The all-new Sportage gave Kia’s engineers the distinct advantage of starting with a clean slate. New from the ground up, the Sportage was designed to offer customers the best benefits of three different vehicles all in one stylish, compact package:
• The smooth ride, agile handling and suspension refinements of a family sedan.
• The Sportage nameplate’s rugged styling, high driving position, easy cargo access and all-wheel-drive grip of an SUV.
• The cargo-carrying capability and seating versatility of a station wagon.
Designed with both young-at-heart and value-conscious customers in mind, the all-new Sportagefeatures a wider track and more horsepower than its predecessor, and places a heavy emphasis on safety. The Sportage’s long list of standard safety features includes: six airbags (two advanced front airbags, two front-seat-mounted side airbags, and two full-length side-curtain airbags); four-wheel disc brakes with antilock brake system (ABS); traction control system (TCS); and electronic stability program (ESP).
‘The 2005 Kia Sportage is the latest example of Kia’s continuing commitment to move beyond its traditional strength of high value by developing stylish, fun-to-drive vehicles that feature built-in comfort, roominess and a class-leading array of safety features,’ said Peter M. Butterfield, president and CEO of Kia Motors America. ‘In particular, the all-new Sportage appeals to both sides of the brain: the practical and logical left side, and the adventurous and creative right side.’
Although Kia retains the famous Sportage name, everything else about the car has changed. In a segment that Kia pioneered with the earlier, truck-based, body-on-frame first-generation Sportage, the small-SUV market continues to grow with vehicles that offer the comfort and packaging versatility of a wagon with the rugged styling and all-wheel-drive capabilities of an SUV.
• Distinctive, modern styling, on-road SUV appearance
The all-new Sportage is designed with simple, clean lines and progressive styling to create a thoroughly modern on-road SUV appearance, robust but not aggressive, with distinctive proportions, refined detailing and several unique styling elements.
Echoing the visual sophistication of the Kia Sorento, the Sportage also makes use of 16-inch alloy wheels,highprofile tires, and flared wheel arches to provide a strong visual presence. The long 103.5-inch wheelbase, overall width (70.9 in.) and modest overhangs push the Sportage’s wheels toward the corners for improved stability, agile handling, a supple ride, and a spacious cabin.
Seen from the side, the Sportage looks tailored and eager to move forward. The high nose, steeply raked windscreen, long roofline with twin roof bars and sloping D-Pillar – outlined by its unique black mouldings that link roof bar to rear light cluster – give the SUV a sporty image. In line with the clean modern styling, the Sportage carries its spare wheel internally.
Set above the lower air intake, the horizontal bar grille is flanked by curved moldings that flow up into the hood and out into the wrap-around bumpers – implying strength. The generously sized clear-lens headlamps and front bumper air intakes are sculpted to imply power and durability.
The broad lift-up tailgate with its full-width, flip-up window, hints at the large interior capacity and its ability to carry both luggage and people. To complete the sporty appearance, the Sportage features a deep rear bumper with molded in-step grip set into its outer curves, and widely-spaced twin exhaust tail pipes on V6 models.
Interior Design and Ergonomics
• Unrivaled space with ‘Drop & Fold’ seating versatility
The Sportage is an exceptionally spacious vehicle with an interior that can transport five adults in comfort, or fewer people and a wide variety of cargo with its innovative easy-to-use ‘Drop & Fold’ rear seat.
Access to the Sportage cabin is particularly easy, with large, wide-opening doors and especially generous legroom — 42.1-inches at the front and 37.2 — inches at the rear. Front headroom is 40.7-inches, while rear headroom is 39.4-inches.
Generous space is one important ingredient in creating a successful interior and the Sportage designers have fitted the cabin with stylish seats shaped to accommodate both driver and passengers in true comfort. The driver’s seat is equipped with dual-height adjustment, with electrically-heated seats as an option.
In the rear, the Sportage comes with an all-new ‘Drop & Fold’ seat. This has a 60/40 split cushion and backrest, like a conventional hatchback vehicle, but the cushion is supported on hinged legs. When maximum cargo volume is required, the bottom cushion moves forward and down into the rear footwell area, which in turn allows the seat backrest to be folded completely flat and onto the same level as the trunk floor. This easy-to-perform operation can be carried out without removing the rear head restraints.
The new ‘Drop & Fold’ rear seat, plus the fold-flat front passenger seat, gives Sportage users a large number of seating/luggage carrying combinations. With all seats occupied, the Sportage can carry three sets of golf clubs in the load area. With the rear seat folded, the length of the load area extends from 32-inches to more than 64-inches. Maximum cargo volume is 66.6 cubic feet with the rear seats folded flat. The fold-flat front passenger seat allows for carrying long loads or simply providing more legroom for passengers travelling in the right rear seat. The fold-flat seat can also be utilized as a ‘work table’ for the driver when the vehicle is parked.
