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Overview

  • All-new version of Kia's best-selling model in the UK
  • All models more fuel-efficient, with CO2 reductions of up to 29g/km
  • New connectivity and advanced driver assistance features
  • GT-Line and GT-Line S add a more sporty flourish
  • 21 variants based on six engines, three gearboxes and seven trim lines

Kia's best-selling model in the UK, the stylish Sportage crossover, continues to go from strength to strength, establishing new sales records month after month. The fourth-generation model went on sale at the start of 2016, bringing major advances in fuel efficiency, comfort, connectivity, convenience and safety. The range has subsequently been strengthened with the introduction of the luxuriously specified GT-Line S and KX-5 versions.

The Sportage sells as much on its looks as on its practicality, and with the addition of GT-Line and GT-Line S variants, the line-up now offers sportier versions, while every model benefits from a more premium interior.

There are six engines and three transmissions, showcasing the best of Kia's advanced engineering technology through the 1.6-litre T-GDi (turbocharged gasoline direct injection) petrol unit and a 7DCT (seven-speed dual-clutch automatic) gearbox, which is available for both two- and four-wheel-drive models. Extensively re-engineered 1.6-litre GDi petrol and 1.7- and 2.0-litre CRDi turbodiesel power units, with improved fuel economy and CO2 reductions of up to 29g/km, complete the powertrain line-up. Lower CO2 means significantly reduced company car tax for the Sportage's loyal legions of business drivers.

There are two versions of each diesel engine. The 1.7 is available as a 114bhp unit with manual transmission, or with 139bhp when paired with the 7DCT transmission. The 2.0-litre engine delivers either 134bhp or 182bhp, and both options are available with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox.

Connectivity and advanced driver aids are a pre-requisite in any car these days, and the Sportage will not disappoint on either count. All versions except the entry-level grade 1 have a 7- or 8-inch touchscreen satellite navigation system linked to Kia Connected Services with TomTom®, providing full European mapping and detailed traffic, speed camera, weather and local services information. A special feature of the MY17 Sportage is the system can be linked to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which connect the user's smartphone to the car and, via pre-downloaded apps, give access to navigation, music, hands-free calls and texts using voice control to enhance driver concentration and safety.

Further up the range, speed limit information, Lane Keep Assist, High Beam Assist, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Smart Parking Assist, a Smart Power Tailgate and wireless charging for mobile devices are available.

There are 21 versions of the all-new Sportage, based on seven trim lines – badged 1, 2, 3, 4, KX-5, GT-Line and GT-Line S. There are two- and four-wheel-drive transmissions. All-wheel-drive versions are distinguished by the 'KX' prefix in the model designation, except for GT-Line and GT-Line S.

Up to 7mpg more economical, with CO2 reductions of as much as 29g/km

The engines available in the previous Sportage have been extensively revised, with the result that they now deliver better fuel economy with lower CO2 emissions, and they are joined by a 1.6-litre T-GDi turbocharged petrol unit in GT-Line and GT-Line S and a higher-powered 1.7-litre CRDi diesel in combination with the 7DCT gearbox.

The lower-powered 1.7-litre CRDi favoured by more than half of all Sportage buyers is now more than 7mpg more fuel-efficient in combined mode, while its CO2 output falls by 16g/km. There is a reduction in CO2 of 29g/km for the lower-powered 2.0-litre diesel with automatic transmission, while with the higher-powered version of the same engine and an auto gearbox the reduction is 23g/km.

The new 1.7 CRDi engine with 7DCT gearbox has fuel economy of 57.6mpg, with CO2 emissions of 129g/km while the high-performance 1.6 T-GDi petrol engine delivers excellent efficiency, with fuel economy of more than 37mpg and CO2 figures of 177g/km (manual) and 175g/km (7DCT).

The driveability of many versions has been improved, especially the 2.0-litre diesels, which now have more torque across a wider rev range. With the 134bhp lower-powered version, torque rises from 320Nm to 373Nm, while the more powerful 182bhp unit now delivers 400Nm (previously 383Nm with manual transmission and 392Nm with the automatic).

