-reflector headlamps, roof rails, front and rear towing hooks and a front-end skid plate, standard on all LX models. In addition to receiving the V6 engine with automatic transmission, upgrading to the EX model includes a power-operated, one-touch sunroof, fog lights and heated outside mirrors.
Opting for a Sport Package, available on LX V6 models, adds distinctive features including fog lights, leather steering wheel and shift knob, rear spoiler, rear cargo cover and the brand-new 17-inch alloy wheels.
Spacious and Entertaining on the Inside
The interior of the 2009 Sportage offers new features for the tech-savvy driver. Along with nearly all 2009 Kia vehicles, Sportage comes equipped with standard SIRIUS Satellite Radio capabilities with three months of complimentary service . Further extending its audio appeal, auxiliary and USB jacks come standard with MP3 playback capabilities while iPod™ integration through the head unit is available with an optional iPod cable. Not only has the audio platform advanced, but those looking for a little help getting from here to there can find solace with an optional navigational system, also new for Sportage this year. The newly appointed center fascia helps deliver an entertaining and stylish driving experience.
Sportage still boasts an incredibly roomy ride, comfortably fitting up to five adults and a wide variety of cargo with its innovative easy-to-use "Drop & Fold" rear seat. Utilizing a 60/40-split cushion and backrest that allows the bottom cushion to move forward and down into the rear footwell area, it also allows the seat backrest to be folded completely flat and onto the same level as the trunk floor. This easy-to-perform operation can even be executed without removing the rear head restraints.
The "Drop & Fold" rear seat gives Sportage users a large number of seating and luggage carrying combinations. With all seats occupied, Sportage can carry three sets of golf clubs in the load area, with a maximum cargo volume of 66.6 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded flat.
Access to Sportage's cabin is particularly easy, with large, wide-opening doors and generous legroom – 42.1 inches in the front and 37.2 inches in the rear. Front headroom is 40.7 inches, while rear headroom is 39.4 inches. In addition to its sheer volume, convenience benefits offered by the load area include: a rear-cargo under-floor tray (above the spare wheel), four tie-down anchors in the floor, side-wall storage with net, and a two-position rear cargo cover (only on Sport and EX models).
Sportage also offers a wide range of storage compartments, including a large center console, large lockable glove box, overhead sunglasses holder, map and cup holders in all four doors and rear seat central armrest with cup holders.
The LX model is loaded with standard equipment, offering power windows with a driver's one-touch down feature, power mirrors, rear privacy glass, roof rails, and a six-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system. Cruise control also comes standard on all models. Upgrading to an EX model will add a leather-covered shift knob and steering wheel, sunroof, floor mats, a cargo cover and upgraded seat fabric.
The EX also offers a Luxury Package, which includes leather seats and interior trim, heated front seats, automatic headlamps, electrochromatic interior mirror with HomeLink® and an upgraded audio system complete with subwoofer and external amplifier. The leather seats and trim also are available as a stand-alone option for the EX model.
Safety Remains Solid
Appealing to those looking for a sleek, value-laden vehicle that time after time exceeds safety expectations, Sportage earned a five-star crash safety rating in frontal and side impact crash tests from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2007 and 2008 . Its long list of standard safety features includes: six standard airbags (two advanced front airbags, two front-seat-mounted side airbags, and two full-length side-curtain airbags); traction control system (TCS); electronic stability control (ESC); and four-wheel disc brakes with a four-channel, four-sensor antilock brake system (ABS).
The ABS incorporates electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD), which helps distribute braking force evenly to all four wheels as weight shifts during cornering. The standard traction control is a fully automatic, dual-mode system that either reduces engine power or applies the vehicle's brakes – or both – when appropriate.