The new Sportage brings major advances in fuel efficiency, comfort, connectivity, convenience and safety. The acclaimed styling of a model which sells as much on its looks as on its practicality has been subtly modernised and every model benefits from a more premium look and feel to the interior.
There are now four engines and three transmissions with the introduction of a 1.6-litre T-GDi (turbocharged gasoline direct injection) unit and a 7DCT (seven-speed dual-clutch automatic) gearbox, both of which are reserved exclusively for GT-Line. They join extensively re-engineered 1.6-litre GDi petrol and 1.7- and 2.0-litre turbodiesel power units with improved fuel economy and CO2 reductions of up to 29g/km, which means significantly lower company car tax for the Sportage's loyal legions of business drivers.
The six trim lines are badged 1, 2, 3, 4, GT-Line and First Edition. All versions powered by the 1.6-litre GDi and 1.7-litre CRDi engines are front-wheel drive, while those powered by the 1.6-litre T-GDi unit and the two 2.0-litre CRDi diesels have all-wheel drive. Four-wheel-drive versions are distinguished by the 'KX' prefix in the model designation - except for GT-Line and First Edition versions
Connectivity and advanced driver aids are a pre-requisite in any car these days, and the Sportage will not disappoint on either count. All versions except the entry-level grade have a 7- or 8-inch touch-screen satellite navigation system linked to Kia Connected Services with TomTom®, providing full European mapping and detailed traffic, speed camera, weather and local services information. Further up the range, Speed Limit Information, Lane Keep Assist, High Beam Assist, Autonomous Emergency Braking and Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert are available.
All versions of the all-new Sportage are comprehensively equipped and feature an extensive package of comfort, convenience and safety items which becomes progressively more luxurious with every step up the range.
Even Grade 1/KX-1 comes as standard with 16-inch alloy wheels and all-round disc brakes, a black diamond-mesh grille with chromed surround, front foglights, LED daytime running lamps, cornering lights, chrome-coated belt-line mouldings, smart black cloth upholstery with a grey headlining, electrically adjustable door mirrors, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearshifter, all-round electric windows, air conditioning, a DAB radio, Bluetooth with music streaming, USB and AUX ports, 12-volt power outlet in the front and rear, Trailer Stability Assist, Hill-start Assist, Downhill Brake Control and cruise control with speed limiter.
Grade 2/KX-2 expands on this with 17-inch alloys, body-coloured exterior handles with chrome inserts, high-gloss paint on the front grille, 7-inch touch-screen navigation system with integrated reversing camera and connectivity services, roof rails, privacy glass on the rear side windows and tailgate, black premium cloth upholstery and powered lumbar adjustment for the driver's seat, electrically folding and heated door mirrors with LED indicators, reversing sensors, automatic lights and wipers, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, dual automatic air conditioning with an automatic windscreen de-fog system, a cooled glovebox and the Lane-Keep Assist, automatic high-beam assist and speed limit information functions.
With grade 3/KX-3 come 19-inch alloys, a front wiper de-icer, black leather upholstery, a high-gloss black centre fascia, a rear USB charging point, heated front and outer rear seats, 4.2-inch LCD TFT colour information display, an 8” satellite navigation screen and a JBL® premium sound system with sub-woofer, external amp and front centre speaker.
Above that, grade 4/KX-4 adds bi-xenon adaptive headlights with automatic levelling and washers, front parking sensors, a smart key entry system and engine start/stop button, stainless steel door scuff plates, a panoramic sunroof, LED rear combination lamps, 10-way power adjustable driver and eight-way adjustable front passenger ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel, Autonomous Emergency Braking and Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
First Edition is distinguished by the Smart Parking Assist system, a smart powered tailgate, a wireless mobile phone charger, metallic paint in either Fusion White or Phantom Black, ‘First Edition' decals and stone grey two-tone leather upholstery.
GT-Line: the ultimate sporty touch
GT-Line sits in the range between grades 2 and 3 and has sporty styling flourishes which mark it out as the most dynamic version of the all-new Sportage. There are exclusive 19-inch alloys, LED rear combination lamps, front parking sensors, heated front and outer rear seats, a 4.2-inch TFT instrument cluster and, with the DCT gearbox, paddle shifters. The standard GT-Line Exterior Styling Pack adds ice-cube LED front foglights, a high-gloss black ‘blade mesh’ grille, dual exhausts, satin chrome belt-line mouldings and door sills and silver front and rear skid plates.
The Interior Styling Pack, which is also standard, introduces black leather upholstery with grey inserts, a high-gloss black centre fascia, a black headliner, stainless steel pedals and a D-shaped leather-covered sports steering wheel.
