NEW FOR 2009:
- Redesigned exterior and interior
- New LX-AT model added
- Sirius satellite radio standard on LX-V6 Luxury AWD
- Bluetooth connectivity added
- Windshield sunband discontinued
- Exterior colours: Satin Silver, Smokey Brown and Shiny Gold added
For 2009, the Kia Sportage receives a facelift, with new bumpers, radiator grille, fog lamps, headlamps, side garnish and, on 2.0-litre models, a dual tailpipe. Inside, there's a new centre fascia, seat covers and seat pattern. A new LX-AT model allows buyers to choose the entry-level LX trim line, but add a stand-alone option of air conditioning to it.
Similar to the Hyundai Tucson, the Sportage comes with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with five-speed manual transmission or optional four-speed automatic; or a 2.7-litre V6 with the four-speed automatic. Both engines are available in front-wheel or all-wheel drive; four-cylinder all-wheel models use the automatic only. Trim lines on the four-cylinder are the LX, in front-wheel only, and the LX Convenience, in front- or all-wheel drive; the V6 comes as the LX-V6, in front- or all-wheel, and as the LX-V6 Luxury, in all-wheel only.
Features on the LX model include 16-inch alloy wheels, CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary input and USB port, power locks, power mirrors, tilt wheel, cloth seats, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, power windows with driver's auto-down, variable intermittent wipers with wiper de-icer, fixed intermittent rear wiper, front and rear mud guards, floor mats, and under-floor rear cargo tray. Air conditioning is the sole stand-alone option.
The LX Convenience model adds air conditioning, cruise control, keyless entry, heated mirrors, privacy glass, fog lamps, heated mirrors, and roof rails.
The LX-V6 adds side and wheel arch mouldings.
The LX-V6 Luxury adds Sirius satellite radio, power sunroof, heated leather seats, and leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The Sportage handles more like a car than an SUV; it's nimble, easy to park, and offers a comfortable and roomy interior. The V6 is the better of the two, as the four-cylinder can be underpowered, especially when passing; some drivers may find the five-speed manual's stick shift to be rubbery. The rear seats are roomy enough for adult passengers, and fold to a flat floor just by pulling a handle, without the need to flip seat cushions or remove head-restraints.
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