With a new bodyshell, new engines and fresh, bold styling that introduces a new kind of dynamic aesthetics, the latest Kia Sportage is an urban-friendly compact SUV for today's families - consuming less fuel and emitting less CO2.
Longer, wider and lower than the previous model - by 90 mm, 15 mm and 60 mm respectively - the all-new design successfully retains the key SUV features - a commanding driving position, heightened sense of security and powerful road presence - that made the second-generation Kia Sportage so popular.
The second-generation Kia Sportage was introduced in 2004 and marked a huge step forward for Kia. Over the next six years, it attracted thousands of new customers to Kia, and achieved global sales of more than 860,000 units - including 150,000 units in Western Europe.
Now, under the direction of Kia's Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer, the Kia design teams have created a third-generation Sportage incorporating Kia's new design DNA and many features from the 2007 Kia Kue concept car, to be immediately identifiable and to stand out from potential rivals in an increasingly crowded segment.
"With the all-new Kia Sportage, we have created a five-seat compact SUV with maximized customer appeal. It is urban-friendly and fully in tune with changing consumer expectations and demands," commented Hyoung-Keun Lee, President, Kia Motors Corporation.
"Despite the recent and ongoing global economic difficulties, Kia's market research indicates that demand for C-segment SUVs in Europe will grow steadily over the next five years as customers down-size their vehicles and new models focus attention on the segment.
"Customer response to the new Kia Sportage in Europe has been entirely positive and we are confident that our latest model will significantly increase Kia's share of the compact SUV market," concludes President Lee.
New Sportage has an aerodynamic drag figure of Cd 0.37 - down from 0.40 - and a reduction in weight of 91 kg compared with the previous model enhancing fuel economy and refinement.
Choice of engines with enhanced economy and lowered emissions
When the full range of new Kia Sportage models is on sale later this year, it will be available with four engines - two petrol and two diesel, ranging between 115 ps to 163 ps - manual and automatic transmissions and two-wheel or four-wheel drive. The model range presented to customers will vary country-by-country across Europe to suit local requirements and preferences. Final decisions on the UK range are yet to be made but all the engine variants will be available and Kia Motors (UK) Ltd., plans to take all the transmission and drive options.
For new Kia Sportage the 2-litre diesel and petrol engines available at launch will be joined by smaller capacity engines available with fuel-stretching ISG (Intelligent Stop & Go) technology and with CO2 emissions from as low as 138 g/km.
Enhancing occupant and pedestrian safety
Fitted as standard in most European countries, new safety features will include ESC with a new Roll-over Sensor that deploys the side airbags, curtain airbags and seatbelt pretensioners when required, Hillstart Assist Control to prevent roll-back when starting on an incline, Downhill Brake Control to limit speed during a steep descent and an ESS system which flashes the brake lights during an emergency.
A new rear-view safety camera providing on an LCD colour display integrated into the interior rear-view mirror will be available as an option on all models.
Appealing to existing and new Kia Sportage customers
New Kia Sportage will be manufactured at Kia's factory at Zilina, in Slovakia and buyers will be offered a choice up to 10 exterior colours and a black interior, trimmed in cloth, part-leather or full-leather that can be personalised with dark, light or orange accents. The quality of the cabin has been greatly improved. Available high-tech features will include: Xenon HID headlamps, LED running lights, keyless entry, engine start button, reversing safety camera, built-in sat-nav and full-length panoramic glass sunroof.
Kia's latest compact SUV will benefit from the brand's unique 7-Year Kia Warranty in Europe. The all-new Sportage range will begin to appear in showrooms across Europe during the summer.
Introducing a new kind of dynamic aesthetics
The new Kia Sportage marks a dramatic shift in design direction for Kia's compact SUV. Longer, lower and wider than the previous generation model, the new Kia Sportage is immediately identifiable by its 'tiger' face - incorporating Peter Schreyer's striking signature grille design that links all new Kia models.
"The new Sportage is fresh and bold and could not be mistaken for anything other than a Kia," said Peter Schreyer, Kia's Chief Design Officer. "It embodies Kia's new-found visual dynamism by successfully taking the key features of an off-road vehicle - the raised ground clearance, the commanding driving position and heightened sense of security - and enveloping them in a sleek and urban-friendly design with global appeal. With its athletic and muscular design the Kia Sportage fits its name perfectly."
Sitting below the central bonnet-mounted badge, the 'tiger face' sweeps out to effectively frame the grille before broadening out and encompassing the car's large and piercing headlamps to create a distinctive and powerful face. The strength of this look is reinforced by the clamshell bonnet and its contours that run into raised shoulders as they flow down to meet the headlamps.
