Kia has today made its ‘Full Monte’ Sportage announcement, confirming specifications and powertrain for the all-new mid-size SUV.
The most pressing matter of the bunch was powertrains, and just how deep the brand would push the popular nameplate towards electrification. While we still have to wait a little longer for specific details like power and torque figures, the marque has confirmed that it will produce both a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid variant.
More is known about the model’s internal combustion engine options. From launch it will be available with a turbocharged 1.6-litre four producing 134kW of power and 265Nm of torque. There’s also a larger 2.0-litre four cylinder diesel, which makes 139kW and 417Nm.
The former gets a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic while the latter gets a revised version of Kia’s eight-speed automatic — redesigned for less oil leakage and better fuel efficiency. It’s yet to be confirmed which mix of options Kiwi buyers will get, but it’s safe to say that we will get at least one of the two hybrid options — if not both.
Beyond the styling inside and out, which we’ve already ogled and debated in the past, Kia’s new announcement touches on some of the model’s unanswered blanks, while also illustrating some of its interesting quirks.
For instance, Kia has confirmed that it will be releasing the Sportage in long-wheelbase and short-wheelbase formats, depending on the market. This is a first for the brand. It’s also the first time the model will be offered with a contrast-coloured roof as an option. And, it’s the first time it will get some kind of hardy off-road mode in its drive mode selection (in this case, ‘Terrain’ mode).
Atop the futuristic dashboard sits a 12-inch touchscreen and behind the steering wheel is a 12-inch digital cluster, which utilises a liquid crystal display. Each features over-the-air software and map update functionality.
Safety features are predictably plentiful. These range from requisite fixtures like Kia’s revised blind-spot collision assist and forward collision avoidance assist, to smart cruise control that’s based on satellite navigation — capable of slowing for curves it sees coming up in the road, instead of sitting pinned to whatever speed the driver has set.
This is still a fairly new feature, and one we last saw in the latest Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Nifty to see it in a fairly mainstream, high-volume SUV.
Boot space is rated at 637 litres, making this one of the biggest haulers in class. Kia has always been known for being at the pointy end for practicality in its SUVs, but this is a hefty step up on the outgoing model’s comparatively piddly 466 litres.