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Kia Sportage named “2010 Top Safety Pick” by IIHS (copyright image)

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19th August, 2010

- All-new compact SUV receives highest recognition from America's IIHS
- Sportage receives top ratings for front, side, rollover, and rear impact protection
- Sportage is fourth new generation Kia vehicle to be named “Top Safety Pick”

Joining the 2010 Forte (Cerato) sedan, 2010 Soul and 2011 Sorento, the all-new 2011 Sportage has been recognised as a “Top Safety Pick” by the U.S.’s Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the small SUV category. Arriving in Kia showrooms in the U.S. now, Sportage received the organisation’s top honour by earning “Good” ratings – the highest achievable – in frontal, side, rear and rollover impact crash safety tests.

The Sedona (Carnival) was the first Kia vehicle to receive the IIHS “Top Safety Pick,” along with the “Safest Minivan Ever Tested” distinction from IIHS, shortly after its launch in 2006, and again in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

“The Kia brand is committed to providing consumers with the highest levels of passenger safety by providing a comprehensive list of cutting-edge technologies and features for increased crash protection,” said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing & communications, Kia Motors America (KMA). “The 2011 Sportage’s sleek and modern appearance continues Kia’s design-led transformation while staying true to the company’s core philosophy of providing consumers with exciting, fun-to-drive vehicles with high levels of value, quality and safety.”

Ratings from the Institute are based on results from frontal, side and rear impact crash tests, and for 2010 a good performance in a roof strength test – to measure protection in a rollover – also was required to win. Each vehicle’s overall evaluation was based on various measurements specific to each crash angle, and overall impact on crash test dummies inside the vehicle at the time of collision. All vehicles must have electronic stability control available to be eligible.

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The 2011 Sportage is equipped with a long list of standard safety equipment. Both U.S. trim levels come outfitted with driver and passenger advanced front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, side curtain airbags and front active head restraints, four-wheel Antilock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC) Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and a Brake Assist System (BAS), which recognises an emergency stop and delivers significant braking power. Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) and Downhill Brake Control (DBC) also come standard on all models, the former assisting in preventing the vehicle from rolling backward when trying to pull away from an uphill gradient, while the latter locks the vehicle at a slow speed down steep grades so the driver can focus their attention on steering.

To assist drivers when the vehicle is in reverse, an available back-up warning sensor helps the driver avoid contact with certain objects in the vehicle’s path by triggering an audible warning when the vehicle approaches an obstruction, while an available rear-view back-up camera enables drivers to view certain items behind the vehicle.

The 2011 Sportage, which utilises a completely redesigned platform, comes standard with a 2.4 litre DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder engine with Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT), offering more power (176 hp) and better fuel economy than the previous 2.7litre V6 engine.

Note: As this news story (and image) relates to the US version of the new Kia Sportage, the specifications, trim levels and standard and optional features are based on the U.S. model and may vary from versions sold in other regions.


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