A month ago, Kia officially revealed the 2022 iteration of the Sportage SUV but refrained from giving out key details about the vehicle. With this update, the mid-size SUV has entered its fifth generation. The previous iteration of the Sportage looked rather, umm… unique but this time around, Kia has incorporated a new design philosophy that goes by the name ‘Opposites United’. The new Sportage SUV is the result of a collaborative effort between Kia’s main global design network in Korea, Germany, the USA and China.
The efforts put in are clearly visible because the Sportage looks sportier than ever, thus, justifying its moniker.
Starting with the front-end first, Kia has completely overhauled the exterior of the Sportage and that certainly works in its favour. Kia’s signature Tiger-nose grille is evidently visible and the boomerang-shaped LED daytime running lights does manage to grab attention. The headlamp unit might remind you of the Creta though. Its crossover stance is retained but it now looks a lot sleeker and sportier than before, all thanks to the sharp creases and lines splattered all around. The Sportage is the second production model after the new Kia EV6 to be designed under Kia’s new ‘Opposites United’ ethos. Depending on spec and model, new Sportage rides on 17-inch, 18-inch or range-topping 19-inch wheels, with a choice of seven different alloy designs, colours and finishes.
At the centre of the all-new Sportage’s modern cabin sits a beautifully sculpted integrated curved display with a slim touchscreen pad and finely detailed air vents. The curved display sweeps across the front of the interior, giving the cockpit dramatic width and depth. The high-tech 12-inch touchscreen and advanced integrated controller act as the nerve centre.
The 12-inch instrument cluster is equipped with the latest-generation full thin-film-transistor liquid-crystal display for incredibly precise and clear graphics. A smartphone charging bay offers high-speed wireless charging. Kia claims to have used “the highest-quality materials” throughout to ensure the Mk5 Sportage “is a special place to spend time”.
The 1.6-litre TGDI powertrain is likely to be the highlight of the new Sportage and it has 177 hp and 265 Nm of torque. For someone looking for an even more powerful drive experience, there is an R2.0-liter diesel engine that develops 183 hp and has 416 Nm of torque. While the 1.6-litre TGDI engine is mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (7DCT) and a six-speed manual transmission, the R2.0-litre diesel is paired to an extensively re-engineered 8-speed automatic transmission. Among the other notable highlights is an advanced Terrain mode that claims to automatically adjust the Sportage’s settings so that the vehicle realizes an optimal drive dynamic for any given road condition and environment.
Kia Sportage has been equipped with Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) technology and has an improved torsional rigidity. It gets driver airbag, passenger airbag, side curtain airbags and low-side airbags.
There is also Highway Driving Assist which helps drivers maintain a safe distance and speed from the vehicle ahead and helping the vehicle keep to its lane. Some of the other highlights include Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control (NSCC), Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA), Blind-Spot View Monitor (BVM) and Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA).