This week, I'm in the 2011 Kia Sportage, and I have to tell you, so far I love it. Love it.
I always begin my test week on Twitter with a question like:
I usually get a couple of immediate questions ... But I'm always looking for more. So, here are a couple things my Tweeps wanted to know this week. Let me know if you have any other questions.
Though abbreviated in Twitter, @hughgroot asks a very long and loaded question! So, let's see if I can do it justice. My favorite part of this car is actually the incredible 2.4-liter, 4-cyl engine. I don't know what they did to make this work so well, but the 176 horsepower and 168 pound-feet of torque are perfectly suited to this 3,355-pound vehicle. Very peppy! Perfect for Chicago.
The ride and handling, like the seats, are a bit stiff. You won't get that "connection to the road" that you'll feel with a BMW or Audi. But it comfortably does what it's supposed to do, it's nicely maneuverable on the highway, and it has a really good turning radius for those tight city spaces.
I'm utterly impressed with the build quality that Kia has come out with recently. From the Forte to the Optima to the Sportage, all these cars are on par (or better than) cars that cost $5K to $10K more. This is will definitely be one of the first cars I recommend to anyone looking for a small SUV.
And as for room. Well. I'm 5-feet-tall. I'm perfectly comfortable and there's plenty of room for 4 adults -- or 5 if your fifth is small like me. With the back seat up, cargo volume is 26.1 cubic-feet, but with it down it more than doubles to 54.6 cubic-feet. More than enough room for most "normal" hauling.