4x4, SUV, Crossover, News

All-new Kia Sportage

Kia has confirmed its new Kia Sportage compact SUV is set to go on sale during Q1 2016.

The five-door, five-seater compact crossover features a choice of diesel and petrol four-cylinder engines driving either the front or front and rear wheels, via six-speed manual, six-speed automatic or seven-speed double-clutch transmission – depending on model. For the first time, a new ‘GT Line’ specification is available to Sportage customers offering ‘greater visual and dynamic appeal’.

The new Sportage’s front end features the biggest change to the car’s design over the outgoing car, with Kia’s ‘tiger-nose’ grille and the car’s headlamps separated for the new model. The headlamps are now positioned higher, sweeping back along the outer edges of a ‘sharply-detailed bonnet’. A lower, wider grille – enlarged to support greater engine cooling – adds more volume to the lower half of the Sportage’s face. GT Line models develop the exterior look further with ‘ice-cube’ LED fog lamps, inspired by those found on the high-powered cee’d GT, and aluminium-effect skid plates.

At the rear, the new Sportage features more horizontal forms and features lines, with smooth bodywork on the tailgate. Inspired by the 2013 Kia Provo concept, slim combination lamps running along a horizontal parallel are joined together by a strip that runs the width of the rear, while the turn signals and reversing lights are separate, located lower down. The GT Line adds dual exhaust pipes and metal-effect rear underbody diffuser for a sportier appearance.

Available with a choice of 16-, 17- or 19-inch alloy wheel designs, the GT Line specification comes with a unique 19-inch wheel option as standard.

The fourth-generation model carries over many of the engines found in the current vehicle, with most benefitting from a ‘broad range of modifications’ to improve fuel efficiency, NVH and power delivery. A new 1.6-litre T-GDI (turbo gasoline direct injection) is also available for the first time on the Sportage, exclusively for GT Line buyers, offering a combination of 'lively performance and high fuel economy'.

The ‘Gamma’ 1.6-litre T-GDI engine is based on the same unit powering the Kia cee’d GT and pro_cee’d GT, producing 177 ps – and peak 265 Nm torque. The brand’s latest 1.6-litre T-GDI engine, producing 132 ps and 160.8 Nm torque, is carried over directly from the third-generation Sportage.

The new model will continue to offer the 115 ps 1.7-litre CRDi diesel engine, and a ‘significantly’ upgraded 2.0-litre ‘R’ power unit. This 2.0-litre turbodiesel is available with two power outputs – 136 ps with 373 Nm torque, and 185 ps with 400 Nm. Both high- and lower-powered versions of the 2.0-litre ‘R’ diesel are available both on the standard Sportage and with the GT Line specification. An all-new seven-speed double-clutch transmission (DCT) also features, recently launched in the enhanced Kia cee’d and available exclusively on models equipped with the new 177 ps 1.6-litre T-GDI engine. The DCT is capable of handling the higher torque outputs of the turbocharged engine. The range also continues to be offered with a choice of six-speed manual and automatic transmissions.

On the inside, Kia says an all-new interior represents ‘one of the most significant improvements’ over the third-generation Sportage. A wide, driver-oriented dashboard with a simple modern design blends metalwork with soft-touch materials. The fourth-generation model has an increased exterior and interior dimensions - with the most significant change to the Sportage’s dimensions is a 30 mm growth in its wheelbase. Passenger space has increased, with headroom rising for front and rear passengers respectively, while maximum legroom has expanded by 19 mm. Boot space has expanded from 465 litres to 503 litres, made more practical by a dual-height luggage floor, allowing taller items to fit into the boot and still remain hidden by the tonneau cover.

The 2016 Sportage is fitted as standard with a large number of airbags, further improving passive safety for occupants, with airbags for driver and front passenger, first row side airbags, and first and second row curtain airbags. The SUV scored a maximum possible five-star safety rating in the Euro NCAP crash performance tests.

The new model can be specified with up-to-date active hazard-avoidance technologies. Available systems will include: Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) and High Beam Assist (HBA) to name a few. Buyers can choose between 7.0- or 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment and satellite navigation systems, each supporting the addition of DAB digital radio as well as a new wireless charger for mobile devices, the first for any car in the C-SUV segment according to Kia.

Depending on market, other new available features will include: a rear-view parking camera with dynamic parking lines, a Smart Power Tailgate, which opens the tailgate automatically when the key is ‘sensed’ in close proximity to the tailgate; Dynamic Bending Headlamps, which sweep the road ahead in line with the steering wheel for greater visibility and improved safety at night; and a new Smart Welcome function, which turns on interior and door handle lamps and unfolds the door mirrors once the smart key fob is located within 1.3-1.7 metres of the door handle.

The new Kia Sportage will go on sale across Europe in Q1 of 2016 with prices yet to be confirmed.