Kia

Review: 2011 Kia Sportage

2011kiasportage 1opt 450x300 Review: 2011 Kia Sportage

Kia likes to say it has the Power to Surprise. Back in the day (oh, five or so years ago…), the Korean automaker’s customers were supposed to be pleasantly surprised that their new car, crossover or SUV was a better vehicle than expected. Perhaps you’ve heard the drill: “I bought it because it was cheap… and you know, it’s really not that bad.”

These days, though, being less mediocre than expected simply isn’t good enough. See not-so-(inter)stellar brands Saturn and Mercury for proof thereof.

In other words, each new Kia has to be completely on-target and every bit as good as its competitors from America and Japan – and judging by the ambitions of its corporate partner, Hyundai, you might even be inclined to include Germany on that list.

And we’ve come to expect exactly that from Kia. If the company’s first Sportage was a passable entry with a cut-rate price to make the masses take notice, and the second go-round was, you know… “not that bad…” then this crossover, the third-generation Kia Sportage, had better be good.

So, were we pleasantly unsurprised by the 2011 Kia Sportage?

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by dailycar - October 12, 2010 at 10:26 am

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Kia releases more pics of bubbly Pop electric city car concept

kia pop concept 6770 450x225 Kia releases more pics of bubbly Pop electric city car concept

Though details are sparse, we know that Kia’s wedge-shaped, battery-powered, three-seat Pop concept, will roll onto the stage in Paris any day now. According to Kia, the sub-10 foot long Pop brings, “innovative design chic and dramatic styling to the city car segment.” We agree, but you could also say that the Pop adds some fizz to the vehicles that ordinarily fall into the city car class, no?

Kia promises that, “further information will be released in due course” but the automaker has provided us with a group of new images of its striking Pop concept. So, hit up the high-res gallery and check this door-stop concept out. What’s your response? Positive? Negative? We’re split on this one. Just give it a look and then drop us a comment below. We’re sure to have more on the Pop concept, including some live shots from Paris, so check back soon.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by dailycar - September 28, 2010 at 9:22 pm

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First Drive: 2011 Kia Optima

01kiaoptimafd2011opt 450x298 First Drive: 2011 Kia Optima

We admit it – we’re genetically preprogrammed to be shallow creatures. Despite our moms’ best efforts, recognizing inner beauty is all well and good, but it’s physical beauty that first puts both people and consumables on our radar.

Exhibit A? The 2011 Kia Optima. You see, while exactly nobody was paying attention, the outgoing Optima actually became a reasonably competitive mid-size sedan. But with the lackluster reputation of its predecessor compounded by styling so banal that it might as well have had “John Doe” as a model designation, the Optima was seemingly forgotten by everyone but fleet managers.

That’s not going to be a problem any more.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by dailycar - September 3, 2010 at 4:20 pm

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2011 Kia Sportage bags IIHS ‘Top Safety Pick’

sportage630opt 450x287 2011 Kia Sportage bags IIHS Top Safety Pick

When it comes to the 2011 Kia Sportage, there’s a lot to talk about. From where we sit, it’s one of the best-looking compact crossovers on the market, it’s reasonably priced (starting below $20,000) and as we found out in our first drive, it’s a pretty enjoyable steer, too. To add to these selling points, the Sportage was just named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, earning high marks in frontal, side, rear and rollover crash tests.

Top Safety Picks are nothing new for Kia these days – the Soul, Sorento, and Forte sedan have all been given this seal of approval. Follow the jump to read Kia’s own words about the Sportage’s safety recognition.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by dailycar - August 20, 2010 at 9:35 pm

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Kia Rondo discontinued in U.S. market with nary a whimper?

2010 kia rondo 450x300 Kia Rondo discontinued in U.S. market with nary a whimper?

“Thank you for inquiring about the Rondo. As the saying goes, ‘all good things must come to an end.’ But with endings, come new beginnings…”

That’s the message visitors receive when they attempt to learn about the 2010 Kia Rondo from the Korean automaker’s U.S. website. Interestingly enough, when we contacted Kia officials for confirmation that the Rondo wouldn’t be around for 2011, we received the following response: “Kia has not yet decided on a 2011 model, but the 2010 is still available in dealerships.”

Yes, that sounds like a typical canned response, and our best guess is that the Rondo is pretty much a goner. Taking a look at sales figures from last year, the Rondo was Kia’s third slowest seller just behind the full-size Borrego SUV and the faux-luxe Amanti sedan. Worse yet, the Rondo’s 2009 sales total of 14,206 units was less than half of the 28,645 sales it managed in 2008.

Kia is naturally hoping it doesn’t lose out on customers that would otherwise have considered a Rondo. In lieu of the micro-minivan, Kia’s consumer website is pointing buyers towards its new-for-2011 Sportage cute ute, which does have a good bit of space for stuff but surely isn’t quite as family friendly as the apparently outgoing seven-passenger Rondo.
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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by dailycar - at 11:48 am

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