New 2021 Kia Sportage SUV revealed with bold design

The new Kia Sportage will go on sale later in 2021, borrowing the bulk of its styling language from the all-electric EV6

The wraps have been pulled off the all-new fifth-generation Kia Sportage, which will go on sale towards the end of 2021. The Korean brand’s latest family SUV will hit the market with a bold new look and completely new interior loaded with new technology, providing a fresh challenge for the Volkswagen Tiguan and Peugeot 3008.

The brand will introduce a model designed specifically for the European market in September. So this first look is at the model in international market specification - the car we see later this year, destined for the UK, could look a little different.

The new Kia Sportage draws plenty of design inspiration from the all-electric EV6, sharing the same C-shaped daytime running lights and aggressive bonnet line up front, and a stylised version of the EV’s full-width light bar at the rear. Further similarities include an upswept waistline and triangular D-pillars. Kia’s trademark Tiger Nose radiator grille makes an appearance, being the largest interpretation of the design hallmark on any of the brand’s vehicles to date. Two tone paint will also appear for the first time on the Sportage. The brand has yet to share any exterior dimensions or boot capacity figures, so we’re unsure whether the new design is more spacious or practical than before.

Inside, Kia’s revisions for the Sportage are equally extensive. Like the EV6, there’s an enormous curved infotainment system set into the dashboard, which flows into a digital instrument cluster. Kia hasn’t yet confirmed any specs, but It’s likely to be the same setup found in the recently released Hyundai Tucson, making use of two 10.25-inch displays. The rest of the cabin is decorated with soft-touch switchgear and a range of handy storage bins. The centre console also has controls for the infotainment system, along with a shift-by-wire automatic gear selector.

Kia has also confirmed that it will launch a sporty new X-Line specification on the new Sportage. The sportier bodykit will include a new front bumper, lower side skirts and a curved roof rack, along with a choice of two unique upholstery finishes in either sage green or black. The cabin will also feature quilting and black metal wood trim.

New 2021 Kia Sportage: engines and drivetrains

Kia hasn’t confirmed any details about the next Sportage’s engine and drivetrains but, like the current model, it should share much of its mechanicals with the Hyundai Tucsn.

Should the next Sportage make use of the Tucson’s full engine line-up, a choice of front- and four-wheel drive will be available. Electrification will feature heavily throughout the range, too; the Hyundai’s line-up kicks off with petrol and diesel engines that include a 48-volt mild-hybrid set-up.

The system, which is already offered on some engines in the current Sportage range, harnesses braking energy when slowing down and charges a small battery. This then deploys its charge to reduce the load on the engine under acceleration. The MHEV tech will be paired with the group’s Intelligent Manual Transmission, a manual gearbox that features an electronically controlled clutch to allow for in-gear, engine-off coasting.

The next step up the hybrid range will be a more traditional petrol-electric combination. A 1.6-litre combustion engine will team up with a 59bhp electric motor, for a combined output of 227bhp and 350Nm of torque. The hybrid will allow for short distances to be covered in electric mode alone, with the batteries charged either when coasting, or from the engine itself.

A plug-in model will offer the greatest potential for low fuel bills, while low tax rates will be a big incentive for company car users. The same 1.6-litre petrol engine will likely feature, but with a larger-capacity battery and a more powerful electric motor that should return a zero-emissions range of around 30 miles.

If it follows in the steps of the Tucson completely, the Sportage could offer configurable suspension, thanks to the option of adaptive dampers. Also on the cards is a semi-autonomous driving system, allowing the Sportage to accelerate, brake and steer in lanes for short periods before needing intervention from the driver.

What will the new Kia Sportage have to beat? These are the best crossovers currently on sale...

