Second Generation Kia Sportage Story

After we did a flashback of the first generation Kia Sportage, today we come back with the second generation SUV, the first all-new Sportage since Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group were created.

Proof of that is the second generation Sportage which used an Elantra-based platform, shared at the same time with its SUV big cousin, the first generation 2005 Hyundai Tucson. The second generation Sportage was launched in August 2004.

Critics and fans/owners of the first generation Sportage complained about the new Sportage was considerably larger than the pre-Hyundai era one and had none of the earlier offroad capability, the two keys of the succes of the 1st gen.

“Thanks” to this changes, the Sportage changed from a rude 4×4 to what we know today as a SUV. By the way, Kia improved the refinement with a more comfortable and quiet ride, new engines, as well as better rate on safety crash test and still kept some country capabilitys (compared with the current SUVs).

The Sportage was offered for the first time in AWD and 2WD variants. The new engine line-up was formed by two petrol engines, a 2.0-liter Beta II and a 2.7-liter V6 Delta delivering 141 and 173 hp.

Also Kia used a 2.0 CRDi diesel engine for European markets, with a final output of 136 hp. Between different 5/6 speed manual transmission, Kia also offered an old 4-speed automatic transmission.

Kia introduced for the first time a Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) using the Sportage base. This vehicle featured greater range (almost 205 miles – 380 km), more power (80kw – 108 hp) and be capable of starting in freezing temperatures.

The Kia Sportage FCEV featured an 80-kilowatt fuel cell stack, an electric motor, a 152-volt lithium -polymer battery pack and a three compressed hydrogen tanks at 5,000 psi and had a fuel efficient comparable to 57 MPG.

The refreshed model of the second generation was introduced in May 2008. Since 2007, it is manufactured at Kia’s first European assembly plant in Žilina, Slovakia. The Sportage was also manufactured in Gwangju, South Korea, China, Rusia, Ecuador and Ukraine.

With minimal changes, consisting of a few minor styling updates and the addition of an upgraded diesel engine. On the outside had a new look grille, bumpers and wheel arches, while the standard alloy wheels have been given a redesign.

Inside, the changes were highlighted by an updated dashboard and instrument panel, as well as new material for the seats and steering wheel.

The base model used the same 141 hp 2.0-liter engine and 2WD powertrain. With the European market in they mind, Kia updated the CRDi diesel engine to 150 hp, although this engine won’t be offered in the U.S. The range topper is the 2.7-liter Delta V6 engine exclusively with All-Wheel Drive. Its output also remains unchanged at 173 hp.

A second facelift was introduced in the UK in early 2009 only a few months after its first facelift. In 2010, DongFeng Yueda – Kia joint venture re-launched the 2nd generation Sportage with another facelift (the 4th) includin the “Tiger-Nose”.

The Sportage was named as one of the most reliable vehicles from 2009 Consumer Reports reliability survey. The Kia Sportage ranked second in the “20 least expensive 2009 vehicles to insure” list by Insure.com. According to the research, the Sportage II is one of the least expensive vehicles to insure. Low rates tend to reflect a vehicle’s safety.

The second-generation Kia Sportage earned a top rating of five stars in crash tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). However, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS judged it merely acceptable for frontal and side-impact crash, performance, and poor strength of its roof in a rollover.

In 2005 Kia surprised at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas with two Sportage concepts. Wrapped in a two-tone gold candy paint scheme, the ‘Solid Gold’ Kia Sportage is outfitted wîth custom-built vertical-opening doors, a hydraulic suspension system that can raise and lower all four wheels independently, and a 2,000-watt audio/video system complete wîth navigation, DVD and satellite television capabilities and headrest monitors. The addition of a Magnuson supercharger had increased to an estimated to 265-horsepower.

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