To look at, you may be wondering what is so ‘new’ about the new Kia Sportage. At first glance, it looks to be almost identical to the previous version. Tiger nose grille? check. Long, rakish rear lights? check. However, when you take a second glance, you’ll notice the tweaked front end, with redesigned front bumpers, an updated version of Kia’s iconic ‘Tiger Nose’ grille, plus new fog light housings. There are also new alloy wheel choices, plus the inside has been treated with a new steering wheel.
Is that it?
Of course not. The Korean brand has been hard at work to ensure that its best-selling model continues to draw punters in to dealerships. For starters, there are new engines available, although the petrol units remain the same, albeit with slightly lower emissions. One engine that hasn’t survived is the 1.7 litre diesel, which has been binned, and in its place is a 1.6 litre diesel that is available in either 114 or 134bhp flavours.
However, diesel isn’t exactly flavour of the month, so you could well be delighted to hear that this Sportage will be made available with a hybrid powertrain. It’s called EcoDynamics+, and it’s Kia’s first mild hybrid diesel. Whoops, I mentioned the D word again – never mind. The ED+ setup consists of a 2.0 litre diesel, which features assistance from a 48-volt lithium-ion battery.
Peace of mind
With the Sportage being a family car, safety is key, and the new model has carried on the previous version’s high standard of safety. Thanks to a good host of safety systems, the Sportage has earnt five stars from Euro NCAP, which is bound to give many buyers peace of mind. If you opt for the ‘2’ trim level and above, you’ll get standard safety features such as lane keep assist, high beam assist, and also speed limit information function.
All models feature six airbags and a reversing camera, but you’ll get rear parking sensors on the ‘2’ trim level upwards, and if you go for the ‘GT Line S’ you’ll get adaptive cruise control. Front parking sensors are included on ‘Edition 25’, ‘4’, ‘GT-Line’ and ‘GT-Line S’ versions and a 360-degree Around View Monitor delivers a helicopter-style view from above the vehicle to aid manoeuvring, and is fitted to all ‘Edition 25’, ‘4’ and ‘GT-Line S’ models.
What about other kit?
There are six trim levels to choose in the new Sportage; 1, 2, 4 (not sure what happened to 3 either), Edition 25, GT-Line and GT-Line S. 1 starts from £20,305, and is able to offer goodies such as 16″ alloys, leather steering wheel and gearnob, all-round electric windows, air con, DAB radio, Bluetooth, cruise control, smartphone connectivity and reversing camera.
Step up to 2, which starts from £22,405, and you’ll get standard equipment such as 17″ alloys, 7″ infotainment system, sat nav, roof rails, privacy glass, rear parking sensors, dual zone climate control, heated front seats, automatic wipers, and auto-dimming rear view mirror.
Kia then skips 3, to give us the 4 model, which offers an 8″ infotainment system, panoramic sunroof, black leather seats, keyless entry, 10-way driver’s & 8-way passenger’s power adjustable seat, heated steering wheel, 8-speaker JBL sound system, and a 360-degree around view monitor. There’s more though, as it also offers 19″ alloys, autonomous emergency braking, LED bi-function headlights and blind spot assist. This is all yours for £27,260.
25 Years of Sportage
To mark 25 years of Sportage production, Kia is also launching a special trim level called ‘Edition 25’. This is priced from £25,495, and is based largely on the aforementioned 4 model. It’s able to offer standard kit such as 17″ alloys, black cloth and leather upholstery and premium paint at no extra cost. Other highlights include keyless entry, an eight-speaker JBL premium sound system with sub-woofer, external amp and front centre speaker and an 8.0-inch touchscreen satellite navigation system to name a few.
Putting ‘Sport in to Sportage
Completing the line up, you have GT-Line and GT-Line S, which have respective starting prices of £25,510 and £31,645. The GT-Line actually sits between 2 and 4 trim levels – that’s why there is no three… – and is able to offer exclusive 19″ alloys, sporty styling, front parking sensors, keyless entry, ‘ice-cube’ LED front fog lights, LED bi-function headlights, sports steering wheel, plus black leather interior with red stitching.
GT-Line S adds to this further with a panoramic sunroof, adaptive cruise control, 0-way power adjustable driver and 8-way adjustable front passenger seats, ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, 8″ infotainment system, sat nav and 8-speaker JBL premium sound system, smart power tailgate and a wireless phone charger. Safety devices include Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) City including pedestrian detection, a 360-degree around view monitor, Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW).