Kia Motors America (KMA), an arm of South Korean automaker Kia Motors Corp., said its 2011 Sportage SX compact CUV is scheduled to hit showrooms later this month.

The Sportage SX joins the 2011 Optima Turbo as Kia’s second vehicle in the U.S. to feature the Theta II 2.0-liter Turbo GDI engine that produces up to 256 horsepower and 264 pound-feet of peak torque. The car packs a six-speed automatic transmission, while offering fuel economy of 27 miles per gallon on the highway.

The Sportage SX turbo utilizes a twin-scroll design which offers improved combustion efficiency, more available low-end power, and reduced turbo-lag as compared to more traditional single-scroll turbo systems.

The vehicle also has powertrain enhancements, sport-tuned suspension featuring firmer shock and strut rates for improved handling and dynamic performance over non-SX models.

“Sportage offers an ideal mix of performance, fuel efficiency and utility for the discriminating compact CUV buyer,” said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing & communications, KMA. “With the addition of a more powerful Turbo GDI engine, unique interior appointments and improved performance, the Sportage SX makes an already appealing CUV even more fun to drive.”

The 2011 Sportage SX front-wheel drive (FWD) has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $25,795.

Kia's model year 2011 vehicle line includes the Sorento CUV, Sportage compact CUV, Optima midsize sedan, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Forte compact sedan, Forte 5-door compact hatchback, Forte Koup two-door coupe, Rio sub-compact sedan, Rio5 sub-compact hatchback and Sedona minivan.