IRVINE, Calif., June 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2012 Kia Sportage compact CUV has been named one of the "Top Cars for Teens" by well-known and highly respected travel and transportation organization Automobile Association of America (AAA). The Sportage was lauded for its dynamics, dependability, overall value, long list of standard safety features and impressive performance in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) crash safety tests, including a "no tip"  evaluation during the tests.
"We are honored that AAA, one of the most respected authorities on travel and transportation, is recognizing the Kia Sportage as a top car for teenage drivers," said Michael Sprague, executive vice president, marketing & communications, Kia Motors America (KMA). "Knowing that the Sportage, our longest-running nameplate, has been chosen not only for its attractive design that appeals to all ages, but more importantly, for its safety features, reliability and value is evidence that consumers do not have to sacrifice curb appeal for dependability."
AAA top picks are selected by AAA Auto Buying experts that test-drive and evaluate hundreds of vehicles each year. The "Top Cars for Teens" list focuses on vehicles that appease both parents and teens by combining attractive looks and performance with reliability, safety and a budget-friendly price.
About the 2012 Sportage
The 2012 Kia Sportage offers value-, image- and safety-conscious consumers a striking design and a standout combination of fun-to-drive performance, the latest in-vehicle technologies, and an abundance of comfort, convenience and safety features at a tremendous value. The sleek and modern Sportage is available with a powerful and efficient 2.0-liter, 260 horsepower Turbo GDI engine that delivers class-leading fuel economy of 29 mpg on the highway. Inside the cabin, the Sportage features a host of available technology features, including Kia's new UVO Powered by Microsoft® hands-free, voice-activated infotainment system. The 2012 Sportage features a starting MSRP of $18,500.
Kia's Unprecedented Growth
Kia Motors is one of the world's fastest moving global automotive brands; from 2009-2011 Kia launched more new vehicles in the U.S. than any other automaker, and under the guidance of chief design officer Peter Schreyer earned a reputation as an industry leader in automotive styling. Kia Motors America's full line of fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive cars and CUVs has earned critical acclaim and dramatically increased consumer awareness, perception and consideration for the brand. In 2011, KMA recorded its 17th consecutive year of market share growth, thanks in part to the largest increase of any major brand in perceived quality and the industry's highest brand loyalty ranking. Kia's U.S.-based manufacturing facility in West Point, Georgia – KMMG – is responsible for the creation of more than 10,000 plant and supplier jobs and builds two of the company's best-selling vehicles in the U.S. – the Sorento CUV and Optima midsize sedan*. Kia's value and technology-laden lineup also includes the Sportage compact CUV, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Optima Hybrid, Forte compact sedan, Forte 5-door compact hatchback, Forte Koup two-door coupe, Rio and Rio 5-door sub-compacts and Sedona minivan.
About Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 755 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA and LPGA. In 2011, KMA recorded its best-ever annual sales total and became one of the fastest growing car companies in the U.S. [] Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, advanced safety features and new technologies.
 Dynamic maneuver test performances performed to rate vehicle resistance of untripped rollovers, with vehicles that did not have wheels tip up receiving "no tip" evaluations.
* The Sorento and Optima GDI (EX Trims and certain LX Trims only) and GDI Turbo are built in the United States from U.S. and globally sourced parts.
 MPG claim for SX with 2.0L Turbo GDI engine four-cylinder with six-speed automatic transmission. EPA claim for 2012 Sportage SX 2.0L Turbo GDI engine w/AT is 22 mpg/city and 29 mpg/hwy. Class-leading claim based on comparison to 2011 and 2012 compact CUVs with turbocharged engines as of June 2012. Actual mileage may vary.
 Starting prices are manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP), which excludes $800 destination and handling fee, title, taxes, license, options and dealer charges. Actual prices set by dealer and may vary.
 Source: Automotive Lease Guide Spring 2011 Perceived Quality Study.
 Source: Experian Automotive Q2 2011 market analysis.
[] Based on 5-year cumulative growth between 12-month retail sales for periods ending April 2007 and April 2012 of all U.S. automotive brands.
SOURCE Kia Motors America