So we got a 2011 Kia Sportage

So we got a 2011 Kia Sportage


Kia has come such a long way in such a short time. Once the maker of unreliable tin cans that wouldn’t sell even though cheap, now they are among the best carmakers in the business, with class-leading build quality, ground-breaking styling and still keeping it all relatively cheap. Their bestseller in the UAE is obviously the Kia Sportage. Out since late last year, the 2011 model is already a common sight on Dubai roads. So when we picked up this white tester, we knew we weren’t going to come up with a convincing review. Many people were already convinced.

The new-for-2011 Kia Sportage is a sharp-looking crossover, although not the most macho, given its intentional shorter-than-average size. Ours is obviously a mid-range model at best, with a 2.4-litre engine, fog lamps and alloy wheels at least.

The rear looks very premium. Being a product of a former Audi designer has its advantages.

Unfortunately, the interior is a complete hard-plastic tub. We can’t complain because even Honda and Toyota are guilty of this, but Kia goes the extra mile, backwards, by making the plastics shiny and deleting the door padding. But we believe you at least get some of the padding back in the higher-trim model.

Of course, that hasn’t deterred numerous buyers, as all they’re after is space, and the front provides plenty of that. The driving position is a bit awkward though, as the steering-wheel adjustment tilts but does not telescope.

Rear legroom is very good, but the upright seating position and low roof means six-footers will have their heads near the ceiling.

Cargo room is just about adequate to be useful, sort of like a large hatchback. Volume is obviously not as abundant as in a CR-V or a RAV4 because the Sportage is a smaller vehicle. The rear seats fold down.

The Kia Sportage is a very stunning effort, even if built to a budget. A quick look at every panel gap reveals attention to detail and tight tolerances that people would expect from Japanese vehicles. The Americans are getting all the hype nowadays for their “improved” build quality, but the truth is, the Koreans are miles ahead of them already. All that and the drive turned out to be pretty good too. More in the full review.

What do you think?

*

Comments

  1. Unbeatable exterior looks.

  2. too much in too little for too little…

  3. I sat in one when looking for a crossover and those windows make it seem like you’re sitting in a prison cell imo…yeah otherwise they’ve done a good job on the exterior

  4. kia sportage 2011 is a beutiful car and the top spec is awesome for the money….
    but it is still loosing a lot of buyers because of non availability of the required specs in the dealership….
    i wanted one but after driving the hyundai sonata 2011 i changed my mind from a crossover to a sedan…the top spec hyundai sonata has all that i could ask for…though not comparing it to the sportage which is a different category…i wish the car all the best

  5. @Mash: This is basic option dude. i have checked all model in the showroom.

    besides that they are loosing customers now a days bcoz of their lack of all options. my friend wanted to buy the top-middle option (no 1 except nav & ventilated seat) and he paid advance but they said it will take 2-3 month for that model!!! who will wait for a car for 3 months???

    btw @Mash: i am thinking to buy Sorento. do you have any plan for review?

  6. if u [ay attention……..u will notice that they use the same rear lights for the cadenza too! 😛

  7. if ever an alien has to come to Planet Earth and have to drive a car, then definitely he’ll be buying one of these funky looking Kia cars:)

    this has got, as one of the reader said, “unbeatable exterior.”

    and i see what you mean by “awkward driving position..” its evident from the images that to drive it would feel like toddling around in a lorry with you sitting up high and the steering a bit lower:)

    • Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury Author

      Actually I made the seat high 🙂 The real issue is that the steering cannot be adjusted front and back.

  8. Hey Mash… Looking for a comparison test of 2011 Tucson and Sportage…

  9. This KIA sportage is really great and awesome,But my only issue is the tall people and six-footers will have their heads near in the ceiling of the car

  10. i just bought this car recently a 2.4l AWD for AED 71,000…..

    @mash

    although they have the same engine and gear box you will notice, the driving position and handling superior to the Tucson..

  11. Price as as follows

    Basic = AED 65k 2.0L (dont buy it is like a lawn mower)

    Mid = AED 71k 2.4L 4×4- good power, quiet ride and smooth transmission

    Mid top = AED 83k 4×4 leather, sunroof, rear camera, 18 inch allow (all useless stuff)

    tip = 91k (all aboved plus push button start and traction control, dual AC and plus some other toys)

  12. Hey Brado when are you going to rechristen yourself to Bortage ?

  13. when you attend school….

  14. I was in the showroom a couple of months ago, seriously have decided to get one for my wife. I completely changed my mind when the salesman told me that the top specifications that they have lacks blue tooth and navigation. I said why should I pay 72K Dirhams for a Kia which does not have even a blue tooth which I consider something basic in the 2011 year.

    • You’re right. Just the other day I did not buy a bike because it also did not have bluetooth. What were they thinking?

  15. 72k gets you what SUv?? they really have competition here.,,,,

    a CRV cost 120k a well equipped model i.e.