The all-new Sportage’s rear seats also allow up to 18-degrees of adjustability for the comfort of rear seat passengers, while both front seats can be fully reclined (with head rests removed) to meet second row cushions for sleeping.
In addition to its sheer volume, customer convenience benefits offered by the load area include: rear-cargo under-floor oddments tray (above the spare wheel), three seat-back hooks for grocery bags, six tie-down anchors in the floor, side-wall storage with net, and a two-position rear cargo cover.
In addition to the versatile rear cargo area, the Sportage offers a range of storage compartments including a large height-adjustable center console with two-stage tray top, large lockable glove box, overhead sunglasses holder, map and cup holders in all four doors, rear-seat central armrest and floor-console dual cup holders. There’s also a handy shopping bag hook in the front-passenger area to keep bags upright and easily accessible.
Structural Engineering, Safety Features and Refinement
• Four structural rings for maximum strength
Sharing a floorpan and several chassis components developed for the all-new Kia Spectra introduced in 2004, the five-door lift-gate SUV was designed using the latest computer-aided design technologies, helping Kia engineers create a body shell that is optimized for maximum stiffness and strength, enhanced durability, lower NVH levels, a pleasing ride/handling combination and enhanced occupant protection.
A front subframe forms a bridge between the left and right forward chassis pressings, tying them together to form part of the frontal impact structure. This subframe also provides the lower supports for the suspension, the transversely mounted engine and transmission and the steering rack, while helping to isolate the passenger cabin from mechanical vibrations and road surface noise and harshness.
A major transverse bulkhead at the front of the passenger cabin is shaped to resist side-impacts and supports the A-pillar, which is the first of four structural rings — at the A, B, C and D pillars — designed to help protect occupants. Each door is fitted with a crash bar to provide additional protection against side impacts.
Maximum active and passive protection, plus ESP
One of the biggest stories about the all-new Sportage is its unprecedented level of standard safety equipment, including: six airbags (two advanced front airbags, two front-seat-mounted side airbags, and two full-length side-curtain airbags); four-wheel disc brakes with antilock brake system (ABS) and electronic brake distribution (EBD); traction control system (TCS); and electronic stability program (ESP).
In addition to the standard features previously listed, all Sportage models are equipped with an electronic stability program (ESP), which continuously monitors the path of the vehicle. If the vehicle yaws (over-steers or under-steers) while cornering, the ESP applies brakes to individual wheels and/or reduces engine power to restore the vehicle to the driver’s intended course. Operation of the stability program is entirely automatic.
The traction control system (TCS) is also fully automatic. It uses the ABS sensors to detect whenever a tire starts to slip and senses the onset of wheel-spin. The system instantly reduces engine torque and/or applies the brake at the slipping wheel, slowing the rotation of the wheel until grip is restored. TCS is particularly effective when accelerating from standstill on slippery surfaces.
Passive safety features on the Sportage are impressive as well, including six airbags. Dual advanced front driver and passenger airbags are complemented by front seat-mounted side airbags and full-length side curtain air bags. The supplemental restraints in the front are controlled by sensors that gauge the severity of a frontal impact before deployment and whether the seat belt is buckled to ensure that the front airbags deploy properly. The front passenger airbag only deploys if the seat is occupied.
The Sportage’s unibody was designed to minimize deformation of the passenger compartment in a collision. Crumple zones in the front and rear absorb and disperse collision forces from both head-on and offset collisions, while side impact door beams enhance passenger safety in the event of a side collision or roll-over.
Three point seat belts are standard for all seating positions, and the vehicle’s front seat belts have pre-tensioners and load limiters which immediately tighten in a collision to hold passengers in place, and then gradually releases tension on the belt to absorb impact energy in a controlled manner.
Building in refinement, cutting NVH
As customers’ expectations for ever more refined vehicles increases, Kia’s efforts to decrease Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) were designed to set a new standard for the class.
The Sportage’s aerodynamic design and rounded exterior lowers air resistance and reduces wind noise at high speeds, while unique curved shapes pressed into the steel floorpan reduce vibrations and noise from that source.
The five-door steel bodyshell was strengthened at key points at the base of the A-Pillars, B-Pillars, top of the C-Pillars, the floorpan joints to rear wheel arches and the rear apron attachments to the D-Pillar base. As well as making the bodyshell stronger and stiffer to generate less noise and resonant sound, noise pathways have been blocked by specially developed insulation pads.
While every effort was made to reduce NHV at its sources, a variety of measures are applied to the Sportage to ensure that Kia customers travel in quiet comfort.
To block wind noise, the window frames in all four doors are strengthened and a new type of triple-layer sealing strip is fitted above the belt line around each door. To prevent engine noise entering the interior, the dashboard bulkhead has both vertical and horizontal reinforcements and is over-laid with a six-layer noise blocker, molded to the bulkhead contours.
