Kia Sportage, the Korean SUV is renewed

Kia Sportage, the Korean SUV is renewed

Kia Sportage

They had shown us a preview a few weeks ago, on the occasion of the national test day of the new electric Kia EV6, and finally the first specimens were given to the press for tests and first impressions: the new Kia Sportage has finally arrived, with a whole new look!

Kia Sportage is a model that has existed for over 30 years and represents one of the greatest strengths of the Korean company; today Sportage renews itself, in terms of lines and contents, to return to being competitive on a market that in recent years has had a notable surge like that of SUVs.

The nose of the new Kia Sportage is surprising for its lines and for how the elements are interlocked: the front grille is of really important dimensions, with a honeycomb structure that gives it a modern and captivating look, and LED light clusters with a decidedly unique shape, which without doubt they will give the car a perfectly recognizable luminous signature. Among the most important innovations of the new Kia Sportage there is undoubtedly the black roof in contrast with the bodywork, an option that for the first time arrives on the Kia SUV; the alloy wheels are available with 6 different designs in dimensions between 17 and 19 inches in diameter, and complete a modern and ever so captivating line.

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Kia’s new Sportage SUV could be Nissan’s worst nightmare

WE don’t dodge the big questions on these pages.

Qashqai and Sportage. Two giants in a crowded SUV market. But which should you spend your money on? Let’s jump straight in.

The new Kia Sportage can rival the popular Nissan Qashqai


The new Kia Sportage can rival the popular Nissan QashqaiCredit: simon thompson

We liked the new Qashqai so much we crowned it The Sun’s Car of the Year for 2021.

Posh yet practical. Strong and safe. Hybrid and hi-tech. The go-to family car.

But this new Kia could be Nissan’s worst nightmare.

Sportage is every bit as good as Qashqai in most departments — and trumps it in two crucial areas.

The first is engine choices. You can have a diesel Sportage if you like. For doing big miles and towing things. Qashqai is petrol only.

Both brands offer petrol-electric hybrids without a plug to save a few quid on fuel.

Plus there’s a plug-in hybrid Sportage on the way, promising 30-odd miles of pure-electric driving.

You won’t need to wake the engine on some trips.

Both firms also offer 4WD versions of their hero cars, providing greater assurance in dodgy weather.

The second ace up Kia’s sleeve is that seven-year warranty, plus used Sportages always rank highly for reliability.

Now we come to looks. What do you think?

I prefer the fuss-free lines of Qashqai. It will age better. Sportage is a bit too busy for me. More distinctive but less attractive.

Both interiors are next-level compared to the cars they replaced.

Twin screens, more luxury, more space and all the latest driver-assistance and anti-crash kit.

Practicality is important for a family SUV and both do a good job here too.

Qashqai’s rear doors open wider, to 85 degrees, to make it easier to eject kiddlywinks. The boot floor is reversible.

But Sportage has the bigger boot at 591 litres and 40/20/40 seats. We also like the USB-C ports for rear passengers on the side of both front seats.

Also, it’s worth mentioning that all the good stuff from Kia’s EV6 has trickled down to Sportage.

That includes the Merc-like curved screen and the separate touch panel which alternates between stereo and air-con at the push of a button.

It’s an intelligent use of space and a nice piece of design.

As for prices, Qashqai starts at £24,555. The top-spec 4WD Tekna+ is £38,855. The added bonus is that you’re supporting British jobs.

Sportage starts at £26,745 and has more standard kit. The German car we tried was closest to the high-spec 4WD GT-Line S costing £40k. You don’t need that.

The smart buy is the mid-spec “3” grade at £31k. It has all the luxuries you want, including heated rear outer seats.

To answer the big question, then: Which is best, Qashqai or Sportage?

It depends on what you want from a car, really. Or which team you support.

Both are thoroughly modern, right-size family SUVs punching way ahead of the rest. You’d be chuffed with either of them.

But if I really, really had to choose? I’d go BMW 3 Series Touring.

Kia Sportage GT-LINE S AWD

Key facts:

Price: £40,245

Engine: 1.6-litre petrol hybrid

Power: 226hp, 400Nm

0-62mph: 8.3 secs

Top speed: 120mph

Economy: 45mpg

CO2: 140g/km

Out: February

Kia offer a seven year warranty on the Sportage


Kia offer a seven year warranty on the SportageCredit: simon thompsonThe roomy backseat is spacious and comfortable for passengers


The roomy backseat is spacious and comfortable for passengersCredit: simon thompsonAll the good stuff from Kia’s EV6 has trickled down to Sportage


All the good stuff from Kia’s EV6 has trickled down to SportageCredit: simon thompsonUSB-C ports in the backseats help make the Sportage a prepared car for family trips


USB-C ports in the backseats help make the Sportage a prepared car for family tripsCredit: simon thompsonKia EV6: The all-new electric car from Kia that puts you in charge

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