Kia reveals new Sportage designed for Europe with radical styling and a plug-in hybrid option

First Sportage with plug-in hybrid power

KIA has revealed its new fifth-generation Sportage SUV, which has been specifically designed for Europe. The European model is more compact than the version that will be sold in wider international markets, reflecting both European road conditions and buyer preferences.

Visually, the most striking part of the new Sportage is the front-end. Boomerang-shaped daytime running lights form a boundary between the LED headlamps and the expanded ‘tiger-nose’ grille, which runs the width of the front.

2022 Kia Sportage

The rest of the car is less exuberant, with a contrasting black roof meeting a rising C-pillar towards the rear and the two taillights joined by a light bar across the boot lid.

Kia says that, depending on the model and specification, the new Sportage will run on either 17in, 18in or, in top spec, 19in alloy wheels, with six different designs and finishes available.

Screens dominate the interior of the new Sportage, where a digital driver’s instrument display melds into a 12.3in infotainment panel. Owners can also connect to the car remotely using a smartphone app.

2022 Kia Sportage

Between the front seats, the centre console offers additional storage space, operating system configuration, cupholders and a transmission dial for automatic models. There’s also a wireless charging pad for suitable devices.

Modest exterior dimension increases over the outgoing Sportage result in more interior space, including a boot that holds up to 591 litres of luggage with the rear seats in use – a massive 100-litre increase.

The rear seat backs can split and fold in a 40:20:40 configuration creating 1,780 litres of boot space when tumbled down.

A Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist System “with Junction Turning functionality” helps avoid collisions with oncoming cars when pulling onto a main road. Highway Driving Assist and Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control make driving on motorways easier.

For urban situations, there’s a blind-spot collision avoidance system that intervenes to avoid an accident, should the driver fail to take action. Remote Smart Parking Assistant can help the driver move the Sportage into and out of parking spaces with no occupants inside the car.

For the first time in the Sportage’s history, Kia has added a plug-in hybrid powertrain. As with the larger Kia Sorento PHEV, it features a 1.6-litre petrol engine, a 66.9kW electric motor and a 13.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack, delivering a total system power output of 261bhp. It’s expected that an electric range of over 30 miles will be achievable (the Sorento’s is officially 35 miles).

2022 Kia Sportage

Elsewhere in the range, the non-plug-in hybrid model features the same 1.6-litre engine, which, in combination with an electric motor, delivers 226bhp.

Buyers can also opt for a 113bhp 1.6-litre diesel engine without electrification, or a 134bhp version of the diesel using mild-hybrid assistance.

Transmissions include a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic gearbox and a six-speed manual.

2022 Kia Sportage

A range of driving modes are available including Comfort, Eco and Sport, to optimise the car for the conditions. For the first time, the Sportage gets Terrain Mode to alter the driving dynamics for the best performance on snow, sand or mud.

UK deliveries of the new Sportage are expected to start before the end of the year, with a slight increase in cost to a starting price in the region of £22,000.