New Kia Sportage revealed with radical design
The new 2021 Kia Sportage gets a full design makeover and will go on sale later this year
- Will feature a bold new look
- A choice of electrified powertrains available
- European model set to be revealed in September
The new, fifth-generation Kia Sportage has been unveiled. The latest iteration of the brand’s mid-size family SUV will get a distinctive new design and a significant technology upgrade inside, including a vast curved dashboard display.
Kia will unveil a version of the new Sportage specifically designed for the European market in September, which may look slightly different from the model seen here. We’d expect the next Sportage to go on sale in the UK by the end of the year, when it will renew its rivalry with the Volkswagen Tiguan, Peugeot 3008 and Ford Kuga.
2021 Kia Sportage SUV: design
The design of the new Kia Sportage echoes the forthcoming electric EV6, with large ‘C-shaped’ daytime running lights and stacked rectangular headlights and foglights. Kia’s bold ‘Tiger Nose’ front grille spans the entire width of the nose and is the largest version of this design seen on a production model to date. Above this, a silver air intake sits in front of the angular bonnet.
The new car’s side profile is slightly sportier than before, thanks in part to a sharper roofline, a crease line in the front and rear doors and sharply flared rear wheel arches, giving it a more muscular look than the old car. At the back, a new angular hatch design features a full-width light bar and slim LED lights.
Kia hasn’t yet revealed full details of styling options but buyers will be able to pick from a variety of colour schemes, including new two-tone paint finishes. A range of new alloy wheel designs will also feature, likely ranging from 17 to 19-inches in size.
Interior, technology and practicality
The interior of the Sportage gets a radical makeover, including a new digital setup. That consists of a vast curved digital display housing a pair of 10.25-inch screens for the digital dial cluster and infotainment screen.
A new steering wheel design sporting Kia’s new logo is on show, and it appears the car’s stereo and ventilation controls will consist of touch-sensitive buttons with a pair of physical rotary dials located either side. The centre console houses the automatic gearstick and switchgear for the infotainment system.
Like the current Sportage, the new model will share parts with the Hyundai Tucson, which has also recently received an upgrade. The two SUVs are expected to share the same safety equipment and in-car tech. Kia is yet to confirm exact details of the new car’s dimensions or storage space
Engines and powertrains
Kia is yet to announce any details about the new Sportage’s engine range but, should it borrow the powertrains used by the Tucson, there’ll be a choice of front- and four-wheel drive options. The Tucson line-up begins with petrol and diesel engines that include a 48-volt mild-hybrid setup, which means electrification is highly likely on the new Sportage.
This mild-hybrid system is already offered on some engines in the current Sportage range and it works by harvesting braking energy when slowing down to charge a small battery. This energy is then used to assist in powering the engine under acceleration. The system is paired with the group’s Intelligent Manual Transmission, a clutch-by-wire system that allows for in-gear, engine-off coasting to improve economy.
A 1.6-litre petrol engine paired with a 59bhp electric motor will also be available, offering buyers a more traditional hybrid system. The setup offers a combined power output of 227bhp and 350Nm of torque. The hybrid will allow for small distances to be covered in pure electric mode, with the batteries charged by the combustion engine or coasting.
A plug-in hybrid model is likely to be the most popular choice for both private and company-car buyers, offering owners low fuel bills and tax rates. The setup will likely feature the same 1.6-litre petrol engine but it’ll be linked to a larger-capacity battery that should return a zero-emissions range of approximately 30 miles.
Since the Sportage will come equipped with adaptive dampers, shared with the Tucson, the SUV is also likely to offer different driving modes. The Sportage is expected to come with a semi-autonomous driving system, allowing the SUV to accelerate, brake and steer in lanes for short periods.
Want to find out more about the current Kia Sportage? Click here to read our full review.
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