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
UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars
Electric car charging
News

UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars

Analysis reveals lithium refining takes 65 per cent of Chilean region’s water, while 40,000 child miners dig for cobalt in DRC
14 Jun 2021
Fiat 500 vs MINI Electric vs Honda e
Fiat 500 vs Honda e vs MINI Electric
Car group tests

Fiat 500 vs MINI Electric vs Honda e

The new Fiat 500, MINI Electric and Honda e are three retro-inspired electric superminis - but which is best?
19 Jun 2021
New Audi Q4 e-tron 2021 review
Audi Q4 e-tron 2021  front
Audi Q4 e-tron

New Audi Q4 e-tron 2021 review

We get involved with the new all-electric Audi Q4 e-tron SUV on UK roads for the first time
17 Jun 2021
Ineos Grenadier prototype 2022 review
Ineos Grenadier prototype
Ineos Grenadier 4x4

Ineos Grenadier prototype 2022 review

Can the Ineos Grenadier really fill the mud-splattered void left by the old Land Rover Defender? We take a first drive in a prototype to find out...
15 Jun 2021
Fan-designed Ford Puma ST Gold Edition revealed
Fan-designed Ford Puma ST Gold Edition
Ford Puma

Fan-designed Ford Puma ST Gold Edition revealed

Ford unveils a special edition Puma ST, with a black and gold colour scheme chosen by Ford fans over social media
18 Jun 2021
New Nissan Qashqai 2021 review
Nissan Qashqai 2021
Nissan Qashqai

New Nissan Qashqai 2021 review

We get behind the wheel of the larger, more comfortable and higher-tech Nissan Qashqai SUV in the UK
16 Jun 2021
New 2021 Vauxhall Astra to offer plug-in hybrid power
Vauxhall Astra render
Vauxhall Astra

New 2021 Vauxhall Astra to offer plug-in hybrid power

The new Vauxhall Astra will get a plug-in hybrid powertrain and a more premium image - here’s how it could look
17 Jun 2021
New 2021 Hyundai Tucson N-Line hybrid and PHEV on sale now
Hyundai Tuscon N Line - front
Hyundai Tucson

New 2021 Hyundai Tucson N-Line hybrid and PHEV on sale now

Hyundai names price for new Tucson N-Line hybrid duo with plug-in offering 38 miles of electric running
18 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
Tesla Model 3 police car all set for evaluation by UK emergency services
Tesla Model 3 police car - front
News

Tesla Model 3 police car all set for evaluation by UK emergency services

Tesla hopes to offer UK police forces a new zero-emission emergency responder option with the Model 3 police car
17 Jun 2021
Motorists think they can get away with driving offences due to lack of road police
police speed gun
News

Motorists think they can get away with driving offences due to lack of road police

Lack of road traffic police officers in the UK is making it easy for drivers to break the law, according to a survey of 15,500 British motorists
16 Jun 2021
'The hydrogen underdog disruptor is back in town'
Toyota Mirai opinion
Opinion

'The hydrogen underdog disruptor is back in town'

Mike Rutherford says hydrogen-powered cars could still be a frequent sight on UK roads
13 Jun 2021
New Mercedes-AMG S 63 spied in minimal camouflage
Mercedes-AMG S 63
Mercedes S-Class

New Mercedes-AMG S 63 spied in minimal camouflage

AMG will soon launch a tuned version of Mercedes’s flagship limousine, probably powered by a 603bhp twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine
18 Jun 2021