    @lucky

    lol……………

    • Those Jap dealers are confidently greedy.. I can stick a Toyota badge on a 1985 Lada and sell it for AED 100K and someone will buy it here.. Too much hype and blind insanity..

  16. yup e.g toyota fortuner a indonesia made bouncing buggy cost now 120k also (top range)

    my plan is to sell this KIA after 5 years and put a toyota badge on it…

  17. Kia’s hiring of Audi’s design chief, Peter Schreyer, is a sign of things to come for Europeon and Japanese automakers; you are going to see much slip through your fingers at the hands of the Koreans. They are no longer in the rearview mirror. You can see them out your windshield. Hyundai/Kia is simply astounding here in Canada with product and growth. Hyundai is #1 in car sales.

  18. Guys im planning to have an SUV and i am choosing between Kia Sportage and Nissan X-Trail. Can you share your thoughts on it to help me decide which way to go.

  19. err….no

    Kia advantage

    – low maintainance cost
    – better bolstered seats
    – better looks
    – more athetic drive,
    – six gears
    – better interior design and a cool start up lighting
    – cheaper than almost all rivals by big a margin

    X trail

    – much better dealer
    – better cargo space
    – better brand

  20. when the final review will come out?? waiiiitngg

  21. then waiting for all newer cars review also 🙂

  22. Ok i have clocked 4000 km on the sportage so far

    so far here are my observations

    Fuel economy
    The best i could managed was 420km, my buddies’ CRV managed 460km on mixed driving conditions

    Engine
    Refinement is ok, but feels less refined than the CRV, but at AED 50k price who cares?

    Driving impressions
    Quiet, smooth and composed, ride is not too hard and too soft, just right. Steering feels artifical though. Much quiter than the CRV

    Hard plastics
    Was a source of annoyance for me but i got used to it and feels ok, CRV’s plastics are better.

    Comfort/AC
    A real suprise, it takes less than 2 minutes to blow cold air starting from 40+ degrees in the sun, among the best i say at Toyota;s level

    Over all i am quite happy with the Sportage everything feels tight and composed, the only thing that conerns me is how long will it hold up?

    only time will tell

  23. when will the full review come?

  24. This car is simply amazing.

  25. THE AC COOLS VERY FAST ON THIS CAR.

  26. MY OFFICEMATE SAID MY CAR(KIA SPORTAGE) IS BETTER THAN HER RAV4. AT LEAST VALUE FOR MONEYWISE. AND YEAH IT IS BETTER LOOKING.

  27. i agree ac is very good on this vehicle

  28. FULL TANK GOES 445 KMS. NOT BAD AT ALL. LOVING THIS VEHICLE.

  29. THIS CAR WAS VOTED “CAR OF THE YEAR” IN CANADA.

  30. KIA IS REALLY MAKING NICE CARS NOW. THIS CAR IS AWESOME.

  31. There was sort of a disbelief that KIA was able to make a stunning car like this. BUT SERIOUSLY, this is undeniably the best looking compact SUV out there. CRV is so grandmother, RAV4 is boring, X-trail is like a box, Escape is so 80’s. and there even priced high. It might be hard to swallow now, but I think KIA is really making other manufacturers nervous.

  32. BEST LOOKING, BEST VALUE, TOP SAFETY PICK IN US, CAR OF THE YEAR IN CANADA AND AUSTRALIA…PETER SCHREYER HEAD DESIGNER OF KIA…MORE SURPRISES TO COME. I’VE READ IT IS NOMINATED AS BEST COMPACT SUV IN UAE, I BET IT WILL WIN EASILY.

  33. crossed 8000km no problems to report so far servicing this thing is cheap. Eveything is holding up pretty well.

    20k service costs me AED 1050 including brake pads, sparkplugs, etc…

  34. @ PRADO TLC:
    Tell me more of your sportage…its best to get reliable info from an owner. I’ve been scouting for two months now and it looks to me, this sportage is my top pick. IT REALLY LOOKS COOL! I’m almost about there in saving 20% for downpayment the bank is asking. I’m excited.

  35. i like it but this car has a lot of blind spots 🙂

  36. All car have blind spots, that’s a given. You need to be an alert driver. This one is equipped with rear view camera at least even on the lower trims.

  37. @zela

    I also choose sportage after much research. the one i have is a 2.4L , the same as the one Mash is reviewing. Do not go for the 2.0 it is very underpowered as the vehicle is relatively heavy.

    the only down side is when reversing. it;s “C” pillars while giving it excellent looks you pay a penatly when reversing. On the plus side the AED 84k version with leather and other goodies has a rear camera.

    the version i purchased is the Aed 70k one. it has 2.4 with AWD. i planning to install rear senors to offset the blind spot issues.

    now for the plus side

    – quiet ride even at high speeds
    – stable
    – good handling ability
    – 420-440 on a full tank 50 litres
    – AC is very good but you would need to tint as the cabin space is large
    – seat comfort nearly excellent, great back support good for long rides you wont get tired

    but most important i suggest you test drive before you buy. My own experince is that it drives better than rav 4, Nissan X trail, except the CRV or the Subaru forester.

