A couple of months back, we gave you a peek at the all-new fourth-generation Kia Sportage. Those of you who caught that piece may have noticed a more premium-looking compact SUV from the Korean brand. Sure, it may have resembled an evolution of the current and outgoing model, but this isn’t such a bad thing as the one we have now seems quite handsome.
Unfortunately, that was all we had to share at the time. But as promised, we’ll tell you the pertinent bits once we have them. And now we do.
According to Kia, the latest Sportage has a more upscale feel, driving experience, and set of features. The driving part is taken care of by two engines (at least for North America). The base motor is the current 2.4-liter lump that produces 181hp and 237Nm. Those who want more grunt (who doesn’t?) can opt for a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that puts out 241hp and an impressive 352Nm. Each of these mills is paired with a six-speed Sportmatic automatic gearbox that drives either the front or all wheels. The latter has the Dynamax Intelligent AWD system that has a 50/50 locking differential, and anticipates road conditions quickly for the utmost grip on any road surface.
The enhanced suspension helps improve ride quality as well as overall handling in various driving conditions. The steering box, which has been moved forward, likewise provides better feel and more even weight distribution.
Beyond driving dynamics, the new Kia Sportage boasts the latest technologies, not to mention a more premium and comfortable cabin. The occupant space is now roomier, thanks to increased exterior and interior dimensions. Materials have likewise taken a step upward in terms of quality. And that upmarket vibe can be seen in the stuff that Kia has thrown in, either as standard or optional extras: Autonomous Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Detection, Lane Departure Warning, and dual-HID headlamps with a dynamic bending feature, among other cool goodies.
As if these aren’t high-tech enough, the new Sportage will be the first model in the Kia range to feature UVO3--the latest version of its award-winning telematics and infotainment system. This state-of-the-art sound, video and connectivity multimedia interface incorporates 14 telematic systems, up to 8GB of music storage, onscreen apps like SoundHound, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Wi-Fi tethering. What’s really awesome about this system is that buyers get all these for free.
With such a package, the new Sportage looks to be a truly premium offering. It should be interesting to see how it stacks up against its equally sophisticated Hyundai Tucson platform twin, which has likewise undergone a full-model change, not to mention other CUVs in its class. Only question is: Will all these new toys make it to our shores? And at what price? We hope the answer comes soon enough.