Up to 7mpg more economical, with CO reductions of as much as 29g/km
The four engines available in the previous Sportage have been extensively revised to meet EU6 emissions regulations, with the result that they now deliver better fuel economy with lower CO2 emissions, and they are joined by a 1.6-litre T-GDi turbocharged petrol unit in GT-Line.
The 1.7-litre CRDi favoured by more than half of all Sportage buyers is now more than 7mpg more fuel-efficient in combined mode, while its CO2 output falls by 16g/km. There is a reduction in CO2 of 29g/km for the lower-powered (134bhp) 2.0-litre CRDi engine with automatic transmission, while with the higher-powered (182bhp) version of the same engine with automatic transmission the reduction is 23g/km.
The new high-performance T-GDi engine delivers excellent efficiency, with fuel economy of more than 37mpg and CO2 figures of 177g/km (manual) and 175g/km (7DCT).
Driveability has also improved, especially with the 2.0-litre diesels, which now have more torque across a wider rev range. With the 134bhp version, torque rises from 320Nm to 373Nm, while the 182bhp unit now delivers 400Nm (previously 383Nm with manual transmission and 392Nm with the automatic).
Six-speed manual gearboxes are fitted to every model, but the 2.0-litre diesels are available with a six-speed torque converter automatic (standard on First Edition). 7-speed DCT is available on GT-Line models. Intelligent all-wheel-drive is standard on 1.6-litre T-GDi and 2.0-litre CRDi versions. It normally delivers 100 per cent of engine torque to the front wheels, but this can be redistributed up to a maximum of 60:40 front-to-rear to enhance cornering stability or if road conditions deteriorate. For off-road driving, owners can manually select lock mode, which gives a 50:50 torque split at speeds of up to 25mph. The system is now linked to Advanced Traction Cornering Control, which monitors road speed, throttle input and steering angle and distributes torque between the left and right wheels to maximise cornering stability.
Improved driving dynamics, comfort and safety
The fun-to-drive qualities which were a major attraction for buyers of the fourth-generation Sportage have been honed to an even sharper degree in the new model through a combination of a much stiffer body shell, extensive suspension revisions and a new steering system. As a result, the Sportage is now even more precise and stable on the UK's twisty country roads and more comfortable and refined on highways and motorways.
The suspension features MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link arrangement at the rear. The front and rear suspension systems are mounted on lightweight hydro-formed subframes that help to isolate occupants from irregularities in the road and surface-generated noise.
In the UK, all versions have Kia's latest rack-mounted Motor Driven Power Steering (R-MDPS). Previously, the electric motor which controls the steering was mounted half way up the steering column. With R-MDPS it is mounted directly to the steering rack. This brings sharper responses and greater precision. Kia likens it to trying to steer a blindfolded person from behind: if you direct them from the waist they are able to follow a more precise path than if directed at shoulder level.
R-MDPS requires just 2.7 turns of the steering wheel between the extremes of lock for a turning circle between kerbs of 10.6 metres. It delivers good feel and precise control, with low turning effort for parking and low-speed manoeuvres and firmer feedback at higher speeds. Compared with a hydraulically activated steering system it contributes to fuel economy savings of around three per cent.
The Sportage has an all-disc, anti-lock braking system (ventilated at the front and solid at the rear), backed up by Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BAS). EBD apportions the stopping power to the wheels with most grip while BAS ensures maximum braking power in an emergency regardless of the force exerted on the pedal by the driver.
A number of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are now offered on the Sportage for the first time, all designed to minimise the possibility of an accident.
Top-of-the-range grade 4/KX-4 and First Edition versions are fitted with Autonomous Emergency Braking, which employs both short- and long-range radar systems so that it can detect vehicles and pedestrians at greater distances and higher speeds. The short-range radar operates at typical city speeds of up to 43mph. Between 19mph and 50mph the longer-range radar also comes into play to detect obstacles in the car's path and responds by automatically slowing the car, to a complete stop if necessary. The pedestrian detection function operates at up to 37mph.
There is also Blind Spot Detection to act as an extra pair of eyes for the driver when changing lanes, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert to warn a driver who is about to reverse out of a perpendicular parking bay that there is a vehicle approaching at right angles. All models from grade 2/KX-2 have Lane Keep Assist to alert a tired driver who may be about to stray into the path of a vehicle approaching from behind; High Beam Assist to switch between full and dipped beam automatically when there are other vehicles in the vicinity; and a Speed Limit Information function within the instrument cluster.
