Crisp and clean: Kia teases new Sportage ahead of launch

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Words: Matthew Hansen
31 May 2021

In many respects Kia and Hyundai feel like siblings with an incredibly fierce rivalry. Together they’ve both risen from the kinds of cars they each issued in the 1990s to being a motoring superpower.

Given this, it’s no surprise at all that Kia’s updated next-gen Sportage SUV looks just as exciting and intriguing as its Hyundai ‘evil twin’, the Tucson.

Kia has issued teaser images of the all-new Sportage, showing a selection of the model’s details. We see its silhouette, some of the headlight and taillight shaping, some of its body surfacing, and a curious cut-away of its dashboard.

There’s a lot of EV6 to be seen in the way the new Sportage looks. The floating roofline, clean crease-free profile, and C-shaped day-time running light LEDs in the headlights are among the lines that can be drawn from model to model.

This is all part of a new emerging design language that’s to be rolled out across Kia’s new line-up. It’s not so much about the ‘Tiger nose’ grille anymore, instead Kia’s calling the look ‘Opposites United’.

The interior is somewhat similar, too. The biggest talking point is most likely the curved infotainment and cluster display. While in the picture it looks like it may just be one screen, there’s likely to be dual-screens within. The central air-vent looks neat, almost like the Ferrari 458’s equivalent vent.

“Taking inspiration from an ethos we created where nature meets technology, the all-new Sportage challenges the norm with an adventurous and contemporary exterior and a carefully conceived, beautifully detailed interior,” said Karim Habib, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Design Center.

“With the all-new Sportage, we were fully focused on challenging ourselves and pushing our fifth-generation SUV to a new level.”

It’s all very different from the Tucson’s looks, which is a nice breath of fresh air. The latter’s sharp offensive of slashes and creases has already earned plenty of fans. But, there’s no reason why the Sportage’s cleaner affair can’t be as well received.

The model is due to be unveiled in full in Korea in July, with our version of the Sportage likely to be more or less identical.

The announcement completes a marathon month for the Sportage. The popular nameplate has been all over the local news following a recall over fire risk concerns, and then confirmation that the model would be wiped from local Kia order lists due to high interest and a lack of supply.

“Thank you for your interest in Sportage, orders of the current model have exceeded our 2021 production allocation, therefore we have stopped all promotional activities for the current model. An all-new fifth generation Kia Sportage is expected in 2022, further information including registrations of interest will be available very soon,” it says on Kia’s local website.

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