"The clamshell bonnet gives a sense of strength and solidity to the front end," said Schreyer. "Together with the grille, these shoulders create a strong three-dimensional feel to the face of the new Kia Sportage, and they also help the driver accurately place the car on the road."
The new Kia Sportage's athleticism is reinforced by its rakish windscreen angle, which sweeps seamlessly into the low roofline. And the top of the screen itself reflects the grille profile. "The profile line of the top of the windscreen mirrors that of the grille," explains Gregory Guillaume, Chief Designer, Kia Europe.
"We first featured this element on the Kee concept car, at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show. This is followed through to the rear, which has the same distinctive outline at the base of the rear windscreen. These two features instantly heighten the Kia Sportage's on-the-road visibility - as do its sculpted flanks featuring a striking concave motif in the door panels and the flared wheel-arches."
The key design element of new Sportage's purposeful stance is the relationship between its high shoulders and narrow glasshouse, explained Schreyer. "We've created a vehicle with a sportscar-like ratio between sheet metal and glass. The side-windows are very narrow that gives an almost rally-car feeling. Follow the shoulder and roof lines and they meet at the striking reverse-angled C-pillar.
"The size, the shape and the proportion of the C-pillar on any car is absolutely crucial to its appearance, and as you can see on our new Kia Sportage, it determines the entire look and feel of the car," he added.
Using a tape-measure against the new Kia Sportage confirms it is slightly lower than the previous generation, but the design makes it look significantly lower, and both sleeker and more assertive.
Mirroring the large headlamps up front, the rear of the new Kia Sportage features prominent taillights that flow across the tailgate and into the car's broad rear shoulders. Raising the rear spoiler-topped hatch reveals a large, deep and regular-shaped cargo bay.
Many of the new Kia Sportage's external design features - the rakish windscreen angle, the radically angled C-pillar and the signature sculpting of the car's flanks, were first hinted at in the Kue concept car, star of the 2007 Detroit Motor Show.
"It's crucial that we draw real design inspiration from our concept and showcars, like the Kue, and inject that motivation into our production cars. The new Kia Sportage is clear proof of that," commented Schreyer.
A raft of details - the ribbed roof, the chunky door handles, the roof-rails, the raised ride height and the large wing mirrors - serve to further reinforce the Kia's go-anywhere credentials. The new Sportage's spacious cabin looks as dynamic and sporting as its exterior. It's dominated by the sweeping dashboard, which broadens from the edges and then narrows dramatically in the middle to create an eye-catching centre console. This emphasises the width of the car, making those on board feel protected, safe and secure.
Guillaume explained: "The horizontal layers break up the dashboard, so you are not facing a vast cliff of plastic, while the high centre tunnel bisects the front cabin. It's anything but the typical T-shaped dashboard/console layout you will find in most vehicles."
Those high shoulders and the narrow glasshouse hint at the new Kia Sportage's dynamic driving position, enhanced by the chunky small-diameter three-spoke steering wheel and deep-set cowled instruments.
"The exterior design is very sporty for a car of this type, and although you sit high in the cabin there's still something very sporting about it because the windscreen has a very fast angle and the shoulder line is very high," said Guillaume. "This gives you a cocooned and safe feeling, and yet from a practical point of view there is still plenty of rear headroom."
In the generously proportioned rear cabin, the boldly angled C-pillar cuts back on itself well behind the rear passengers, to enhance the car's low-slung profile without encroaching on their view out.
Peter Schreyer intends to transform the public perception of Kia all around the world. "I want to give Kia global appeal - I want that appeal to be about design above all else. The new Kia Sportage is a major step towards achieving that goal.
Top-quality trim and equipment with high-tech features
Kia is confident that when current Kia Sportage owners and new customers to the brand visit dealer showrooms to view the all-new Kia Sportage, they will be mightily impressed by the newcomer. Its showroom 'presence' will be both impactful and surprising.
New Kia Sportage will be available in a stunning new metallic colour - Techno Orange - and first impressions will also be enhanced by the new bright chrome finish for the front grille- the strong Kia 'face' - as well as the bold reverse-angle C-pillar, the wider track, purposeful stance and much closer relationship between the wheels, tyres and wheel-arch - creating a premium appearance and echoing the precision and care that has been applied to the entire vehicle.
Inside new Kia Sportage, the styling echoes the new kind of dynamic aesthetics created by the exterior appearance and establishes a new kind of ambience, with top-quality fit, discreet trim accents and the availability of numerous high-tech features. New Sportage will be built with a choice of two equipment levels, LX and EX (for details see Section 8), plus a wide range of options.
The longer bodyshell and longer wheelbase, plus the extra interior width ensure that occupants of the new Kia Sportage will enjoy its spacious cabin. The adoption of a reverse-angle for the C-pillar moves it 186 mm further back - compared with the previous model - placing it behind the rear seat passengers to provide them with a clear view out. Entry and exit from the cabin is made easier by lowering the seats by 29 mm and the top of the door sills by 31 mm.