Six-speed gearboxes are fitted to all manual Sportages, while the 2.0-litre diesels are available with a six-speed torque converter automatic. This is standard in the KX-5 range-topping variant. Intelligent all-wheel-drive is fitted to 1.6-litre T-GDi and 2.0-litre CRDi versions. It normally delivers 100 per cent of engine torque to the front wheels, but this is redistributed up to a maximum of 60:40 front-to-rear if road conditions deteriorate or to enhance cornering stability. For off-road driving, owners can manually select lock mode, which gives a 50:50 torque split at speeds of up to 25mph. The system is now linked to Advanced Traction Cornering Control, which monitors road speed, throttle input and steering angle and distributes torque between the left and right wheels to maximise cornering stability.

A number of other electronic features increase safety for on-road driving and the car's capability off-road or in areas where bad weather and poor driving conditions are facts of life.

Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) counteract any tendency of the car to understeer or oversteer in hard cornering or slippery conditions, or to pull to one side when accelerating on roads with different levels of grip from left to right.

They are linked to three additional systems – Downhill Brake Control (DBC), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) and a Roll-over Sensor.DBC ensures the car maintains a steady speed of 5mph when descending steep slopes.HAC prevents slip-back when setting off uphill and eliminates the possibility of wheelspin.The Roll-over Sensor detects when the car might be in danger of tipping over and deploys the curtain airbags and seat-belt pre-tensioners so that occupants are fully protected should the worst happen. And every version has Trailer Stability Assist to prevent a caravan or trailer from snaking in crosswinds or if the Sportage is towing at too high a speed.

A dynamic and sporty appearance

With the introduction of GT-Line and GT-Line S versions, there are now two distinct body treatments for Kia's compact crossover. All have an almost a sports car-like ratio between sheet metal and glass, with narrow side windows, deeply sculpted sides and bold wheel arches encasing wheels of up to 19 inches in diameter.

Sleek and rakish, the Sportage successfully incorporates the key features of an SUV in an urban-friendly, athletic and muscular package. The new Sportage is 40mm longer than its predecessor, with a 30mm greater wheelbase but unchanged width and height – dimensions which make it look even more lithe and sporty while lowering its co-efficient of drag (Cd) from 0.35 to 0.33. Every small reduction in drag helps to lower fuel consumption and emissions at speed.

The front is dominated by a wide interpretation of Kia's ‘tiger nose’ main grille, with a chromed surround and either black diamond or high-gloss black diamond mesh. At the sides, the bonnet sweeps up to cover elongated headlamps, which extend along the sides. LED daytime running lamps are standard, and the headlamps are bi-xenon adaptive units on grades 4/KX-4, KX-5 and GT-Line S. The steep windscreen angle sweeps seamlessly into a low roofline.The top edge of the windscreen is again castellated, which is becoming something of a Sportage hallmark.

The increased overall length, extended wheelbase and shorter rear overhang give the all-new Sportage an even more sporty profile than its award-winning predecessor. Straight, flowing character lines stretch across the body above the sills, beneath the glasshouse and over the side window line, giving the profile a sense of tension and precision. This is emphasised by the sharp styling of the 16-, 17- and 19-inch alloy wheels.

There is a more chiselled and voluminous look to the rear, which features a mixture of concave and convex surfaces and horizontal lines which emphasise the car's wide and stable stance. A chrome strip links the rear combination lamps with their distinctive night-time signature. The rear lamp units are LED from grade 4/KX-4. Beneath the tailgate is a styling trim.

Internal affairs

The all-new Sportage continues the leap forward Kia has been making with actual and perceived quality, with flush-fitting fixtures and trim, soft-to-the-touch materials and luxurious detailing.

The dash is horizontal in layout and split into an upper display area containing the Thin Film Transistor instrument graphics and 7- or 8-inch colour touchscreen, depending on model. The lower section is the control area, with large, soft-painted buttons for the heater switches and the audio system. The touchscreen system, which is standard from grade 2 upwards, means the interior designers have been able to reduce the number of switches.

