Touting vehicular safety may not be as glamorous as heady performance figures or striking design but it's a vital facet in today's automotive industry. Helping the 2011 Kia Sportage with its safety credentials is a freshly bestowed Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Kia's longest-running nameplate in the United States has been with consumers since the mid-1990s but has drastically changed since its initial introduction. Gone is the body-on-frame architecture, now replaced by a re-skinned unibody that helps the Sportage garner Good ratings (the highest score possible) in the IIHS front, side, rear, and rollover impact crash safety tests. The previous-generation model was rated as Acceptable for the front and side while Poor was doled out for the rollover portion of the test. The Sportage is united with the Forte, Sorento, and Soul on the list of Kia vehicles with Top Safety Pick awards.
On the other side of the safety rating fence, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hasn't yet released results but the new Sportage will have to undergo the revised, stricter testing regimen previously explored in July.