The new generation Kia Sportage is coming to Australia and is a stylish SUV that will look as good in the city as the bush. Its aim is to push its way upmarket in quality fittings inside and out and possibly even lift itself into the prestige stakes.

New Sportage’s styling is the result of a collaborative effort between Kia’s main global design network in Korea, Germany, the US and China. There’s even an Aussie touch at the front with what Kia calls, boomerang-shaped daytime running lamps.

This Sportage will be available in long-wheelbase and short-wheelbase models. We aren’t sure at this stage if both models will come to Australia, but we anticipate only the LWB will come here.

The rear lamps are connected by a slim horizontal to give it the appearance of being wider than it is. There’s a stunningly wide impression from the back.

New Sportage has many high-tech features, including what it calls an E-Handling system that enhances the dynamic performance while maintaining good comfort.

Depending on spec and model, new Sportage rides on 17-inch, 18-inch or 19-inch wheels, with a choice of seven different alloy designs, colours and finishes. Again, this may not apply to the Australian imports, but we expect most, perhaps all, will come here.

It sits on a wheelbase of 2,755mm. It’s 1,865mm wide,4,660mm long and 1,660mm high . It offers up to 1,050mm legroom for second-row passengers and they have 1,000mm headroom. Luggage capacity is 637 litres (VDA). The rear seats can fold down to give a flat cargo space.

In-car surround sound is delivered via what is claimed to be an industry-leading speaker Harman Kardon premium sound system.

For the Australian market the Sportage will be launched with a choice of three engines; 2.0-litre petrol (117kW / 191 Nm), 1.6-litre turbo-petrol (132kW / 265Nm) and a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel (137kW / 417Nm).

New Sportage Kia debuts a highly-advanced Terrain Mode that automatically adjusts settings for any given road condition and environment, including snow, mud and sand.

When Terrain Mode isn’t selected, the system defaults to Drive Mode, with the driver selecting from Comfort, Eco, Sport or Smart sub-settings.

All-new Sportage features Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, which helps avoid collisions with objects in front of the vehicle. If the preceding vehicle suddenly slows down, or if a forward collision risk is detected, a pedestrian, or a cyclist in front of the Sportage, the FCA system provides a warning. After the warning, if the risk of collision increases, FCA automatically assists with emergency braking of the vehicle.

Further details on local specifications and pricing will be made available closer to the launch scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2021.

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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