The overwhelming success of the Peugeot 3008 catches the eye of some. Kia hopes to eat lion with its new Sportage in its version specific to Europe, which offers a range of engines in tune with the times.
The success of the Peugeot 3008 in the very competitive compact SUV segment is making some people jealous. The HMG group (Hyundai Motor Group) has adopted a strategy similar to that of Peugeot with its new Hyundai Tucson, with assertive style and modern engines. Now it’s Kia’s turn to present the new rival of the 3008, with the same recipe. Thus, the South Korean brand presents the fifth generation of its Sportage in a version dedicated to the European market, slightly shorter than the one presented a few weeks ago. The novelty is on display at the manufacturer’s stand at the Munich trade fair.
The Sportage in European version is larger than most compact SUVs with a length of 4.515 m, compared to the 4.447 m of a Peugeot 3008. Even if it does not meet with unanimity, Kia wished to give personality to its Sportage, especially in this GT-line version. The front end uses the Tiger Nose grille, which is however largely modified. The LED daytime running lights are boomerang-shaped and the Sportage sports a black roof, for its presentation configuration at least. The rear is wiser and is inspired by the EV6 electric SUV.
The interior styling is quite classic for Kia. The dashboard however incorporates a slightly curved dual screen, consisting of 12.3-inch instrumentation and a panel of the same size for infotainment.
To appeal to families, Kia has opted for folding rear seats in 40/20/40 format. The trunk volume is announced at 591 l (VDA), a very generous loading capacity for the category.
A range of engines in tune with the times
In the midst of a period of transition, Kia prefers to offer its customers as much choice as possible. Thus, the Sportage offers petrol and diesel engines. All are electrified with mild hybridization (mHEV) and conventional (HEV) engines. A plug-in hybrid version (PHEV) is also on the program.
In essence, the offering consists of a 150bhp 1.6l T-GDi mild hybrid turbo four-cylinder, available with a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed dual clutch. The iBVM6 mechanical transmission is said to be intelligent since it has an electric clutch control to allow the engine to shut down momentarily, even when a gear is engaged.
The Sportage Hybrid is powered by a 1.6 l T-GDi with 180 hp and a 44.2 kW (60 hp) permanent magnet electric motor for a cumulative power of 230 hp. Its electrical part is powered by a lithium-ion polymer battery of 1.49 kWh. This version is available in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
For the plug-in hybrid version, the thermal block is identical to that of the hybrid version, but the electric motor increases to 66.9 kW (91 hp) for a maximum cumulative power of 265 hp. This is a 4×4 version. The 13.8 kWh battery of this version is placed under the floor of the vehicle and does not interfere with the habitability or the load volume. Consumption values are not specified; Kia has, however, indicated to some media, including TechRadar, that it aims for a range in electric mode of 56 km for the plug-in hybrid version.
Finally, the Sportage retains a diesel supply with a 136 hp 1.6 l light hybrid unit. This engine is available in two or four-wheel drive and requires a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Note that the new Sportage offers an advanced traction control system with Multi-terrain mode, comparable to Peugeot and Citroën’s Grip Control.
The driving aids go as far as a level 2 autonomous driving system, by coupling the adaptive governor to a centering function in the lane on the motorway. Lane keeping assistance, automatic emergency braking and blind spot monitoring are obviously part of the game.
It remains to know the prices of this new Sportage, expected in French dealerships in early 2022.
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