Damping rates are stiffened to provide more body motion control to match the added scoot, and more aggressive MAKE MODEL tires add some stick, resulting in a figure-eight performance of 28.1 seconds at 0.61 average g-that's 0.6 seconds quicker than the EX and 0.2 ahead of the Tiguan but trails the other turbo cute-utes. The steering points the car accurately enough, but it provides minimal feedback and lacks a strong sense of straight ahead. Similarly, bumps never quite disappear into the suspension and are taken in a somewhat heavy-footed clompety-clomp fashion. Mind you, it's preferable to the Korean standard Sta-puffd marshmallow ride of yore, but the fast-learning engineers have yet to fully matriculate in their chassis studies. The price premium for a Sportage SX is $2500 over the EX-$26,490 for the front-driver, $27,990 with AWD. That's almost $7K under the RDX, and a strong bargain in a growing class.


2011 Kia Sportage SX
BASE PRICE $26,490
PRICE AS TESTED $30,490
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINE 2.0L/260-hp/269-lb-ft turbocharged DOHC 16-valve I-4
TRANSMISSION 6-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3459 lb (60/40%)
WHEELBASE 103.9 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 175.2 x 73.0 x 64.4 in
0-60 MPH 7.3 sec
QUARTER MILE 15.7 sec @ 88.6 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 123 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.78 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 28.1 sec @ 0.61 g (avg)
EPA CITY/HWY FUEL ECON 22/27 mpg
ENERGY CONSUMPTION, CITY/HWY 153/125 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS 0.81 lb/mile