Driver comfort is enhanced by the adoption of a floor-hinged accelerator pedal that allows smooth control of the throttle and by the increased range of fore and aft sliding movement available for the driver's seat - 24 mm more than the previous model. As an option, heated front and rear seats can be specified.
The thick-rimmed four-spoke steering wheel and the 'three-cylinder' instrument cluster are becoming Kia trademark features. Similar to the cluster fitted to the Soul, Sorento and Venga, the new Kia Sportage's instruments have clear and precise graphics. A 'Super Vision' cluster with red lighting will be available as an option.
New Kia Sportage's interior comes trimmed in black cloth as standard - and unusually, an all-black headliner can be specified. Options include part-leather and full-leather seat trim, with a choice of contrasting stitching. LX models feature a Dark Gunmetal dashboard and centre stack, while colour options include Medium Grey, Light Alpine and Orange door inserts, plus Alpine Metallic centre stack trim.
Manual air-conditioning is standard. The audio system for new Sportage features an RDS radio and CD player with MP3, USB and iPod connectivity - with door-mounted speakers and a tweeter at each end of the dashboard. An all-new audio visual navigation system with a 7.0-inch screen, Bluetooth and voice recognition will be offered.
Other available high-tech 'comfort & convenience' features include a Smart Card for keyless entry, together with an engine start/stop button, 'welcome home' escort lights, Xenon headlamps, LED Daytime Running Lights and a tailgate-mounted reversing safety camera with interior mirror display monitor.
A total of 10 exterior colours available will be: solid colours x 2: Cassa White and Clyde Blue and metallic colours x 8: Dark Gunmetal, Techno Orange, Sand Track, Black Pearl, Pheonix Silver, Sirius Silver, Machine Silver, and Byte Blue.
More space for people and cargo, and a quieter drive
Luggage space in new Kia Sportage benefits from the 70 mm increase in the vehicle's rear overhang. With the rear seats upright, the cargo bay is 80 mm longer and 110 mm wider at floor level, thanks to the more compact design of the rear suspension. Cargo capacity is among the best in class and ranges from 564 litres with the rear seats occupied to 1353 litres with the rear seats folded down.
Storage space within the cabin includes the larger glovebox - cooled in some models, a larger 6.0-litre centre console - up from 3.0-litres, and four door pockets. Two large cup-holders are located between the gear selector and the centre console, while the folding centre armrest in the rear seat has twin cup-holders.
New Kia Sportage is significantly quieter and more refined than its predecessor. The all-new bodyshell design and greater use of high tensile steel have resulted in a stiffer and safer vehicle in which occupants will be aware of fewer vibrations from the road surface or mechanical components.
New diesel and petrol engines to power new Sportage
Manufactured at Kia's world-class facility in Slovakia, the all-new Kia Sportage will ultimately be available in Europe with a wide choice of engines. At launch this summer, the engine line-up will comprise 2-litre diesel and 2-litre petrol engines - with a 1.7-litre diesel and a 1.6-litre GDI petrol unit to follow later this year, reducing the new model's base-line CO2 emissions to less than 140 g/km.
Diesels demonstrate Kia's world-class engineering
At the 2010 Geneva Show and making its premiere in the new Sportage, is a 2.0-litre version of Kia's next-generation 'R' family diesel. All-new, the 'R' family diesel engine first appeared in 2.2-litre, 197 ps form, in the new Kia Sorento confirming that Kia's engineering capabilities are indeed world-class.
The R2.0, which is expected to prove the most popular engine choice with new Kia Sportage buyers in many European countries, generates a maximum of 136 ps and 304 Nm of torque from just 1,800 rpm. As well as guaranteeing strong performance, the new diesel enables the Kia's compact SUV to deliver highly-competitive fuel economy and emissions figures.
Later this year, a new 1.7-litre version of Kia's 'U2' diesel will become available. Designed and engineered at Kia's R&D Centre in Germany, this 115 ps engine meets Euro 5 emissions regulations and is cleaner, quieter and more fuel-efficient than previous U2 engines. It has been developed for optimum driveability, with more than 90 per cent of the maximum torque available from just 2,000 rpm.
Petrol engines blend power with economy
Now fitted with upgraded electronics and low-friction components, Kia's revised 2.0-litre 'Theta II' petrol engine delivers more power, improved durability, enhanced refinement and reduced fuel consumption and emissions.
This four-cylinder 1998 cc powerunit has dual CVVT (continuously variable valve timing) for both the intake and exhaust valves, four valves per cylinder and features weight-saving, all-aluminium construction with a cast aluminium block, cylinder head and sump. Fitted in new Sportage, maximum power is 163 ps, with 194 Nm of peak torque at a modest 4600 rpm.
