Sophisticated design for inspiring minds

Kia has developed an SUV for the Sportage family. Jonathan Crouch checking the fifth generation version.

The Kia Sportage is asking more research questions about its family SUV rivals in the form of the more dynamic-looking fifth generation. There’s a more premium look and feel on the market, more electric motor technology – more of everything, really. Well, except for full electric and true off-road capability anyway.

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The Kia Sportage is one of the best-selling cars brought to us by South Korea. It’s certainly the boldest sports car yet, inside and out, with plenty to borrow from the all-electric Kia EV6, a similar-sized model that relieves the brand of the need to supply a full-battery version of this crossover. Keep in mind that you could have anything else electrified under the hood, thanks to the cross-board geometry shared with this car’s competitor and close cousin, the Hyundai Tucson. lets take alook.

Driving Experience

Therefore, choose your hybrid flavor; Mild, plump, or electrically conductive. All three variants are available here, based on the same 1.6-liter T-GDI petrol engine. Diesel power is still available via the usual 1.6-liter CRDi unit. There’s no full electric version because this car’s showroom mate, the EV6, fills that role, says Kia.

Prevailing engine options start with two conventional 1.6-liter units paired with front-wheel drive, a 148-hp T-GDi petrol and a 113-hp CRDi diesel. Avoid basic trim and you’ll be offered the option of a 7-speed DCT automatic transmission with these two engines for an additional £1,700, which automatically upgrades you to Kia’s 48v mild hybrid technology and, with the diesel unit, boosts power to 134hp.

The two top “proper” petrol hybrid models only come with an automatic car. The HEV Sportage full hybrid variant offers a 1.6 T-GDI engine with a 44.2 kW electric motor and a 1.49 kWh battery providing a total output of 226 horsepower. The top-of-the-line PHEV Plug-in variant uses the same engine paired with a 66.9 kW electric motor powered by a 13.8 kWh battery to give a total output of 261 horsepower and an electric driving range of about 35 miles.

design and build

Europe is getting a short-wheelbase version of this model—the longer version of this design will not be offered for other global markets, and both options sit on the same N3 platform that underpins this car’s close cousin, the same model engineered by Hyundai Tucson.

Shared pedigree with another vehicle, Kia’s all-electric EV6, is visible inside, where the instrument panel gets a gently curved screen that includes two 12.3-inch digital screens. Other controls are operated via a row of multimedia touch buttons, which can change function depending on the drive mode selection. Although the European Sportage is 85 mm shorter than the world’s long-wheelbase model, it is 30 mm longer than the previous generation design and this provides 10 mm more wheelbase length for two adults to sit comfortably in the back – three when necessary. The trunk is about 10% larger than before too, Kia claims about 500 liters of storage space.

market and model

The price is a bit higher than it once was for the Sportage, with prices ranging from £27,000 to £44,000. There are the usual trim levels for Kia ‘2’, ‘GT-Line’, ‘3’, ‘4’ and ‘GT-Line S’. Full hybrid variants start at around £33,000 – Plug-in hybrids from around £38,000.

Across the range, the brand now offers a “Kia Connect” smartphone app that allows customers to remotely connect to their vehicles. The new User Profile Transfer feature allows users to back up Kia Connect preferences in-vehicle via the cloud and transfer settings from one vehicle to another.

A popular option is probably the Harmon Kardon sound system. This Kia will be equipped with a wide range of advanced driver assistance system technologies – what Kia calls “driving” features. There is a “Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist System with Split Turn” which will help you avoid collisions at intersections; The Highway Driving Assistant helps you maintain a set distance from the vehicle ahead and keeps your Kia in the middle of its lane. The Sportage can also offer Blind Spot Assist and a navigation-based cruise control system that automatically reduces speed in corners. There’s even a smart remote parking assist system that can park the car in tight spaces while you park outside and control things from the ignition key: neat.

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Let’s get to the WLTP numbers. The mild hybrid version of the company’s 48-volt 1.6 T-GDI Smartstream petrol engine produces about 150 g/km of CO2 and should return just over 40 mpg on the combined cycle. Expect the 1.6 CRDi mild hybrid diesel alternatives to manage about 50 mpg in the combined cycle and about 140 g/km of CO2.

The full-hybrid HEV petrol model improves width to just under 130 g/km — and runs around 50 mpg. The plug-in version PHEV manages a three-digit fuel reading of about 200 mpg (yes, really), along with an eco-conscious CO2 figure of about 30g/km and an all-electric driving range of about 35 miles. Charging the PHEV Sportage from a 3-pin ICCB source takes 6 hours and 30 minutes (empty up to 95%). Use the 7kW wall type you would obviously install at home if you were to opt for a Plug-in Hybrid and this time drops to 1 hour 42 minutes.

As usual with Kia, there’s a 7-year or 100,000-mile warranty that, which can be passed from owner to owner, should help impressively strong residual values. You may want to note that roadside assistance coverage is limited to one year, but you do get a long 12-year warranty on the bodywork. Maintenance costs can be kept low by opting for Kia’s “Care-3” or “Care-3 Plus” service packages, which offer a flat-rate, inflation-resistant service plan for the first three or five years, something that can be passed on to subsequent owners .

Summary

In theory, a lot of boxes are ticked here. The size and driving dynamics of this fifth generation Sportage have been adapted closer to the needs of our market. It offers new full-hybrid and plug-in hybrid drive options in a class where competitors typically only provide one or the other. The smart cabin finally puts out any memories of the budget Kia brand’s roots. If you’re shopping for this segment, this is a car you have to try.

A glimpse of the facts

Car: Kia Sportage

Prices: £27,250 – £44,550

Class: C-Class based on the four-wheel drive family hatch

Insurance kits: 17E-26E

CO2 emissions: 129-158 g/km

performance: [1.6 T-GDI MHEV] 0-62mph 7.9sec / Top Speed ​​119mph

oil consumption: [1.6 T-GDI MHEV] 44.1 mpg (combined)

box capacity: [litres] 591

Does it fit in your garage?: Length / Width / Height 4515 / 1865 / 1650 mm

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