Road noise is muted by the application of thick sandwich panels to the inside of the wheelarches and by the use of subframes to mount both front and rear suspensions, isolating occupants from most road surface induced vibrations.
• Powertrain and transmission options
• All Sportages’ are pre-wired for trailor wiring harness
Kia’s new entry into the small-SUV segment comes with the choice of two engines, a five-speed manual or four-speed Sportmatic™ transmission and the choice of either two-wheel or full-time four-wheel drive.
The 2.0-liter, 16-valve engine uses Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) to boost performance, enhance fuel economy and reduce emissions at low- mid-range rpm. This engine generates 140-horsepower at 6,000 rpm 136 pound-feet of torque at 4,500 rpm, giving the Sportage competitive power for its class.
For even better performance, a powerful V6 engine is available, mated to a four-speed Sportmatic™ transmission. The lightweight, compact, DOHC 24-valve all-aluminum 2.7-liter engine generates 173-horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque.
Choice of 2WD or automatic 4WD
The Sportage can be ordered with front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, depending on model. The electronic control unit (ECU) in the full-time four-wheel-drive system detects when one or both of the front wheels lose grip, and helps to maintain traction by automatically diverting up to 50 percent of engine power to the rear wheels, as needed.
The 4WD system operates at all times without driver intervention. If necessary, the driver can engage a locked center differential at low speeds via a dash-mounted switch, dividing power evenly between the front and rear wheels. When traveling in this mode, the Sportage automatically and gradually reverts to front-wheel-drive when the vehicle reaches a speed of approximately 20 mph.
Long-travel, smooth-riding suspension systems
Fully independent suspension systems front and rear are designed to deliver responsive on-road handling and a comfortable ride on a wide variety of roads, while retaining long-wheel-travel and a genuine talent to also perform with real ability off-road.
The Sportage’s front suspension is composed of MacPherson Struts, a rugged, wide-based lower A arm and coil springs. At the rear, Sportage employs struts and coil springs, with dual lower transverse links and single lower trailing links. For 4WD models, a larger, more substantial rear subframe supports the rear differential. Both models are equipped with front and rear stabilizer bars and gas pressure shocks angled to create minimum intrusion into the trunk space.
Four-wheel brake system, plus ABS and EBD
The Sportage’s power-assisted four-wheel-disc braking system makes maximum use of the space available within the wheels. Ventilated front discs and solid rear discs deliver secure and stable braking performance with consistent pedal feel.
A four-channel, four-sensor, anti-lock brake system (ABS) is standard. This system incorporates electronic brake distribution (EBD), which helps to distribute braking force evenly to all four wheels as weight shifts during cornering. The EBD adapts to individual wheel grip conditions, which helps to improve both control and stability. The standard traction control is a fully-automatic dual-mode system that either reduces engine power or applies the car’s brakes — or both if appropriate.
All Sportage models come with 16-inch alloy wheels. The four-cylinder Sportage LX is fitted with 215/65 R16 tires, while Sportage V6 models make use of 235/60 R16 BF Goodrich tires.
Comfort and Convenience
• Long list of standard features adds to Sportage’s overall value
Kia has a reputation for packing a lot of car into a small sticker price, and the Sportage takes that tradition a step further. All controls are within easy reach of the driver; for both manual and automatic transmissions, the gear lever is located within easy reach on the center console. Power outlets are located both in the center console and in the luggage area.
Even as an entry-level model, the Sportage LX is loaded with standard equipment. Besides anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brake distribution (EBD), Traction Control System (TCS), Electronic Stability Program (ESP), six airbags, and a choice of engines and drivetrains, the Sportage LX also comes with a host of items that competitors charge extra for as options. Features such as rear privacy glass, power windows with a driver’s one-touch down feature, power mirrors, a roof rack, and an AM/FM/CD stereo system with six speakers are all standard. Cruise control comes as standard equipment on the LX V6 model.
In addition to the V6 engine with automatic transmission, opting for the EX model adds a power-operated, one-touch sunroof, fog lights, heated outside mirrors, a leather-covered shift knob and steering wheel, illuminated ignition, remote keyless entry system, a cargo cover and upgraded seat fabric.
The EX also offers a Luxury Package which includes leather seats and interior trim, heated front seats, automatic headlamps, electrochromatic interior mirror with HomeLink® wireless control system, upgraded stereo system complete with subwoofer and external amplifier, and special body-color bumpers. The leather seats and trim are also available as a stand-alone option for the EX model.
America ‘s Leading Warranty
Like all of Kia’s vehicles, the 2005 Sportage will be covered by Kia’s comprehensive
5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, and five years of roadside assistance. The all-new Kia Sportage is built in Kwang-Ju, South Korea.
Price this car:
MSRP: $15,900 – $21,700
Invoice: $15,150 – $20,255
Source: Kia Press Release