The front of the cabin is driver-centric, with a pronounced cockpit layout and simple switches grouped according to function. This is not only more ergonomic but also safer because it reduces the amount of time the driver's gaze needs to be averted from the road. The centre console is angled at 7.2 degrees towards the driver for easier visibility.

The driver's view has been further improved by lowering the position of the door mirrors, narrowing their plastic mounts and reducing the thickness of the bottom of the A-pillars. The tailgate glass is also taller and the C-pillars are narrower. The floor has been lowered by 40mm, making entry and access easier and lowering the hip point of occupants.A new organ-type boxed accelerator pedal replaces the previous pendant type for greater comfort.

Seat comfort has also been improved by studious attention to detail with the padding and side support. The pad density of the cushions has been increased, their suspension at the front edge is now fixed, the foam is softer and the spring diameters have been reduced. There are also firmer side supports, which are replicated in the rear backrest bolsters. And a softer pad is fitted to the headrests. High- and low-tensile steel frames reduce the weight of each front seat by 2.5kg and are more effective at absorbing vibrations.

The five-seat cabin is more spacious thanks to the increase in wheelbase. Legroom and headroom front and rear is greater, while the boot capacity, with the spare tyre in place, has risen by 26 litres (all seats in use) to 491 litres, or 1,480 litres when they are folded down. The two-position cargo floor leaves space for the luggage cover to be stored beneath it when not in use.

GT-Line and GT-Line S: the ultimate sporty touch

For the first time Kia offers the Sportage with appropriately sporty GT-Line and GT-Line S trim levels. These are easily recognised from their high-gloss black ‘blade mesh’ radiator grilles with satin chrome surround, satin chrome belt-line mouldings and tailgate insert, unique 19-inch alloy wheels, body-coloured exterior door handles with satin chrome inserts, black side sill and wheel-arch body mouldings with satin chrome inserts, ice cube-style LED front foglights, dual exhaust tailpipes and silver-painted front and rear skid plates.

This sporty theme is maintained inside the cabin, with black leather upholstery with grey leather inserts; silver stitching on the steering wheel, front centre armrest and centre dashboard; black headlining; stainless steel pedals; a chromed boot sill guard; and a D-shaped sports leather steering wheel with perforated inserts and a 'GT-Line' logo.

Improved driving dynamics, comfort and safety

The fun-to-drive qualities which were a major attraction with the previous Sportage have been honed to an even sharper degree in the new model through a combination of a much stiffer body shell, extensive suspension revisions and a new steering system. As a result, the Sportage is now even more precise and stable on the UK's twisty country roads and more comfortable and refined on highways.

The suspension features MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link arrangement at the rear. The front and rear suspension systems are mounted on lightweight hydro-formed subframes that help to isolate occupants from irregularities in the road and surface-generated noise.

In the UK, all versions have Kia's latest rack-mounted Motor Driven Power Steering (R-MDPS). Previously, the electric motor which controls the steering was mounted half way up the steering column. With R-MDPS it is mounted directly to the steering rack. This brings sharper responses and greater precision. Kia likens it to trying to steer a blindfolded person from behind: if you direct them from the waist they are able to follow a more precise path than if directed at shoulder level.

R-MDPS delivers good feel and precise control, with low turning effort for parking and low-speed manoeuvres and firmer feedback at higher speeds. Compared with a hydraulically activated steering system, it contributes fuel economy savings of around three per cent.

The Sportage has an all-disc, anti-lock braking system (ventilated at the front and solid at the rear), backed up by Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BAS).EBD apportions the stopping power to the wheels with most grip, while BAS ensures maximum braking power in an emergency, regardless of the force exerted on the pedal by the driver.

A number of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are now offered on the Sportage for the first time, all designed to minimise the possibility of an accident.

High-grade 4/KX-4 and KX-5 versions are fitted with Autonomous Emergency Braking, which employs both short- and long-range radar systems so that it can detect vehicles and pedestrians at greater distances and higher speeds. The short-range radar operates at typical city speeds of up to 43mph. Between 19mph and 50mph the longer-range radar also comes into play to detect obstacles in the car's path and responds by automatically slowing it, to a complete stop if necessary. The pedestrian detection function operates at up to 37mph.