From grade 2/KX-2 a reversing camera is integrated with the 7.0- or 8.0-inch navigation touch-screen and reversing sensors are standard, helping to minimise the chance of annoying little parking dents, and the First Edition model has a Smart Park Assist system which can identify suitable parallel and perpendicular spaces automatically steer the car into and out of them.
As a result, the new Sportage has earned a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP under the ever-tougher testing regime. It was commended for its ability to protect passengers of all statures in all seats, faring especially well in a side-on impact with a pole, and scored 71 per cent for its active safety assist technologies.
A dynamic and sporty appearance
With the introduction of GT-Line versions of the Sportage, there are now two distinct body treatments for Kia's compact crossover. All have an almost a sports car-like ratio between sheet metal and glass, with narrow side windows, deeply sculpted sides and bold wheel arches encasing wheels of up to 19 inches in diameter.
Sleek and rakish, the Sportage successfully incorporates the key features of an SUV in an urban-friendly, athletic and muscular package. The new Sportage is 40mm longer than its predecessor, with a 30mm greater wheelbase but unchanged width and height – dimensions which make it look even more lithe and sporty while lowering its co-efficient of drag (Cd) from 0.35 to 0.33. Every small reduction in drag helps to lower fuel consumption and emissions at speed.
The front is dominated by a wide interpretation of Kia's ‘tiger nose’ main grille featuring a chromed surround with either black diamond or high-gloss black diamond mesh. The dynamically styled bonnet is dished in the centre and features two raised ribs. At the sides, the bonnet sweeps up to cover the elongated headlamps which extend along the sides. LED daytime running lamps are standard, and the headlamps are bi-xenon adaptive units on grades 4/KX-4 and First Edition. There are recessed circular foglamps, which are underscored by two chrome blades. The steeply angled windscreen sweeps seamlessly into the low roofline and its top edge is again castellated, which is becoming something of a Sportage hallmark.
The increased overall length, extended wheelbase and shorter rear overhang give the new Sportage an even more sporty profile than its award-winning predecessor. Straight, flowing character lines stretch across the body above the sills, beneath the glasshouse and over the side window line, giving the profile a sense of tension and precision. This is emphasised by the sharp styling of the 16-, 17- and 19-inch wheels.
There is a more chiselled and voluminous look to the rear, which features a mixture of concave and convex surfaces and horizontal lines which emphasise the wide and stable stance. A chrome strip links the rear combination lamps with their distinctive night-time signature. The rear lamp units are LED from grade 4/KX-4. Beneath the tailgate is an aerodynamic diffuser.
The new Sportage continues the leap forward Kia has been making with actual and perceived quality, with flush-fitting fixtures and trim, soft-to-the-touch materials and luxurious detailing.
The dash is horizontal in layout and split into an upper display area containing the Thin Film Transistor instrument graphics and 7- or 8-inch colour touch-screen where fitted. The lower section of the dash is the control area, with large, soft-painted buttons for the heater switches and the audio system. The touch-screen system which is standard from grade 2 upwards means the interior designers have been able to reduce the number of switches.
The front of the cabin is driver-centric, with a pronounced cockpit layout and simple switches grouped according to function. This is not only more ergonomic but also safer because it reduces the amount of time the driver's gaze needs to be averted from the road. The centre console is angled at 7.2 degrees towards the driver for easier visibility.
Visibility has been further improved by lowering the position of the door mirrors, narrowing their plastic mounts and reducing the thickness of the bottom of the A-pillars. The tailgate glass is also taller and the C-pillars are narrower to expand the rearwards field of vision. The floor has been lowered by 40mm, making entry and access easier and lowering the hip point of occupants. A new organ-type boxed accelerator pedal replaces the previous pendant type for greater comfort.
Seat comfort has also been improved by studious attention to detail with the padding and side support. The pad density of the cushions has been increased, their suspension at the front edge is now fixed, the foam is softer and the spring diameters have been reduced. There are also firmer side supports, which are replicated with the rear backrest bolsters. And a softer pad is fitted to the headrests. High- and low-tensile steel frames reduce the weight of each front seat by 2.5kg and are more effective at absorbing vibrations.
The five-seat cabin is more spacious thanks to the increase in wheelbase. Legroom and headroom front and rear is up to 16mm greater, while the boot capacity has risen by 26 litres (all seats in use) at 491 litres, or 1,480 litres when they are folded down. The rear seats now fold almost flat, with a barely noticeable eight-degree tilt, while the lift-over height of the boot lip has been lowered by 47mm. The two-position cargo floor leaves space for the luggage cover to be stored beneath it when not in use.
