New Kia Sportage SUV features a high-tech interior and futuristic looks and is arriving in dealers soon.
Kia Australia has finally pulled the wraps off the local version of the Kia Sportage, which will be the fifth generation of the mid-size SUV. Pricing and detailed specifications will be available closer to its October arrival, but the local has provided us with an overview for interested buyers.
Some transformations are subtle, others hit you like a runaway train. This new Kia Sportage SUV is definitely at the more dramatic end of the scale – with a longer and wider body than the car it replaces and styling straight out of the 22nd century.
That extra length means the next-generation Sportage straddles the family SUV and large SUV classes, so its rivals will include the Nissan X-Trail, Hyundai Tucson, Ford Escape, Toyota Rav4 and Mazda CX-5.
The styling is partly inspired by the Kia EV6 electric car, and the Sportage features new LED daytime running lights and headlights that shift their patterns to avoid dazzling oncoming drivers. There’s a wide and imposing front grille, plus the option of having a black roof for the first time, giving it a sporty character. Drivers can have alloy wheels up to 19-inches large in the four-variant range (S, SX, SX+ and flagship GT-Line).
2022 Kia Sportage interior and practicality
Inside, you’ll find a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster which can be configured to put a variety of information in front of you, plus a separate 12.3-inch infotainment system. The base S gets a smaller 8-inch infotainment screen.
We’ve yet to try this new system, but it looks as though Kia has tried to reduce the time needed to activate some of the more common functions – shortcuts appear on a separate touch panel beneath the screen itself, along with the climate controls. Improvements and new features can be added wirelessly through over-the-air updates, and it is compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring (wireless).
Other features include wireless smartphone charging, an upgraded Harmon Kardon stereo for audiophiles, and a rotary gear selector on the centre console if you go for an automatic gearbox.
The 1050mm legroom for second-row passengers and 1000mm headroom is an improvement from the outgoing model – 80mm and 7mm increase respectively. We’ll be testing the new Sportage’s headroom and legroom when we drive it, but for now Kia says the car can accommodate up to 591 litres in its boot. That’s 100 litres more than the previous generation and more than most rivals.
That all means the new Sportage should have no trouble handling your family’s holiday luggage, and the seats split in a 40/20/40 arrangement to give you added flexibility.
2022 Kia Sportage engines
Although the new Kia Sportage is available with a variety of hybrid engines overseas, Australia will continue, at least initially, with conventional powertrains.
That means a base 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder producing 115kW and 192Nm, a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol developing 132kW and 265Nm, and a 2.0-litre diesel turbo making 137kW and 416Nm available.
As well as new suspension which adjusts itself continuously in line with the road conditions, the new Sportage features a number of driving modes – including a Terrain Mode for drivers venturing off-road – which automatically adapt the car’s systems for different conditions.
Available driver assistance and safety kit includes Kia’s Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) with forward collision-avoidance assist (FCA), which helps avoid collisions with other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists in front of the vehicle while driving, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance, and a blind-spot monitoring system. A rear-view camera, 360-degree camera and even a self-parking system are also available.
The intelligent speed limit assist (ISLA) system available on the all-new Sportage is a driver assistance technology that detects speed signs through the front view camera. Information is then displayed on the instrument cluster. The optimised speed can then be used to set the Speed Limiter or Smart Cruise Control by confirming the speed limit.
2022 Kia Sportage price
Prices won’t be announced until closer to the Sportage arriving in dealerships this October, but it’s expected to cost from a bit over $30k before on-road costs. It will likely be a small rise on the fourth generation but means the new Sportage will still be competitive next to its family SUV rivals, and a comparative bargain next to many larger models.