Since debuting in summer 2010, the stylish and powerful Sportage compact crossover has received tremendous praise and experienced remarkable growth – sales more than tripled in the year following its launch – and Kia's venerable CUV was selected as the 2011 "International Truck of the Year" by International Car of the Year (ICOTY) jurors. For 2012, Sportage offers increased levels of refinement and comfort and new available in-car infotainment technology along with its world-class design, fun-to-drive performance and class-leading fuel economy. In keeping with Kia's commitment to safety, the Sportage offers an impressive roster of standard safety equipment and has been recognized as a 2011 "Top Safety Pick" by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Building on the Sportage's already successful foundation, the 2012 model adds numerous enhancements designed to improve performance, fuel efficiency and comfort. Leveraging existing gasoline direct injection (GDI) technology, fuel economy for 2012 Sportage models equipped with a fuel-sipping 2.4-liter engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission improves by one mile per gallon (mpg) on the highway while SX models equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged GDI engine maintain their class-leading fuel economy ratings and achieve up to two additional mpg on the highway.
Moving inside, the 2012 Sportage also raises the bar with the introduction of Kia's new UVO powered by Microsoft® voice-activated infotainment system based on the Windows Embedded Automotive platform. UVO improves connectivity, convenience and safety by enabling drivers and passengers to answer and place phone calls, access music from a variety of media sources and create custom music experiences all with voice-activation. UVO is standard on Sportage EX and SX models.
To reduce cabin noise, vibration and harshness and improve driving dynamics all 2012 Sportage models feature new rear dynamic suspension dampers, increased floor insulation and standard high-performance dampers on EX models. LX trims also receive new standard 17-inch wheels and low-rolling-resistance tires.
Also new for 2012 – and standard on Sportage EX trims with cloth seating – is a Clean Tex™ treatment that provides anti-bacterial, anti-soil and anti-static properties to the seat fabric for added durability and livability, an available low washer fluid warning indicator (with Supervision™ meter cluster), standard floor console and cup holder rubber mat, and available folding key for keyless entry-equipped vehicles.
Compelling Exterior Design
Available in four trims – base, LX, EX and SX – the 2012 Kia Sportage offers a high beltline, sweeping angles and more pronounced wheel flares than its predecessor, while the team at Kia's U.S.-based design center in Irvine, Calif., aimed to convey an even more determined road presence within Sportage's compact size by emphasizing its aggressive, hunkered-down position. The full-sectioned body, defined by a spearing shoulder line throughout the length of the car, helps to visually connect the headlamps and tail lights. The crispness of this line, together with its lowered body, offers a distinct sense of precision while the pronounced C pillar conveys an air of solidity and balance when viewed from the side.
Drawing generously from the distinct styling elements of the Kue concept vehicle, the Sportage's front end proudly displays the face of Kia with the brand's signature tabbed grille and dramatic swept back headlamps. The dynamically sculpted hood, framed by a distinctive windshield design, adds to Sportage's fresh appeal. The rear view offers a clean and contemporary look with dynamic tail lights set within the rear lift gate.
Starting with the base trim, Sportage offers numerous standard exterior features, including 16-inch alloy wheels matched with 215/70R16 low-rolling-resistance silica tires, body-color door handles, body-color and electronically adjustable side mirrors and a six-speed manual transmission. Moving to the LX adds standard 17-inch alloy wheels, LED turn signals on the outside mirrors, keyless entry with folding key, six-speed electronically controlled Sportmatic™ automatic transmission, solar glass, and privacy glass. The popularly equipped EX trim offers stylish 18-inch alloy wheels mated with 235/55R18 tires, high performance dampers, LED daytime running lights, roof rails, a rear spoiler, fog lamps and chrome body trim and door handles. The top-of-the-line Sportage SX adds a powerful yet fuel-efficient 2.0-liter turbocharged GDI engine producing 260-horsepower, unique 18-inch allow wheels, dual exhaust, sculpted side sill moldings and unique SX grille.
Functional, Engaging Interior Space
The sleek exterior design of the Sportage flows seamlessly into the interior, creating an inviting and comfortable environment with a host of convenience and technology features. With the signature three-gauge instrument cluster set prominently within the dash, Sportage's interior exudes contemporary design and an upgraded driving experience.
An impressive list of technology features come standard on the 2012 Sportage, including an AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sat audio system with available SiriusXM™ Satellite Radio with three months complimentary service, standard auxiliary and USB audio input jacks with MP3 capability, Bluetooth® hands-free phone and streaming audio connectivity with steering wheel-mounted voice activation controls to enable hands-free operation for compatible mobile phones. All Sportage models feature a long list of standard convenience features including air conditioning, power windows with one-touch down functionality, electronically adjustable side mirrors, 12-volt power outlets in the passenger and cargo compartments, tilt-adjustable steering wheel, and six-way adjustable front seats. Stylishly appointed cloth seats come standard and provide comfortable seating while 60/40 split-folding rear seats effortlessly accommodate driver and passenger cargo needs.