There is also Blind Spot Detection to act as an extra pair of eyes for the driver when changing lanes, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert to warn a driver who is about to reverse out of a perpendicular parking bay that there is a vehicle approaching at right angles. All models from grade 2/KX-2 have Lane Keeping Assist to alert a tired driver who may be about to stray into the path of a vehicle approaching from behind; High Beam Assist to switch between full and dipped beam automatically when there are other vehicles in the vicinity; and a speed limit information function within the instrument cluster.

From grade 2/KX-2 a reversing camera is integrated with the 7- or 8-inch navigation touchscreen, and reversing sensors are standard, helping to minimise the chance of annoying little parking dents. The GT-Line S and KX-5 have Smart Park Assist, which can identify suitable parallel and perpendicular spaces and steer the car into and out of them while the driver operates the accelerator, brakes and gearbox.

As a result of the measures taken first to prevent accidents and then to mitigate against the effects of them if they are unavoidable, the all-new Sportage has earned a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP under the ever-tougher testing regime. It was commended for its ability to protect passengers of all statures in all seats, faring especially well in a side-on impact with a pole, and scored 71 per cent for its active safety assist technologies.

Specification highlights

All versions of the all-new Sportage are comprehensively equipped and feature an extensive package of comfort, convenience and safety items which becomes progressively more luxurious with every step up the range.

Even Grade 1 comes as standard with 16-inch alloy wheels and all-round disc brakes, a black diamond-mesh grille with chromed surround, front foglights, LED daytime running lamps, chrome-coated belt-line mouldings, smart black cloth upholstery with a grey headlining, electrically adjustable heated door mirrors, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearshifter, all-round electric windows, air conditioning, a DAB radio, Bluetooth with voice recognition and music streaming, USB and AUX ports, an LED front map light, a ventilation duct and 12-volt power outlet in the rear, Trailer Stability Assist, Hill-start Assist, Downhill Brake Control and cruise control with speed limiter.

Grade 2/KX-2 expands on this with 17-inch alloys, body-coloured exterior handles with chrome inserts, high-gloss paint on the front grille, a 7-inch touch-screen navigation system with integrated reversing camera and Kia Connected Services with TomTom®, roof rails, privacy glass on the rear side windows and tailgate, black premium cloth upholstery and powered lumbar adjustment for the driver's seat, electrically folding door mirrors with LED indicators, reversing sensors, automatic lights and wipers, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, dual automatic air conditioning with an automatic windscreen de-fog system, a cooled glovebox and the Lane-Keep Assist, automatic high-beam and speed limit information functions.

With grade 3/KX-3 come 19-inch alloys, a panoramic sunroof, a front wiper de-icer, black leather upholstery, a high-gloss black centre fascia, a rear USB charging point, heated front and outer rear seats, a 4.2-inch LCD TFT colour information display and a JBL premium sound system with sub-woofer, external amp and front centre speaker.

Grade 4/KX-4 adds bi-xenon adaptive headlights with automatic levelling and washers, cornering lights, front parking sensors, a smart key entry system and engine start/stop button, stainless steel door scuff plates, LED rear combination lamps, an LED rear reading lamp and luggage area light, 10-way power adjustable driver and eight-way adjustable front passenger ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel, Autonomous Emergency Braking and Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

The range-topping luxurious KX-5 has, on top of all this, a Smart Power Tailgate, Smart Park Assist, a wireless mobile phone charger, an electronic parking brake and stone grey two-tone leather upholstery and all round electric windows with driver’s and passenger having automatic up and down feature.

