By Malusi Msomi
One of the most anticipated cars set to be launched in SA is the new Kia Sportage. The fifth-generation Sportage has finally arrived in Mzansi and it sports a bold new look and cutting edge interior with advanced technologies, advanced driver assistance systems, turbocharged powertrains and three different GT-Line models on offer for the first time.
Bold new looks
The new Kia Sportage boast striking new looks thanks to Kia’s Opposites United design philosophy which is formed of five pillars: Joy for Reason, Power to Progress, Technology for Life, Tension for Serenity and Bold for Nature. Kia says the latter has profoundly influenced the design creation of the all-new Sportage, embodying the natural world and creating a design identity that takes a daring, emotional, modern but organic form.
Up front, the new Sportage boasts Kia’s modern interpretation of the signature Tiger-nose grille with black detailing stretching across the width of the Sportage’s face and it’s flanked by boomerang shaped daytime running lights and striking Matrix LED head lamps. Strong shoulder lines and black roof – a different colour paint option to the vehicle’s body – is now available with the new model, which help with accentuating the sporting profile and highlight the architecturally dynamic C-pillar that encompasses a deconstructed look.
Depending on the model, the all-new Sportage rides on 17-inch, 18-inch or range-topping 19-inch wheels, with a choice of 12 different exterior colours. Considering the importance of Kia’s Bold for Nature design pillar in the Sportage design, these colours new additions such as Experience Green, Orange Fusion and Splash Lemon to complement well-loved colours such as Casa White, Black Pearl, Blue Frame and Infra Red Metallic.
The bold looks continue at the rear thanks to the EV6 inspired tailgate with razor rear lamps which are connected by a slim horizontal design, giving the all-new Sportage a stunningly wide impression from the back.
Premium interior and new technologies
Inside, the new Sportage promises a state-of-the-art interior with intuitive and innovative technologies as well as a use of high-quality materials. At the centre of the all-new Sportage’s modern cabin sits an integrated curved display with a slim touchscreen pad and detailed air vents. The curved display sweeps across the front of the interior, giving the cockpit dramatic width and depth. The high-tech 12.3-inch touchscreen acts as the nerve centre for driver and passenger connectivity, functionality and usability needs, designed for highly intuitive and soft-to-touch ease-of-use and equipped with the latest-generation full thin-film-transistor liquid-crystal display for precise and clear graphics.
The new Sportage also features three-dimensional air vents and soft touch materials available in vibrant colours. It also features an intelligent interior space, which combines practicality, functionality and versatility, is underpinned by a compact wheelbase of 2,680mm, a width of 1,855mm, length of 4,515mm and height of 1,650mm resulting in a package that is class-leading for legroom, headroom and luggage capacity. The all-new Sportage offers 996 mm legroom for second-row passengers and 1,000mm headroom, while luggage capacity is 591 litres (VDA).
Sportage model derivatives
With the all-new model, Kia has deleted the Ignite and Ignite Plus grades from the range, consolidating the best of both previous grades into a new LX grade, while enhancing the mid-tier EX grade models. Other model derivatives of the new Sportage includes GT-Line, GT-Line and GT-Line S offering a comprehensive list of standard features
Safety and driver assistance systems
All Sportage models feature a total of six airbags: a driver’s airbag, front passenger airbag, side airbags, and side curtain airbags. ISOFIX child seat anchors are also a standard inclusion across the range.
All models are furthermore equipped with an Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC), as well as Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC), Downhill Brake Control (DBC) and Trailer Stability Assist (TSA). All models feature Smart Entry with Push Button Start, as well as an electric parking brake with auto-hold functionality. A variety of Kia’s acclaimed in-house developed Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) technology is also on offer, depending on the model.
The new Sportage is offered, for the first time, only with a 1.6-litre T-GDi petrol engine, and paired exclusively with an advanced version of Kia’s 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT). The turbocharged engine makes 132kW and 265Nm. Kia claims it sprints from 0-100 km/h in 8,8 seconds and has a top speed of 201km/h.
We’ve spent a good part of the day sampling the new Kia Sportage GT-Line S derivative which gets all the bells and whistles. On the outside you get 19-inch wheels, gloss black exterior trims, and delux scuff plates. Overall, it looks quite stunning.
Kia really went to town with The Sportage’s interior. The cabin feels upmarket and is filled with the latest gizmos. You get a panoramic sunroof, ombination artificial leather / suede seats, heated and ventilated seats, ambient lighting and a beautiful curved digital instrument cluster and infotainment system which supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
In terms of the drive, it’s quite solid and comfy. The 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine works well with the 7-speed DCT transmission. Peace of mind driving honestly.Overall, the Sportage is a solid product from Kia as it offers good looks, practicality and quite a bit of standard kit.
Pricing and warranty
The all-new Kia Sportage goes on sale on Wednesday, 21 September 2022. Recommended retail pricing for the range is as follows:
Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi LX – R539,995
Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi EX – R593,995
Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi GT-Line – R649,995
Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi GT-Line Plus – R677,995
Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi GT-Line S – R734,995
All Sportage models come standard with Kia’s Unlimited Kilometre/5-year warranty, inclusive of Roadside Assistance. In addition, a pre-paid 6-year / 90,000 km service plan is included to give customers peace of mind and predictability when it comes to vehicle maintenance.
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