The fifth-generation Kia Sportage will make its debut in July 2021 in Korea. Globally, the Sportage has been Kia’s most popular SUV model. Prior to its launch, Kia has released teaser images of the SUV’s upcoming new-generation model. Earlier this year, Kia revealed its new design language “Opposites United” which it claims has inspired the design of the next-gen Sportage. The Sportage is a sibling to the Hyundai Tucson, which in its fourth redesigned generation version was revealed late last year. So under the skin, it is likely that Kia will adopt the same line of engines and transmissions as its brother.
In terms of design, the image reveals prominent sweeping LED DRLs around the headlamps. Kia’s statement also mentions “a detailed-orientated black grille graphic spanning the width of the face” which means it will be a 3D styled massive grille. A little enhancement of the image reveals a split design with the signature tiger-nose will be a narrow design element at the top, and the 3D-pattern large grille below it. The headlamps are not entirely a split design but are housed lower down on the apron with a wraparound effect. The roofline in the teaser image does have a hint of tapering down to the rear, but not as much as a proper SUV-Coupe. At the back will of course be a wrap-around taillamp with inverted LED DRLs, with a bar insert spanning the width of the car.
The image of the interior reveals quite a funky and futuristic design. The party piece is a large curved display that sits on top of the dash that will act as the driver’s instrumentation and the touchscreen infotainment system. It will be flanked by arrow-design AC vents on either side. There seem to be two additional air vents and a button panel below the screen (likely to be used for the HVAC) in the centre. Some storage space can also be seen at the bottom. The steering wheel will see a new design with button controls and the new Kia logo in the centre.
If the Hyundai Tucson’s engine lineup is of any hint, the Sportage will offer inline-4 petrol engines with 1.5-litre Turbo, 1.6-litre Turbo, 2.0-litre, 2.0-litre turbo, and 2.5-litre displacements. The diesel options would offer the choices of a 1.6-litre or 2.0-litre CRDI mills. A 48V mild-hybrid, hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid versions with the 1.6-litre turbo petrol are likely to be made of the Sportage as well. The 6-speed manual would likely be the standard transmission. Other automatic options would include a 6-speed iMT, a 6 or 8-speed automatic along with 6 or 7-speed dual-clutch transmissions. Kia will reveal further details about the next-generation Sportage SUV in the coming weeks. Eventually, we will have a confirmation of the full specs of the new Sportage and its engine, transmission range and combination.
The Hyundai Tucson has been on sale in the Indian market. But the model only sees a handful of sales every month, while the competition includes the Jeep Compass, Mahindra XUV500 and the Tata Harrier. Kia has not hinted at any intensions of launching the next-generation Sportage in the Indian market as yet. Kia India currently has three models on sale in India — Sonet, Seltos and Carnival. The automaker is rumoured to introduce a new 3-row seat SUV, an elongated version of the Sonet. As Kia is taking an SUV approach in the Indian market, the launch possibility of the Sportage cannot be ruled out entirely.
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