GT-Line sits in the range between grades 2 and 3 and has sporty styling flourishes which mark it out as a more dynamic version of the all-new Sportage. There are exclusive 19-inch alloys, LED rear combination lamps, front parking sensors, heated front and outer rear seats, a 4.2-inch TFT instrument cluster and, with the DCT gearbox, paddle shifters. The standard GT-Line Exterior Styling Pack adds ice-cube LED front foglights, a high-gloss black ‘blade mesh’ grille, dual exhausts, satin chrome belt-line mouldings and door sills and silver front and rear skid plates. The Interior Styling Pack, which is also standard, introduces black leather upholstery with grey inserts, a high-gloss black centre fascia, a black headliner, stainless steel sill scuff plates and pedals and a D-shaped leather-covered sports steering wheel.

GT-Line S offers all of that plus more luxurious flourishes – bi-xenon adaptive headlights with washers, a panoramic sunroof, 10-way power adjustable driver and eight-way adjustable front passenger seats, a heated steering wheel, an LED boot light and LED personal lamp, the 8-inch touchscreen navigation system and eight-speaker JBL premium sound system with subwoofer, external amplifier and front centre speaker, Smart Parking Assist, a Smart Power Tailgate, a wiper de-icer, an electronic parking brake, a wireless phone charger and a rear USB charging port.

Market, warranty and after-care

The all-new Sportage slots into the compact SUV/crossover market, which is expected to grow from 9.4 per cent of the total in Europe in 2015 to 10.2 per cent by 2018, with total sales for the sector predicted at 1.6 million.

The all-new Sportage has proved to be a huge success for Kia in Europe. It is the fourth best-selling car in its class, ahead of the Audi Q3, BMW X1, Range Rover Evoque, Ford Kuga, Skoda Yeti and Peugeot 3008. In the UK, the Sportage is Kia's best-selling model, claiming close to 44.8 per cent of the company's sales.

In keeping with every Kia, the Sportage comes with a unique-in-the-UK seven-year or 100,000-mile warranty, subject to certain wear and tear conditions. The warranty is fully transferable should the car be sold before the time or mileage limits have been reached.

The Sportage is available with Kia’s Care-3 and Care-3 Plus servicing packages, offering retail customers fixed-cost, inflation-proof servicing for the first three or five years. All packages cover the car, not the owner, so are transferable should the vehicle be sold.If a vehicle with a Care-3 package is sold on, the next owner may upgrade to the five-year package.

UK Sportage line-up

Model
Power bhp
Torque Nm
0–60 sec
Max speed mph
Combined mpg
CO2 g/km
1.6 GDi six-speed manual 1
130
161
11.1
113
42.2
156
1.7 CRDi six-speed manual 1 ISG
114
280
11.1
109
61.4
119
2.0 CRDi (134bhp) six-speed manual KX-1
134
373
10.1
114
54.3
139
1.6 GDi six-speed manual 2 ISG
130
161
11.1
113
44.8
147
1.7 CRDi six-speed manual 2 ISG
114
280
11.1
109
61.4
119
2.0 CRDi (134bhp) six-speed manual KX-2
134
373
10.1
114
54.3
139
2.0 CRDi (134bhp) six-speed auto KX-2
134
373
11.6
114
47.9
154
1.7 CRDi six-speed manual 3 ISG
114
280
11.1
109
61.4
119
2.0 CRDi (134bhp) six-speed manual KX-3
134
373
10.1
114
54.3
139
2.0 CRDi (134bhp) six-speed auto KX-3
134
373
11.6
114
47.9
154
1.7 CRDi six-speed manual 4 ISG
114
280
11.1
109
61.4
119
2.0 CRDi (182bhp) six-speed manual KX-4
182
400
9.2
125
47.9
154
2.0 CRDi (182bhp) six-speed auto KX-4
182
400
9.2
125
44.8
166
2.0 CRDi (182bhp) six-speed auto First Edition
182
400
9.2
125
44.8
166
1.6 T-GDi six-speed manual GT-Line
174
265
9.2
126
37.2
177
1.6 T-GDi 7DCT GT-Line
174
265
8.8
125
37.7
175
2.0 CRDi (134bhp) six-speed manual GT-Line
134
373
10.1
114
54.3
139
2.0 CRDi (134bhp) six-speed auto GT-Line
134
373
11.6
114
47.9
154