The popular EX trim raises the level of refinement and convenience for Sportage owners with standard UVO powered by Microsoft®. Additional standard EX features include premium audio with an external amplifier and sub-woofer, HD Radio®, rearview back-up camera, back-up warning system, fully automatic dual-zone temperature control air-conditioner with ionized filtration, a power driver's seat with lumbar support for additional comfort and support, automatic headlamp system, automatic folding second row seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, telescopic steering wheel, illuminated vanity mirrors, and illuminated and cooled glove box. EX trim levels come equipped with an active EcoMinder™ indicator for optimal fuel-efficient driving.
The most powerful of Kia's compact CUVs, the Sportage SX model adds even more driving excitement and modern amenities. In addition to a powerful and efficient 2.0-liter turbocharged GDI engine under the hood, SX models offer standard push button start with Smart Key, aluminum scuff plates providing a more upscale feel, leather seating, and an innovative Supervision gauge cluster.
Available upgrades and options for the LX trim include, navigation with SiriusXM Traffic™ data, backup warning system and rearview back-up camera, heated side mirrors, a cooled glove box, telescopic steering wheel, roof rails, a rear spoiler, and premium audio with an external amplifier and sub-woofer.
Sportage EX models can be further enhanced with an available Premium Package encompassing such features as leather-trimmed seats, heated front seats, an air-cooled driver's seat, push button start with Smart Key, back-up warning system and rearview back-up camera, heated side mirrors, auto dimming mirror with Homelink®, cargo cover, navigation with SiriusXM Traffic data, and a panoramic sunroof.
Moving up to the SX trim, consumers can opt for a number of available features, including heated front seats, air-cooled driver's seat, panoramic sunroof, cargo cover, heated mirrors, and navigation with SiriusXM Traffic.
Advanced Platform and Improved Comfort
Completely redesigned for the 2011 model year to be longer, lower and wider than the previous generation vehicle, Sportage's design and dimensions (overall length: 174.8 inches; overall width: 73 inches; wheelbase: 103.9 inches) contribute to great driver visibility and the CUV's outstanding handling characteristics. Built on a unibody platform, Sportage employs independent front and rear suspension systems with MacPherson high performance struts in the front fine-tuned to improve driving feel and stability, while new side-load coil springs reduce friction. A multi-link rear suspension system featuring new high performance dampers and coil springs are mounted separately to minimize cabin intrusion and enhance Sportage's handling characteristics.
With the addition of new rear suspension dynamic dampers, the 2012 Sportage adds increased floor insulation to existing NVH reduction measures already in place. The advanced suspension design provides a comfortable ride while also offering dynamic handling characteristics and increased responsiveness. Both the front and rear suspension systems are mounted on a lightweight hydro-formed subframe, to help isolate the occupants from irregularities in the road surface while the increased use of high tensile strength steel helps to reduce vehicle weight, improve stability and reduce vibration.
Dynamic Powertrains Offering Power and Class-Leading Fuel Efficiency
For 2012, Kia continues to build on an already capable lineup of powertrains available for the Sportage by improving fuel efficiency and adding more fun-to-drive performance. An efficient 2.4-liter DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder engine with Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) – standard on base, LX and EX trims – offers 176 horsepower and has been tuned to deliver a one mpg improvement on the highway over 2011 models when equipped with front-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission. A standard 2.0-liter turbocharged GDI engine is available on SX models offering more power (260 horsepower) and improved fuel economy of up to a class-leading 29 mpg on the highway (a two mpg improvement over the 2011 model).
Offered with either front-wheel drive (FWD) or a Dynamax™ all-wheel drive (AWD) configuration (optional for the LX, EX and SX trims), Sportage offers a variety of drivetrain options to meet consumer needs. Kia's efficient electronically controlled Sportmatic six-speed automatic transmission – a proprietary design – was engineered and built specifically for Kia vehicles and is designed to maximize fuel efficiency while maintaining high-levels of performance. All automatics feature Sportmatic clutchless shifting.
The Sportage's Dynamax AWD system, co-developed by Kia Motors Corporation and Magna International, Inc., uses vehicle speed and traction control sensors and driver input to continuously monitor driving conditions, allowing the system to better anticipate AWD system requirements, compared to other AWD systems that only react to conditions after they occur. This offers drivers the benefits of improved lateral stability while cornering as well as reducing wheel slippage to the front and rear axles. Aimed at achieving increased torque and improved performance on varied surfaces, Dynamax offers true AWD for drivers who want an exciting driving experience with enhanced performance.
Sportage's AWD design delivers 100 percent of engine torque to the front wheels during normal driving conditions, enhancing fuel economy, and immediately transfers the appropriate percentage of power and torque to the rear axle when wheel slippage is detected, helping to maintain forward momentum. For enhanced stability when driving in slippery conditions, such as rain, snow, mud, unpaved roads or off-road, the driver can manually select the "Lock Mode," distributing torque evenly between front and rear axles up to 25 mph.
Advanced Safety Features
The 2012 Sportage is equipped with an impressive array of standard safety equipment. All trims come outfitted with driver and passenger advanced front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, first and second row side curtain airbags, front active headrests, four-wheel Antilock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD). Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) and Downhill Brake Control (DBC) also come standard on all models, the former assisting in preventing the vehicle from rolling backward when trying to pull away from an uphill gradient, while the latter helps keep the vehicle moving straight and steady down steep grades.