The all-new Kia Sportage has arrived, and with it comes a bold design that has a clear resemblance to the amazing Kia EV6 (Irish and European Car of the Year for 2022), as well as the upcoming Kia Niro. The first two generations of the Kia Sportage were conservative and relatively unexciting, but the third generation really sent out a clear message that Kia could offer more than just value for money. The Mk4 Sportage raised the bar even further in terms of style, comfort, infotainment and efficiency, and went on to become a volume seller for the brand in Ireland, and right across Europe too.
The recently launched fifth-generation Sportage now faces stronger competition than ever before, but it is equipped with all of the right ingredients to excel in the family SUV market segment. The new Sportage has a striking, bold look at the front, a distinctive profile, and one of the most cutting-edge and tech-laden cabins in the business, while its engine line-up includes 1.6-litre petrol and 1.6-litre diesel units, along with hybrid technology in the form of mild hybrid (diesel) and self-charging full-hybrid (petrol) units. Trim options for buyers of the new Sportage consist of K2 (diesel only), K3 (diesel or petrol/electric HEV), K4 (diesel only) and the flagship GT-line (diesel with mild hybrid technology), with all variants available in front-wheel drive format only.
Premium Look & Feel.
At the heart of the new Sportage cockpit sits a state-of-the-art integrated curved dual display which is the focal point for all your driving, information, connectivity, navigation and entertainment needs. Boasting a 2680mm wheelbase, the refined cabin in the new Sportage delivers all the space a growing family could possibly need, with rear seat passengers enjoying a remarkable amount of legroom, while a host of clever storage spaces are easily within reach of all occupants. Luxurious aluminium finishes on the dashboard and doors, finely detailed sporty air vents with semi-gloss chrome bezel, and ambient lighting infuse the cabin with sportiness, along with a premium look and feel. The ergonomic cabin layout is equipped with the latest breakthrough tech innovations – such as a Multi-Mode Touch Display that lets you easily switch between the infotainment and climate controls with a simple touch. The exquisitely crafted seats in the new Sportage feature soft-touch materials, sophisticated detailing and dynamic colour options, while the driver and front passenger seats innovate even further with an extra-comfortable and sporty slimline design. Boot space measures in at an impressive 587-litres behind the rear seats, but this can be expanded to a cavernous 1,776-litres when the rear seats are folded flat – all of which is greatly helped by a flat floor that makes it easy to slide large loads in and out.
Test Car Details.
My test car was a Sportage K3 HEV, which was finished in ever popular Pearl Black metallic paint with Black Saturn cloth and faux leather seat upholstery. Standard K3 trim equipment includes 18” alloy wheels, 12.3” touchscreen navigation, LED headlights, heated front & rear seats, heated steering wheel, driver power-adjustable seat with lumbar support, rear privacy glass, Telematics System with Kia Connect, dual-zone automatic air-conditioning, electronic parking brake with auto hold function, rear parking sensors, reversing camera, Android Auto & Apple CarPlay, and a suite of advanced safety systems, along with many more comfort, convenience and infotainment systems. The Sportage full-hybrid (HEV) mixes a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine with a 1.49kWh battery that feeds a 59bhp electric motor for a combined output of 227bhp (230PS) and 350Nm of torque. This powerful combination enables the Sportage HEV to sprint from 0-100km/h in just 8.0-seconds, on its way to a top speed of 193km/h (where permitted), with fuel consumption as low as 5.7l/100kms easily achievable on a WLTP combined driving cycle. Annual road tax is just €200.
On the road the Sportage HEV pulls away most of the time in pure electric mode, and the transition is smooth when the petrol engine kicks in. A relaxed approach to acceleration will be rewarded by solid refinement that improves further at cruising speed. In corners the Sportage keeps its body roll well controlled, with direct steering making it easy to place the car in the right position on the road. The Sportage is a very quiet and refined car, with little outside noise intruding into the calm of the cabin, while excellent visibility from the driver’s seat is yet another major plus point.
Verdict, Pricing & Warranty.
The all-new Kia Sportage is a comfortable, practical and extremely well-equipped family SUV that is, in my opinion, one of the most stylish and distinctive cars in its market segment. Pricing for the new Sportage starts at €34,500 for the 1.6-litre (115bhp) diesel-powered K2 model, with the K3 petrol/electric HEV model I drove priced at €43,150. All Kia passenger cars come with a comprehensive 7-year/150,000km warranty as standard, along with a complimentary 3-year Kia Assist plan for ultimate peace-of-mind ownership.