By on July 22, 2010

With Ford and Honda running away with the compact crossover segment, a tight pack of competitors is gathering around the 100k annual unit mark (graph after the jump). Hyundai has already thrown its redesigned Sorento into this fearsome battle with promising results so far (20k units YTD), but Kia’s Sportage has been battling in this segment since before it was cool. Literally. As far as we can tell, it’s the oldest continuously-sold compact CUV nameplate in the US market… which makes you wonder what a continuously-evolved Chevy Tracker might have become. Anyway, after years of Tracker-like neglect, Sportage is coming back with a fresh set of Peter Schreyer-tailored duds. Not to mention a direct-injection, turbocharged engine option (“270-plus horsepower” according to the press release), Bluetooth, and the UVO hands-free system (think SYNC). As you can imagine, the price has gone up some…

Available in three trims – Base, LX and EX – pricing for the dynamic compact CUV will begin at $18,295 for the base trim, offering standard convenience features, including air conditioning, power windows, door locks and mirrors, SIRIUS® Satellite Radio capabilities with three months complimentary service, MP3 connectivity and Bluetooth® wireless technology. LX will start at $20,295 and will include standard outside mirrors with LED turn signal indicators and privacy glass. Moving up to the EX trim level offers a beginning price of $23,295 with standard features such as 18-inch alloy wheels, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.

The crazy part? Adjusted for inflation, the $14,500 base MSRP of a 1995 Sportage actually comes out to $20,758 in 2010 dollars, meaning the base Sportage actually offers a of of inflation-adjusted value compared to its predecessors. But will it be enough to take on this brutal segment? Only time will tell…

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16 Comments on “2011 Sportage Priced Starting At $18,990...”

  • avatar

    Kia will proably kill in this segment, my perdiction is it will be in the top three for sales. I’ve already seen several in Gallup, NM where I live and the nearest Kia dealers are in Farmington and Albuquerque (130miles away.) I’ve been saying to friends that if the Buick GMC dealer wants something a little more “down-market” and budget minded to sell now that Pontiac is gone, they ought to pick up Kia. They’re so highly rated on their dealership experience I’d think about buying one from him. (Oh and I’ve noticed he’s picking up a little bit of everything from the auto auctions (for his used car lot) now that Pontiac is gone. Previously his used car lot was totally GM.)

  • avatar

    Wow! Another hit. Great style. Great equipment. Great value. This will be a segment buster. The Korean carmakers have done it again.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    “Hyundai has already thrown its redesigned Sorento”

    Tuscon. Sorento is Kia’s version of the Santa Fe.

  • avatar

    “which makes you wonder what a continuously-evolved Chevy Tracker might have become”

    Why wonder? you can see it in the current Suzuki Grand Vitara. It evolved quite nicely.

  • avatar

    270HP DI 2l turbo 4? With standard turbo torque numbers this thing could be a screamer.

    Still waiting for the 1st company with balls to take a platform like this strip the extra doors off, then put a truck bed back there and clean up in the non-existing mini-truck market. You know a Ford Ranger/Mazda B2200 sized hauler.

    • 0 avatar

      You’re pretty close to describing the Honda Ridgeline.

      Unibody pickup trucks are not going to sell in North America, not without a major shift in the way trucks are bought.

    • 0 avatar

      269 lb-ft of torque @ 1800-4500 rpm

      It’s more of a stump-puller than a screamer, at least in the Sonata application.

  • avatar

    No matter how good their product gets, until Kia cleans up their dealer network, they will not generate sales numbers that rival the big boys.

  • avatar

    While it might be a touch thickinthemiddle its 100% nicer than the Tucson.

  • avatar

    If I could only use one word to describe it…it would be “cuteasaurus”.

  • avatar

    Not to be too pedantic, but the original Sportage was really more of a SUV than a crossover. It was RWD and body on frame.

    I don’t see this taking a top three spot anytime soon, Kia’s dealer network is still tiny compared to Honda, Ford, or Toyota, and Kia still has a bit of the stigma that Hyundai has been effectively shedding. I am sure that Kia will sell plenty though, and this could introduce a lot of new customers to the brand.

  • avatar

    “LX will start at $20,295 and will include standard outside mirrors with LED turn signal indicators”

    Have the habits of American drivers has got so bad they’ll only install outside mirrors and turn signals for those who think they might use them once in a while ?

    • 0 avatar

      Not sure if you’re joking, but obviously, this sentence was meant to be parsed as “with LED turn signal indicators” being subordinate to the standard outside mirrors.

  • avatar

    The Sportage I rented a couple years ago holds the title as the worst vehicle I’ve ever driven. 270hp is hilariously too much power for this pig. That thing felt like it was about to rollover on curves taken under the speed limit. Combined with zero steering feel, I wouldn’t even think about going fast in that thing. I would like to imagine they fixed the handling, but with a narrow, short wheelbase and high center of gravity, I don’t think there’s much that can fix it. Plus the fumes coming off the cheap plastic interior were giving headaches to everyone in the car.

    • 0 avatar

      CUVs are not one of my favorites, but Hertz has been serving a lot of them up to me lately.

      I had one of the outgoing Sportage models as a rental for a few days, and I didn’t think it was too bad for an inexpensive CUV. Compared to the Saturn Outlook (another CUV I keep getting saddled with) it is a way nicer vehicle.

  • avatar

    I like this Sportage.

    I really liked the old, body-on-frame Sportage. It was crude, tippy, slow, but damn, I loved that little bugger.

    Kia’s one to watch. I believe the Hyundai influence has done nothing but good, and Kia will soon outclass Honda and Toyota with the younger folks and even some older folks alike. The cars are fun to look at and full of value. They are cool.

    I think Kia is positioned to woo the same crowd Mitsubishi attracted, earlier in the decade. If those folks have any credit, Kia will sell a bunch.

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