Kia has unveiled a brand new version of its Sportage SUV with a dedicated model designed for Europe.
The fifth generation of the Sportage is being released in two versions - a long-wheelbase model for the Korea and US markets and, for the first time, a shorter wheelbase model engineered specifically for the European market.
Kia says the shorter European spec Sportage has been designed to provide the “ideal dimensions and proportions for European roads”. At 4,515mm long it is 85mm shorter than the global version, with a 75mm shorter wheelbase, but the new Sportage is still larger than before - 30mm longer with an extra 10mm in the wheelbase.
Externally, the new Sportage has a bold new look inspired by Kia’s “opposites united” design philosophy. The front is dominated by the latest interpretation of the brand’s tiger nose grille, flanked by boomerang-shaped running lights wrapped around the main headlamp unit. A deep lower grille and black cladding emphasise the Sportage’s new look and a contrast black roof is among new options. The angular design of the front is carried on around the vehicle with deep creases in the doors and sharply shaped taillights which flow from the rear three-quarter panels into the tailgate.
Inside, the Sportage has undergone a less dramatic change, but has been updated with new materials and technology. Key to the changes is a new 12.3-inch curved touchscreen at the centre of the redesigned dashboard. This is mounted in a single unit alongside an identically sized digital instrument display, flanked by what Kia is insisting are “finely detailed sporty air vents”.
The new screen houses Kia’s latest navigation, connectivity and media system with internet connectivity and over-the-air updates. Kia says that the Sportage’s technological progress goes beyond this, with an enhanced driver assistance package that includes navigation-assisted adaptive cruise control and remote parking control that can be operated from outside the vehicle.
The latest Sportage will be offered with a range of petrol and diesel drivetrains, including mild, full and plug-in hybrid variants.
Key to the line up are the Sportage HEV and PHEV models. Both use a 178bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine mated to an electric motor. In the standard hybrid, total power is 227bhp while the plug-in variant gets a more powerful electric motor for a total of 261bhp. EV range for the PHEV is yet to be confirmed but it uses a 13.8kWh battery to provide electric-only running.
The same 1.6-litre engine is also available as a 148bhp or 178bhp mild hybrid.
A single 1.6-litre diesel engine will also be offered, with 114bhp or 134bhp, the latter available with mild hybrid technology.
There will be no pure electric version of the Sportage, with the brand’s EV6 SUV taking on that role instead.
As part of the brief to create a Europe-specific model, the Sportage’s chassis has also been developed and tuned for the region’s roads and features electronically controlled continuous damping and an automatically controlled all-wheel-drive system.
The fifth-generation car also features a new “terrain mode” designed to help the Sportage cope with tricky off-road conditions such as sand, mud and snow, as well as three regular driving modes.
Full specs and prices are still to be confirmed but expect a slight increase on the current generation, which ranges from £24,400 to £35,000.