Recommended

Kia Sportage review
Kia Sportage - front
Kia Sportage

Kia Sportage review

The well-equipped and stylish Kia Sportage is a solid all-rounder.
17 Feb 2021
New Kia Sportage JBL Black Edition unveiled
Medium SUVs

New Kia Sportage JBL Black Edition unveiled

Special edition Kia Sportage JBL features a range of cosmetic tweaks and a new eight-speaker stereo
16 Dec 2020
New Kia Sportage 1.6 diesel MHEV 2020 review
Kia Sportage

New Kia Sportage 1.6 diesel MHEV 2020 review

The smallest diesel in the Kia Sportage's range now comes with 48-volt mild-hybrid tech
4 Nov 2020

Most Popular

Driving test update to preserve the manual gearbox
Dacia Duster gear lever
News

Driving test update to preserve the manual gearbox

With more drivers learning in autos and electric cars, the DVSA is looking to update the driving test so people can still drive manuals in future
16 Jun 2021
Exclusive: Jaguar’s luxury reinvention to start from £100k
Thierry Bollore - Jaguar I-Pace
Jaguar

Exclusive: Jaguar’s luxury reinvention to start from £100k

New boss Thierry Bollore reveals that Jaguar will be reinvented as a luxury car brand to take on Bentley, with the design of a new family already sign…
22 Jun 2021
‘The 2030 combustion engine ban is just around the corner – and we’re running out of time’
opinion: charging
Opinion

‘The 2030 combustion engine ban is just around the corner – and we’re running out of time’

Andy Palmer sees electric car uptake revving-up in the UK but says targeted investment is needed to prevent a stall…
22 Jun 2021
New 2021 Ferrari 296 GTB launched with 819bhp V6 hybrid powertrain
Ferrari 296 GTB - front
Ferrari

New 2021 Ferrari 296 GTB launched with 819bhp V6 hybrid powertrain

The 205mph Ferrari 296 GTB supercar is powered by an all-new 2.9-litre plug-in hybrid engine
24 Jun 2021
'Bolloré's strategy is already having a good impact on Jaguar Land Rover'
Opinion JLR Thierry Bollore
Opinion

'Bolloré's strategy is already having a good impact on Jaguar Land Rover'

Steve Fowler says JLR CEO Thierry Bolloré's new approach is working wonders
24 Jun 2021
New 2022 Honda Civic hatchback revealed with hybrid power
Honda Civic - front
Honda Civic

New 2022 Honda Civic hatchback revealed with hybrid power

New Honda Civic hatchback builds on almost 50 years of the nameplate with e:HEV electrified drivetrain
24 Jun 2021
New Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport 45 2021 review
Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport 45 - front
Volkswagen Golf GTI Hatchback

New Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport 45 2021 review

The new special edition Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport 45 is one of the best cars ever to wear the GTI badge
23 Jun 2021
New Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback 2021 review
Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback -
Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback

New Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback 2021 review

Audi has expanded its electric car portfolio with the Q4 e-tron Sportback - is it one of its best EVs?
23 Jun 2021
New Dacia Duster facelift launched with fresh styling and more tech
Dacia Duster facelift - front
Dacia Duster

New Dacia Duster facelift launched with fresh styling and more tech

The budget-conscious Dacia Duster has been updated for 2021 with some subtle design tweaks and a new eight-inch infotainment screen
22 Jun 2021
New Mercedes C-Class 2021 review
Mercedes C-Class - front
Mercedes C-Class

New Mercedes C-Class 2021 review

The new Mercedes C-Class compact exec gets S-Class-inspired tech and new suspension to challenge the BMW 3 Series
24 Jun 2021
New Toyota Yaris Cross prototype review
Toyota Yaris Cross prototype - front
Toyota Yaris Cross

New Toyota Yaris Cross prototype review

We drive a late prototype version of the new Toyota Yaris Cross to see if it has potential
24 Jun 2021
Audi will launch final petrol and diesel cars in 2026
Audi petrol diesel
Audi

Audi will launch final petrol and diesel cars in 2026

Audi will phase out petrol power in Europe in 12 years’ time, with a new line-up of “more than 20 e-tron models” scheduled for launch by 2025
23 Jun 2021
New Mercedes C-Class Estate 2021 review
Mercedes C-Class estate
Mercedes C-Class Estate

New Mercedes C-Class Estate 2021 review

Can the new Mercedes C-Class Estate step out in front of the Audi A4 Avant and BMW 3 Series Touring?
24 Jun 2021
New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review
Skoda Enyaq iV 80 Sportline - front
Skoda Enyaq

New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review

The new Skoda Enyaq iV is the Czech firm’s first bespoke electric car and we've tested the full range on UK roads
10 Jun 2021