Much-missed crossover SUV from Kia looks to be a return to form with stunning design and hybrid variants to come by 2022
The new Kia Sportage has just been announced, and there’s a strong likelihood that the car will be on sale in Singapore before the end of 2021 or early 2022.
Kia has released images and some details of what we can expect from the car, which actually sits on the same platform as the just-launched, new Hyundai Tucson.
The new car will be the fifth-generation Sportage, and its design is in theme with the rest of the current Kia lineup, featuring bold creases along the doors, angular side skirts, chrome trim outlining sections of the body, and sharp edged headlight housings.
There are design elements clearly inspired by Kia’s own EV6 electric car, and it also gets that now trending feature: a full width brake light across the rear end.
The car measures 4,660mm in length, with a wheelbase of 2,755mm. Luggage capacity is rated at 637 litres.
Inside, it’s dramatically different from the old Sportage, with a large 12-inch central screen that links up to a new digital driver’s display, like the dual-screen setups you can now find in many continental cars. It’s actually very thematically similar to the current Kia Sorento.
You get very few actual buttons in the new Sportage’s interior, touchscreens and rotary command dials are now pretty much standard for in-cabin switchgear. A full suite of active safety features, such as the cool blind spot monitor cameras from the Sorento, is expected to be onboard as well.
Kia specifically states that the new Sportage has been designed to take full advantage of the latest-generation engines, including hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants. It’s tight-lipped on what the hybrid powertrains will be, stating that, “More information about the high-tech electrified all-new Sportage models will be made available near the start of sales.”
What’s almost certain is that the hybrid drive system will also be shared with the new Hyundai Tucson, which is also confirmed to have a hybrid variant launching towards the end of 2021.
Meanwhile Kia has confirmed that the launch engine will be a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine generating 180 horsepower. It will transmit power to the ground through a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission. Kia did not state performance figures, but the car should hit 100km/h from a standstill in under nine seconds when you take the similarly powerful Hyundai Tucson as a rough gauge.
A 2.0-litre turbodiesel engined variant of the Sportage will also be available, but this version is unlikely to be sold in Singapore.
More information about what the Singapore-bound Kia Sportage will feature should be known by around September 2021. The previous-generation model was phased out in 2017, and the Kia showroom in Singapore has been without a Sportage since then so pent-up demand could help move the new car. Based on present COE prices, the Sportage could retail in the S$140,000 range. That would put it in the same price range as cars like the Skoda Kamiq and even the Peugeot 3008, which are actually smaller in size.