Keeping in line with its all-new 2011 Optima, Kia will be expanding the Sportage lineup with a top-level SX trim level.

The most notable addition for the 2011 Sportage SX will be the direct-injected turbo four-cylinder engine, already found in the 2011 Kia Optima SX and 2011 Hyundai Sonata Turbo. The turbo four will be putting down slightly less power than in the sedan applications, estimated at 256 hp and 264 lb-ft. That’s a whopping 80 more horses and just shy of 100 more lb-ft of twist over the current four-cylinder offered in the Sportage. All this extra power shouldn’t come with a mileage penalty, either. The EPA estimates the 2011 Sportage SX to do 22/27 city/highway mpg in front-wheel drive form and 21/25 city/highway mpg if you opt for all-wheel drive. That is a difference of 4 mpg in front-wheel drive form and 3 mpg in all-wheel drive form, both on the highway.

Look for the sportier Sportage to hit US streets later in Q1. Kia’s US office has been mum on pricing so far, but our neighbors to the north are looking at CAD$36,995 for the Sportage SX. That rings in at just over $37,000 US, but if the Optima pricing is any indication, look for US Sportage SX pricing to fall around seven grand more than the $18,990 (destination included) price tag for the base Sportage.

Source: Kia, Kia-World