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.

Best 4x4s and SUVs

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.

Recommended

Kia Sportage SUV review
Kia Sportage SUV front 3/4 tracking
Kia Sportage
19 Mar 2021

Kia Sportage SUV review

Kia Sportage owner reviews
Kia Sportage SUV front 3/4 tracking
Kia Sportage
19 Mar 2021

Kia Sportage owner reviews

2021 Kia EV6: full pricing and specifications revealed
2021 Kia EV6 GT-Line - front 3/4 view
Kia
30 Apr 2021

2021 Kia EV6: full pricing and specifications revealed

New sub-£35k Kia e-Niro ‘2’ Long Range launched
Kia e-Niro '2' Long Range
Kia e-Niro
24 Mar 2021

New sub-£35k Kia e-Niro ‘2’ Long Range launched

Most Popular

Best 4x4s and SUVs
Peugeot 3008 SUV rear 3/4 tracking
Family SUVs
3 Jun 2021

Best 4x4s and SUVs

Best hybrid cars
Toyota Corolla Trek
Best cars
8 Jun 2021

Best hybrid cars

Ford EcoBoost engines: what are they and should you buy one?
2020 Ford Puma - front tracking
Ford Focus hatchback
4 Jun 2021

Ford EcoBoost engines: what are they and should you buy one?

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
13 Apr 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
3 Jun 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?
Tips and Advice
23 Mar 2020

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
24 Feb 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Best car interiors
Best cars
10 Mar 2020

Best car interiors

Best electric cars
Volkswagen ID.3
Best cars
6 May 2021

Best electric cars

Best cheap-to-run cars
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Best cheap-to-run cars

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Hot hatches
9 Apr 2020

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks