SA to get new Kia Sportage in shorter, sharper-looking Euro-spec guise

By Jason Woosey Time of article published Sep 2, 2021

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SEOUL - When the new-generation Kia Sportage was revealed to the world back in June, we were surprised not only by its somewhat daring new design, but also by the fact that it is so much larger than its predecessor, with overall length having grown by 175mm.

While that was the global model that will be sold in most countries, Kia this week unveiled a smaller version for the European market and this is the version we’ll be getting in South Africa. A Kia SA representative confirmed this to IOL, stating that our next-generation vehicles will be sourced from Europe.

But how much smaller is the Euro-spec Kia Sportage?

The vehicle sits on a 2680mm wheelbase that’s 75mm shorter than that of the LWB model, while the overall length of 4515mm is down by 145mm. That said, the new Euro Sportage is still 30mm longer than the current model, while the wheelbase has grown by 10mm.

The South African engine line-up and specifications will be tailored to our market, the local representative told us, and these details have yet to be confirmed.

For the record, European buyers can opt for a 1.6-litre T-GDI direct injection turbopetrol unit offered in 110kW and 132kW guises, or a 1.6-litre turbodiesel with 85kW or 100kW. The petrol engine is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, while the diesel is also available with the option of a five-speed manual.

While the South African engine line-up is likely to come from the latter pool, we’re not sure whether Kia will offer any of the new hybrid versions that are available to European customers. These include a conventional hybrid as well as a plug-in hybrid that pairs the aforementioned 1.6 T-GDI engine with a 66.9kW electric motor for a system output of 195kW.

The new Kia Sportage is crafted around the company’s new ‘N3’ architecture, and the vehicle also benefits from a new Terrain Mode, which automatically adjusts the vehicle’s settings for the given environment, including mud, sand and snow. The vehicle is also available with Electronic Controlled Suspension, with continuous damping control, and an all-wheel drive system.

Driver assistance gizmos include Smart Cruise Control, which uses real-time navigation data, Remote Smart Parking Assist and Surround View Monitor.

The interior of the new Kia Sportage has been significantly modernised, with the dashboard now featuring a large curved display system that incorporates a digital instrument cluster and central touchscreen infotainment system, both measuring 12.3 inches. The online operating system offers Kia Live Services and Calendar integration as well as over-the-air software updates.

We’re not sure how many of these features will be offered in the local model, but watch this space for more details as they become available.

IOL Motoring

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