By Khulekani Dumisa
Kia has today revealed the dedicated European Sportage. The car gets a new exterior look, new tech and a sleek interior.
Upfront the new Sportage spots a new black grille, Kia’s signature Tiger Nose grille, boomerang-shaped LED DRLs (daytime running lights) and Matrix LED head lamps also known as intelligent front lighting system.
A black roof is now available with the new model and appears to swoop down the C-pillar. At the rear, the new Sportage has a muscular swooping fastback design that flows into the rear lamps. The razor rear lamps are connected by a slim horizontal design.
Depending on spec and model, new Sportage rides on 17-inch, 18-inch or range-topping 19inch wheels, with a choice of six different alloy designs, colours and finishes.
At the centre of the new Sportage’s cabin sits an integrated curved display with touchscreen pad and detailed sporty air vents. A high-tech 12.3-inch touchscreen controls most functions. Equally, a 12.3-inch instrument cluster is equipped with the latest-generation full thin-film-transistor liquid-crystal display for incredibly precise and clear graphics.
The new Sportage benefits from the latest over-the-air software and map updates. The advanced connectivity software allows users to connect with their vehicle remotely via the Kia Connect smartphone app. The interactive, easy-to-use tech also gives users access to key onboard features such as the Kia Live Services, Online Navigation, Online voice recognition and Calendar integration from the smartphone.
For the sake of practicality, a shift-by-wire transmission dial has been introduced. A smartphone charging bay offers high-speed 15W wireless charging. A Harman Kardon premium sound system is also part of the package.
Luggage capacity, headroom and legroom have all been substantially increased. The boot space is 591 litres (VDA). To maximise convenience, the rear seats can fold down in a 40:20:40 split allowing for 1,780 litres of cargo space.
An advanced plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model represents another first for the Sportage. Hybrid (HEV) options are also available.
The PHEV Sportage features Kia’s 1.6-litre T-GDI engine, a 66.9kW permanent magnet traction electric motor and a 13.8kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack. The powertrain combination delivers a total system power output of 195kW, with 132kW originating from the IC engine.
The HEV Sportage model also benefits from Kia’s 1.6 T-GDI 132kW engine. It features a 44.2kW permanent magnet traction electric motor and a 1.49kWh lithium-ion polymer battery. Total system power of the HEV Sportage is 169kW.
The new 1.6 T-GDI engine is also available in the new Sportage line-up with a mild hybrid (MHEV) system that has been developed to reduce emissions and optimise frugality. It combines enhanced efficiency with sporty performance, generating 110kW or 132kW power output.
Also included in the launch line-up of new European Sportage is a 1.6-litre clean diesel engine that is available with 85kW or 100kW power outputs. Featuring advanced SCR active emissions control technologies, the clean diesel engine cuts pollutants such as NOx and particulate matter. The 100kW clean diesel model is available with MHEV technology, further reducing emissions and enhancing efficiency of the new Sportage.
The 1.6 T-GDI engine is mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (7DCT), while a 6-speed manual transmission (MT) is also available. The 1.6-litre diesel variants – with or without the additional MHEV tech – can be paired with either a 6-speed intelligent manual transmission (iMT) or the 7DCT.
A new-generation Electronic Controlled Suspension (ECS) provides optimum comfort and superior safety levels at all times thanks to its continuous damping control in real-time.
Kia says a new Terrain Mode gives the Sportage outstanding ride capabilities in more challenging conditions such as snow, mud and sand, allowing owners to pursue more adventurous leisure activities.
The new Sportage will come with whole host of passive and active safety systems. These include a reinforced and lightweight body structure that has high torsional rigidity, driver airbag, multiple airbags, forward collision avoidance assist system with junction turning functionality, highway driving assist, navigation-based smart cruise control, speed limit assist, blind-spot collision-avoidance, blindspot view monitor, remote smart parking assist, rear-view monitor and surround view, just to name a few.
The all-new Sportage is under consideration for introduction to the South African market. Once its local launch is confirmed, Kia South Africa will share more details.
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