The Kia Sportage lived a fairly quiet life to begin with as a car known to few outside of Asian markets.
But ever since it became one of Kia’s first European-built models in its second-generation form, and then led its company’s transformation into a design-centric brand in its third, the Sportage has taken on special status for the company that makes it.
Peter Schreyer’s distinctive ‘tiger nose’ third-generation design drove the car to a level of UK- and European-market popularity unknown to Kia in the early 2010s, which the subsequent fourth-generation version built on.
And now, with the Sportage’s status as Kia’s best-selling model in the UK, Europe and the wider world assured, comes a fifth-generation version that looks ready to mix things up all over again.
Rather than protecting and subtly evolving the looks of its golden goose, Kia is innovating: using the most powerful sales platform it has to disseminate a new corporate design language that will roll out across its model lines and showing a strategic boldness that only commercial success can grant permission for.