Market, warranty and after-care
The new Sportage slots into the compact SUV/crossover sector of the market, which is expected to grow from 9.4 per cent of the total in Europe in 2015 to 10.2 per cent by 2018, with total sales for the sector predicted at 1.6 million.
The outgoing Sportage was especially successful in the UK, where it is Kia's best-selling model, claiming close to 29 per cent of the company's sales.
In keeping with every Kia, the Sportage comes with the company’s unique-in-the-UK seven-year or 100,000-mile warranty, subject to certain wear and tear conditions. The warranty is fully transferable should the car be sold before the time or mileage limits have been reached, and if the car is sold when less than 18 months old or with less than 18,000 miles on the clock the warranty is topped up to match that of a new model (if sold as an Approved Used vehicle by a Kia dealer)
The Sportage is available with Kia’s Care-3 and Care-3 Plus servicing packages, offering retail customers fixed-cost, inflation-proof servicing for three or five years.All work is carried out by trained technicians using genuine Kia replacement parts and specified oils. All packages cover the car, not the owner, so are transferable should the vehicle be sold. If a vehicle with a Care-3 package is sold the next owner may upgrade to the five year service package.
UK Sportage technical details
|Model||Power bhp||Torque Nm||0–60 sec||Max speed mph||Combined mpg||CO2 g/km|
|1.6 GDi six-speed manual 1||130||161||11.1||113||42.2||156|
|1.7 CRDi six-speed manual 1 ISG||114||280||11.1||109||61.4||119|
|2.0 CRDi (134bhp) six-speed manual KX-1||134||373||10.1||114||54.3||139|
|1.6 GDi six-speed manual 2 ISG||130||161||11.1||113||44.8||147|
|1.7 CRDi six-speed manual 2 ISG||114||280||11.1||109||61.4||119|
|2.0 CRDi (134bhp) six-speed manual KX-2||134||373||10.1||114||54.3||139|
|2.0 CRDi (134bhp) six-speed auto KX-2||134||373||11.6||114||47.9||154|
|1.7 CRDi six-speed manual 3 ISG||114||280||11.1||109||61.4||119|
|2.0 CRDi (134bhp) six-speed manual KX-3||134||373||10.1||114||54.3||139|
|2.0 CRDi (134bhp) six-speed auto KX-3||134||373||11.6||114||47.9||154|
|1.7 CRDi six-speed manual 4 ISG||114||280||11.1||109||61.4||119|
|2.0 CRDi (182bhp) six-speed manual KX-4||182||400||9.2||125||47.9||154|
|2.0 CRDi (182bhp) six-speed auto KX-4||182||400||9.2||125||44.8||166|
|2.0 CRDi (182bhp) six-speed auto First Edition||182||400||9.2||125||44.8||166|
|1.6 T-GDi six-speed manual GT-Line||174||265||9.2||126||37.2||177|
|1.6 T-GDi 7DCT GT-Line||174||265||8.8||125||37.7||175|
|2.0 CRDi (134bhp) six-speed manual GT-Line||134||373||10.1||114||54.3||139|
|2.0 CRDi (134bhp) six-speed auto GT-Line||134||373||11.6||114||47.9||154|
UK Sportage pricing
|1.6 GDi six-speed manual 1||£17,995|
|1.7 CRDi six-speed manual 1||£19,745|
|2.0 CRDi (134bhp) six-speed manual KX-1||£21,995|
|1.6 GDi six-speed manual 2||£20,500|
|1.7 CRDi six-speed manual 2||£22,050|
|2.0 CRDi (134bhp) six-speed manual KX-2||£24,300|
|2.0 CRDi (134bhp) six-speed auto 2||£25,610|
|1.7 CRDi six-speed manual 3||£24,750|
|2.0 CRDi (134bhp) six-speed manual KX-3||£27,000|
|2.0 CRDi (134bhp) six-speed auto KX-3||£28,310|
|1.7 CRDi six-speed manual 4||£26,550|
|2.0 CRDi (182bhp) six-speed manual KX-4||£29,400|
|2.0 CRDi (182bhp) six-speed auto KX-4||£30,710|
|2.0 CRDi (182bhp) six-speed auto First Edition||£31,645|
|1.6 T-GDi six-speed manual GT-Line||£24,350|
|1.6 T-GDi 7DCT GT-Line||£25,650|
|2.0 CRDi (134bhp) six-speed manual GT-Line||£25,850|
|2.0 CRDi (134bhp) six-speed auto GT-Line||£27,160|