So the Sportage has gone back to Kia, and tomorrow you’ll see the final, full review of the vehicle I drove. But for now, it’s day 6 of my review notes on the 2011 Kia Sportage (made late by my producing of radio at CES and Detroit. Sorry!). And to be honest, I kind of miss it. I miss the interestingness that greeted me throughout the day. I loved that when you locked or unlocked the doors, the LEDs would stay on for 30 seconds to guide you to the car at night or in the wee hours of the morning. Kia would have normally never been associated with something most car companies do out of convenience for their owners. They weren’t a convenient car company, unless you had no other alternative.

The new, 2011 Kia Sportage was designed by Peter Schreyer, former designer for Audi who came over to Kia in 2006. Before he turned Kia’s dying vision around to one with an athlete’s pulse, he was responsible for designs on the original Audi TT, new Beetle, Eos, and many other Audi and Volkswagen products. Between he and Tom Kearns, the head of design for Kia NA, they’ve changed a brand that should have been killed off years ago. That is, if they had been run by Chrysler or GM. Or if they were owned by Ford, they’d have been sold to a Chinese firm, or Middle Eastern investors. Instead, they’re owned by Hyundai. And although Kia was once the bastard child of the Hyundai brand, they’re now the most inspiring in terms of creative design language.

So that’s my journal for the 6th day. Stay tuned for the final review!

[Photo source: Car Magazine]