Kia's hugely popular SUV is now proudly made in the USA.
The Kia Sportage has come a long way since the first model was introduced in the mid-1990s. All grown up, the fifth generation promises superior luxury and safety, as well as improved refinement courtesy of the N3 platform (which also underpins the larger Sorento). It's the first-ever Sportage to be built stateside, at Kia's production plant in West Point, Georgia.
The first vehicle recently rolled off the production line, painted in Jungle Green and fitted with the X-Pro Prestige trim package. The Sportage was introduced by Sean Yoon, president and CEO for Kia North America. The compact SUV was driven off of the assembly line by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Kia Georgia's vice president of production, James Watson.
"The launch of Sportage in Georgia is a further testament to Kia's longstanding dedication to the US market and the local economy," said Kia North America's CEO. "Joining our tremendous fleet of SUVs, the all-new Sportage is poised to take the industry by storm with its cutting-edge design, adventurous capability, and desirable in-car technology. Coming off a record-setting sales year in 2021, today's launch adds further momentum to the Kia brand's fast start in 2022."
Georgia's Governor Kemp remarked the production of the Sportage in Georgia is a proud moment for the state. "I congratulate all of the great Kia Georgia team members for their continued commitment to quality and growth, and thank them for bringing more opportunity to the No. 1 state for business."
The Sportage is the brand's longest-running nameplate and has garnered numerous awards and loyal customers over the years. Keen on offering customers even more choice, the Korean carmaker recently debuted the Sportage Hybrid at the 2021 LA Motor Show. Powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter GDI engine and a 44-kilowatt permanent magnet electric motor, the fuel-efficient derivative produces an impressive combined output of 226 horsepower.
Power is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox. An all-wheel-drive option is available but it won't, however, be able to match the former's 39-mpg fuel economy rating.
"The Kia Georgia team as a group is second to none and has been producing award-winning vehicles for more than 12 years," said Stuart Countess, president and CEO of Kia Georgia. "Today's ceremony is another phenomenal accomplishment by the Kia Georgia team and I hope that each team member will take a lot of pride in being a part of this special day."