    CRV = for me failed only bcos it price tage was AED 110k…other wise the finish and engine refinement, and luggage space was superior

    Subaru = superior to the KIA except in looks and resale. Yup the sportage will have buyers buy the subaru dispite being superior machine wont. Plus it starts at AED 86k

    In short the KIA made the most sense and so far i have no real complaints + plus a 5 year warranty i am not bothered about it;s survivability. After more than 4 months of ownership the car is holding it self very well with no sign of “loosing” up.

  38. thank great info. i’m selling my old rav4 to buy a sportage. never remembered anyone saying it has good looks even when it was new.

  39. more gadgets for less in this car. i hope other manufacturer’s follow suit. i’m driving a crv because its more reliable (as they say) but this sportage just takes my breath away.

  40. WOW some pretty satisfied and convinced people here. Kia is some contender in the market huh. no longer underdogs.

  41. yup earlier

    KIA = Killed in Action

    now

    KIA = Killer in Action 🙂

  42. I just bought a kia sportage…I’m so happy so much value for money….free insurance and maintenance 1 year, 5 year warranty….it has 2 sunroof with reverse camera and sensors for 71K.

  43. For all those who were not able to buy the Sportage cause its out of stock in dubai (dealer told me two months to wait!), buy it in Abu Dhabi, i just got mine there after a tip. But hurry they are will soon ran out of stock. This car is HOT.

  44. Hi All,

    Very good reports! I am intereted in buying the Sportage but I still trying to get some info about installing a towbar to pull a trailler. I called KIA Service but looks like they have no idea of what I am looking for. I am scared about the bad customer service provided by the KIA UAE. any comments are apperciate.

  45. any one tell the basic price for 2012 model, (4*4) and options cost in Saudi Arabia and UAE

  46. Is the Kia Sportage any use for off road driving in Dubai? Will it take you any places that an ordinary sedan couldn’t?

    Thinking of buying one, but don’t know if it will give us any more options than a sedan.

    • Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury Author

      If you buy a 4×4 model, you can go to the beach and drive in the rain. That’s the extent of the benefits over a sedan.

  47. thanks for the tip

  48. I just got the 2.0L 2012 base model. The engine power is pretty decent. I didn’t took the 2.4L model ‘coz my work is basically more at city driving. I’m very impressed with the build quality of Kia Sportage. For just 67K AED, you’ll get most features what other higher models have to offer. Great design. Very sporty look. And sexy. 🙂 So for those who are looking for SUV on budget, but packed with features and decent build quality, I highly recommend Kia Sportage.

  49. CAN ANYONE TELL ME THAT IS THERE MORE DIFFERENCE IN 2.4 OR 2.0 ACTULLY THERE IS SHORTAGE OF 2.4 MODEL WITH DEALER SO CAN I GO WITH 2.0 HERE IN DUBAI.
    IS IT GOOD FOR HIGHWAY DRIVING GOOD AC,, PLEASE ANSWERS SO THAT I WILL TAKE MY DECISION..

  50. go for the 2.4l, it is a much better performer… 2.0l is underpowered,as it is a fairly heavy vehicle.

    AC is good however you will need to tint the car with a good quality film, and go for a lighter color.

  51. Prado as I am not getting 2.4 in market there is shortage so can i go ahead and get 2.0 is it worthfull buying.
    Or i can wait for atleat 2 months for 2.4
    Please suggest

  52. i believe it better to wait for the 2.4l. the 2.0 is really underpowered, my colleagues bought itand then realised the error… the 2.4l can cruize even at 160km/h with out the engine working over time….

    one of the reason it being relatively “heavy” is that it sound insoluation material used is good so it is almost as quiet as a camry.

    PS I waited 3 months for mine.

  53. every where i go i see this sportage. its like camry. it has become a people’s car.

    • yes but unlike the camry where is cost AED 350+ for a normal service, the sportage only cost AED 180….

      granted the camry has better gas milage but then again it doesnt have AWD or the ground clearance of the sportage…or the extra weight

  54. Is it possible to fit xenon lights of a 2012 Kia Sportage Headlights on a 2010 model ?

  55. Very poor service. I had given my car for service after clocking 40K. Next day after service, my car doesn’t start. When I call the service center, they say that my battery warranty has expired!!!!!…..This should have been informed at the time of service and not when a customer calls you for inquiry….extremely unsupportive people sitting at service sales of RAS AL KHOR…..and worse….”the recovery cannot be given as and when required”…”it would be given only as per schedule”…WHAT IS THE POINT OF RECOVERY THEN?…….This is horrible….they didn’t even wash my car after service…

Browse archives

Share This