Kia’s latest Sportage SUV is taking the challenge to its rivals in this competitive segment. An overhaul of the car’s styling looks set to give it fresh appeal, while a brand new engine option for beneath the bonnet should follow the existing units with trustworthy turbocharged performance.
Current owners will notice that most of the styling changes have been made to the car’s front end. Kia’s ‘tiger nose’ front grille stays but it now sits above a silver kick plate along the edge of the front bumper. Fog lights flank the grille and stand out in a larger housing than before. Slick folds run along the waistline and the lower portion of the doors, while the wheel arches are more exaggerated to show off the Sportage’s off-road credentials.
Enhancements to the SUV’s interior give it a classier atmosphere which helps to elevate the car up the class. They include tweaks that improve the ride comfort and driving dynamic in response to feedback from owners. The centre console has been revised to remove many of its buttons and place what remains in a logical order. There will be one cabin design across the range which Kia has said will feature richer materials. Swathes of passenger and luggage space plus a flexible seating system can be expected to please loyal family buyers.
A new addition to the Sportage’s engine family will arrive in the form of a turbocharged four-cylinder petrol. Performance statistics are yet to be revealed but the unit could be another low-capacity high-power option. The other powertrains are expected to be from Kia’s sister company Hyundai, namely the 113bhp 1.7-litre diesel and 2.0-litre diesel with 134bhp and 181bhp from the Hyundai Tucson.
The outgoing Sportage was always an extremely safe purchase and its replacement will be no different. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Downhill Brake Control (DBC) should remain as the primary stability system and be complemented by the likes of Trailer Stability Assist (TSA), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) and an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD).
A reverse parking aid and wireless phone charging are two Kia technologies coming to the Sportage from the fourth generation. Brand representatives have also confirmed that the highest trim will feature a Harman Kardon stereo system.
Contact Westover Kia in Ferndown or Salisbury to book a test drive of the 2018 Sportage now.