Later this year, new Kia Sportage buyers whose priority is fuel-economy, will be able to order Kia's 1.6-litre Gamma petrol engine fitted with GDI (petrol direct injection) technology. Producing a highly competitive 140 ps, the arrival of this engine marks the first appearance of GDI technology in a Kia vehicle.
GDI lowers emissions while raising power and torque outputs and improving fuel economy. The typical range of benefits include delivering 7% more torque at low revolutions, 12% more torque at high revs and 10% better fuel economy overall - compared to a conventional engine of a similar capacity.
Stop and Go available for two engines
By the end of 2010, Kia will be offering its fuel-stretching ISG (Intelligent Stop and Go) system as an option on both the 1.7 diesel and 1.6 GDI engine. ISG automatically switches the engine off whenever the vehicle is stopped in congested city driving and instantly restarts the engine when the driver selects first gear. Combined with other technologies in new Kia Sportage, ISG helps to reduce fuel consumption and tailpipe emissions.
Several innovative fuel-saving technologies are fitted to the new Sportage as standard, including a gear-shift up/down indicator on all manual models, an ECO indicator to encourage economical driving on all automatic models and a power-saving alternator management system.
Choice of 2WD and AWD systems, plus three gearboxes
Buyers of the all-new Kia Sportage in Europe will be offered a choice 2WD or AWD drivetrains, and five-speed or six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic transmission.
For diesel Kia Sportage models, the standard gearbox is a six-speed manual, upgraded with improved synchronization, reduced power loss, enhanced efficiency and durability. Both the larger petrol and diesel engines can be specified with the optional six-speed automatic.
Ultra-compact six-speed automatic transmission
Developed by the Hyundai-Kia Group for fitment in a wide range of future vehicles, the all-new six-speed automatic transmission now available for the new Kia Sportage is ultra-compact - and can feature a new optional 'paddle shift' system which allows drivers to change gear without taking their hands off the steering wheel.
The driver can choose from two operating modes - fully automatic or 'Sport'. For city driving, fully automatic mode is ideal, while 'Sport' mode allows for clutch-less manual gear changes for greater driver involvement - either using the selector lever or the new steering wheel-mounted paddles.
Whenever the car is stopped for more than a few seconds, the new transmission's innovative 'Neutral Control' function automatically shifts the transmission from 'D' to 'N', improving fuel economy especially in city driving.
Customer choice of advanced drivetrains with 2WD and AWD
Depending on individual markets, consumers ordering a new Kia Sportage will be able to select from five models with 2WD and four with AWD - employing advanced drivetrain systems similar to those introduced with the new Sorento in 2009.
On every Sportage model, traction is also boosted by the available Hillstart Assist Control that prevents the vehicle rolling backwards, and Downhill Brake Control that limits vehicle speed to just 8 km/h (5 mph) on steep descents.
For customers who drive on-road most of the time, the new Kia Sportage with the 2WD drivetrain offers lower weight, faster acceleration, enhanced fuel economy and good traction, aided by the standard-fit Traction Control System.
For new Kia Sportage buyers who regularly face difficult driving conditions, go off-road or tow trailers, the AWD drivetrain will be ideal. It will be available with both the 2-litre petrol and diesel engines and manual or automatic transmissions as appropriate.
This AWD drivetrain is a single ratio (High) system, which delivers 100% of engine torque to the front wheels when driving in normal conditions, enhancing fuel efficiency. Whenever a front wheel loses grip a percentage of torque is automatically transferred to the rear wheels to maintain forward momentum.
When driving a new Kia Sportage with AWD in slippery conditions - such as rain, snow, mud, unpaved roads and off-road - the driver can manually select 'Lock Mode' for better stability. This mode shares the torque equally, between the front and rear axles and maintains that split up to a speed of 40 km/h (25 mph).
Achieving maximum protection through 'passive' technology
The new Kia Sportage has been designed to score a 5-Star rating in Euro NCAP's crash tests and maximum scores in the USA's two crash test programmes. The all-new platform and bodyshell employs a much greater proportion high strength and extra-high strength steels than the previous model.
Structural improvements include stronger and straighter longitudinal side members in the engine bay floor; an enhanced B-Pillar design that links to upper and lower cross-members to form an internal rollover hoop; reinforced floor members in the trunk floor and a rerouted and better protected fuel filler pipe.
In most European countries, new Sportage will be fitted with six airbags as standard. Dual front airbags, dual front side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags (linked to the new rollover sensors in the ESC system as well as the impact sensors) offer head protection for all occupants.
Active head restraints for the front seats of all models are standard in most European countries and protect occupants against whiplash injuries.