This is the brand new Kia Sportage - and the flagship SUV is now available as a plug-in hybrid for the very first time.
As you might recall from when the updated Sportage was first teased back in June, this is the first European version of the Sportage in the model’s 28 year history.
Those eye-catching exterior looks are, according to Kia, inspired by nature, taking on a ‘free-flowing, bold, sophisticated and organic form’.
And the good news for lease customers is that the new Sportage is also kind to the natural world which it name-checks - because there’s a PHEV model offering decent amounts of zero-emissions electric-only driving.
Let’s start with the Sportage’s new styling.
There’s a new front end with a black grille graphic stretching across the width of the face as well as boomerang-shaped LED daytime running lights. At the rear Kia has opted for a swooping fastback stance that flows into the rear lamps. Depending on spec and model, the new Sportage rides on 17-inch, 18-inch or range-topping 19-inch alloys that come in a host of different designs and colours.
Meanwhile the interior has had something of an overhaul, too.
At the heart of the cabin is a sculpted, integrated curved display with 12.3 inch touch screen pad and sporty air vents. You also get a 12.3-inch instrument cluster. The Sportage benefits from the latest over-the-air software and map updates and you can also enjoy wireless phone charging.
And there’s also good news when it comes to practicalities, too. The boot has been boosted from around 500 litres with the old model to some 591 litres with the new incarnation - which is a fairly sizeable increase in luggage space. There’s also a sporty new ‘GT-Line’ model, that features unique body colours and an uprated interior.
The other big news comes with Sportage’s powertrains.
As with the old Sportage, there are petrol and diesel engines to choose from, including a powerful 1.6 T-GDI petrol engine putting-out up to 180 PS and that features fuel-saving mild-hybrid technology.
But the headlines will go to the incoming plug-in hybrid unit. It features the aforementioned 1.6-litre T-GDI engine married to 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 265 PS and should also translate to around 35 miles of electric-only driving.
And across the range there’s a suite of driver assistance systems designed to ensure the Sportage is one of the safest cars in its class. Making its debut in this, the fifth generation of the Sportage, is a new ‘Terrain Mode’ designed to tackle the tough stuff and built for people who enjoy outdoor adventuring. The Terrain Mode automatically adjusts the Sportage’s settings so you get optimal grip no matter the road condition or environment, and that includes snow, mud and sand.
Customers can also take advantage of Kia’s industry-leading Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist System with Junction Turning functionality, which helps avoid collisions with oncoming cars when turning left at junction, as well as Highway Driving Assist (HDA), which maintains a set distance and speed from the vehicle ahead when driving on a highway and helps to centre the new Sportage in its lane. HDA can also adjust vehicle speed according to the speed limit.
Jason Jeong, President at Kia Europe, said: “The all-new Sportage has been carefully designed, developed and honed specifically for Europe, in the process breaking boundaries and establishing new benchmarks in the SUV segment.
“With its forward-thinking exterior design and its pioneering interior, the new Sportage combines dynamic road presence on the outside with a class-leading, driver-focused premium cabin that benefits from the very latest breakthrough tech features.
“The new Sportage is also equipped with advanced powertrain electrification technologies – we have efficient, eco-friendly hybrid models that can meet all the needs of customers. With a zero-emissions all-electric range, the all-new plug-in hybrid Sportage model further highlights Kia’s mission to accelerate sustainable mobility across Europe.”
Sales are expected to begin at the end of this year.
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