Kia’s Sportage soft-roader has been given an extensive redesign inside and out and Kia is promising much improved dynamics over its predecessor.
The all-new Sportage, due to reach UK showrooms this September, shares its platform with the forthcoming Hyundai ix35 and has been styled by Kia’s ex-Audi designer Peter Schreyer. The two cars will be built alongside one another at Kia’s Slovakian plant.
The styling is much bolder than the outgoing Sportage’s. It has a more muscular stance thanks to its high beltline, narrow glasshouse, large alloys and sloping C-pillars. It is the latest car to feature Kia’s ‘Schreyer front grille’ and the front-end styling is similar to its larger Sorento sibling.
Kia will offer the car in both front- and four-wheel drive, although front-drive cars are expected to make up the bulk of sales. Interior improvements seen in recent Kia Cee’d, Venga and Sorento models are all likely to be incorporated into the Sportage. A longer wheelbase than the old model will increase both interior and boot space.
The car will undergo development work in the UK to ensure its ride and handling are improved over the old Sportage. The new Sportage is longer, wider and lower than the old model, all of which should contribute to improved dynamics and road holding.
From launch, a 131bhp, 224lb ft 2.0-litre diesel will be offered. A 1.6-litre petrol with stop-start will follow later in the year, as will a 158bhp two-stage turbo 1.7-litre diesel. This has claimed fuel economy of 51.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 138g/km.
Pricing is expected to start from around £15,500. This will ensure the Sportage significantly undercuts the Ford Kuga, Toyota Rav4 and Honda CR-V, the three cars Kia identifies as its chief rivals.
It is expected to sell around 10 to 20 per cent more units per year than the current model.