The all-new fifth-generation Kia Sportage is expected to go on sale mid-month, and the company has revealed full pricing and spec details for UK buyers.
Rival VW Tiguan, which is Kia’s UK bestseller, will be available with six trim levels and eight different powertrain options in what Kia describes as its “most complete lineup of all time.” This range includes gasoline, diesel, mild hybrid, full hybrid and plug-in hybrid options.
The Sportage ‘2’ kicks off the range, starting at £ 26,745 with a 148bhp 1.6-liter turbo petrol engine. A 113bhp 1.6-liter diesel is available for an additional £ 1,000. Both are two-wheel drive and mated to a six-speed manual transmission.
Equipment for the 2 includes 17-inch alloys, LED headlights, front and rear parking sensors with a rear view camera, cruise control, and automatic lights and wipers with an auto-dimming rearview mirror. An 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system includes DAB radio, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, while there is a suite of safety assistance features, including front crash prevention with pedestrian detection , cyclists and crossroads.
Upgrading to the GT-Line version (from £ 29,745) offers the option of other powertrains, including the mild 48v hybrid versions of the 1.6-liter petrol and 1.6-liter diesel – this the latter dropping from 113 hp to 134 hp – both offered with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. There is also the 226 hp HEV hybrid model, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. All GT-Line models are two-wheel drive until the plug-in hybrid arrives early next year.
GT-Line trim brings sportier styling details such as 19-inch alloy wheels (18 on the hybrid), gloss black exterior details, private rear window, sport steering wheel, sport pedals and trim aluminum interior. It also gets front fog lights and LED taillights, suede and leather upholstery, a keyless entry and start system and a larger 12.3-inch infotainment screen with navigation and connected services.
The “3” specification is more based on “2”, but offers the same engine options as the GT-Line. Priced at £ 30,945, it pairs the largest infotainment screen with a 12.3-inch digital dial display, as well as fabric and faux leather trims, power front seats with heating and heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, keyless entry and go and adaptive cruise controls with stop-and-go technology and highway driving assist (only offered on automatic versions.
The “4” specification is only available with mild hybrid engines and four-wheel drive, although the HEV hybrid is still two-wheel drive. Priced at £ 36,445, it adds features such as a panoramic sunroof, Harmon Kardon audio system, wireless phone charging, 360-degree parking camera, Kia’s Blind Spot View Monitor and smart remote parking. Other features include ambient lighting, adaptive dual LED headlamps and Collision Parking Assist.
The flagship GT-Line S builds on the ‘4’ model, starting at £ 38,445, bringing in the sportier styling details of the GT-Line and the option of a two-tone black roof. It also adds artificial leather and suede trim, ventilated front seats with additional power adjustment and memory functions and a smart power tailgate.
The PHEV version of the Sportage, which will be available to order from March, is priced at £ 38,395 in the cheapest GT-Line specification. Deliveries to customers for the rest of the range will begin in the first quarter of next year.
New Kia Sportage: style, technology and engines
The Kia Sportage, which also rivals Hyundai’s Tucson and Nissan Qashqai, was built specifically for the European market. It features a 75mm shorter wheelbase than the World Sportage.
The new car was developed with three key pillars in mind, according to Kia. The first focuses on innovative design, the second on advanced technology, and the third on making the car more fun to drive.
Due to the shorter wheelbase, the styling of the European car has some tweaks compared to that of the world car. These focus specifically on the C-pillars, with the European Sportage losing small rear windows and gaining bulkier graphics.
At 4,515mm in length, the new Sportage is 30mm longer than its predecessor, while the wheelbase has also increased by 10mm to improve packaging and space inside, as well as to create more space to house a battery for the plug-in hybrid model.
This new powertrain for the Sportage features a 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder petrol engine paired with a 13.8 kWh battery powering an electric motor for a combined output of 261 hp. Although still to be homologated, the electric range alone amounts to just under 35 miles (a 7.2 kW on-board charger means a charge time of two hours), with CO2 emissions of 31 g / km expected.
As part of Kia’s electrification push, a 227 hp 1.6 petrol hybrid with a smaller 1.49 kWh battery and electric motor configuration will be available; 134g / km of CO2 is targeted.
Another new engine for the Sportage is Kia’s 148bhp 1.6-liter turbo petrol unit. It features mild hybrid technology and will be mated to the brand’s intelligent manual transmission. If you want an automatic gearbox, the 1.6 T-GDi DCT powertrain boosts power to 178 hp.
Diesel power will still be available, with a 1.6 CRDi unit offered as 113 hp (manual) or 134 hp (automatic DCT).
The styling is inspired by Kia’s EV6 electric car, with a large grille and crisp light signatures on the front and rear. Euro-spec cars also feature different rear bumpers.
The interior of the GT-Line in our photos features two 12.3-inch displays, with Kia’s multimode display positioned below and tilted slightly towards the driver. It retains two physical buttons, but their functions can be switched between multimedia systems and air conditioning using the touch panel.
Depending on the finish, technologies such as LED matrix lights, a 360-degree camera and remote intelligent parking aid will all be offered.
Inside, the packaging is improved thanks to the new N3 platform. As well as having more room inside – especially at the rear – Kia claims that the Sportage’s trunk will be 10 to 15 percent larger than that of its predecessor. Cargo space remains to be confirmed, but all models will offer more than 500 liters.
Q&A with Xuan-Zheng Guo
The Sportage specialist from Kia Europe explains why this new fifth generation car is a big step for the Korean brand.
Q: Why did you choose to develop a Sportage specifically for Europe?
A: “Europe’s requirements are different. Cities are more compact, which is suitable for a shorter wheelbase. Making two versions meant less compromise for each car and more freedom for European tuning here, including the electronic adaptive dampers that will be available.
Q: Will we see an all-electric Sportage in the future as full electric vehicles become more important?
A: “There are currently no plans to offer the Sportage with a fully electric powertrain, but we will continue to monitor market trends and customer requirements. But full EV is huge for us, with cars like EV6 and e-Niro. “
Q: How does this Sportage evolve the model compared to its predecessor?
A: “It’s more upscale to follow Kia’s new brand identity, and you’ll feel it inside. But obviously, more electrified powertrains, more space, more technology; it gives Sportage drivers more of what they want and expect from a car in this class.
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