With the introduction of GT-Line and GT-Line S versions of the Sportage for the first time, there are now two distinct body treatments for Kia's compact crossover. All have an almost 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 all-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 reduce fuel consumption and emissions at speed.
The front is dominated by a wide interpretation of Kia's ‘tiger nose’ main grille featuring a chromed surround with either black diamond or high-gloss black diamond mesh. The dynamically styled bonnet is dished in the centre and features two raised ribs. 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. There are recessed circular foglamps, underscored by two chrome blades, on all models. The steeply angled windscreen sweeps seamlessly into a low roofline, and its top edge 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. There is a high shoulder line with a standard chrome belt-line strip and body-coloured door mirrors and door handles, with chrome inserts from grade 2, where a rear spoiler and roof rails also become standard. Privacy glass features on the rear side windows and tailgate, also from grade 2 upwards. The lower body sides are deeply sculpted and flow into powerful wheel arches, and there are black side sill and wheel-arch mouldings.
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 an aerodynamic diffuser, a further nod to the car's sporty credentials. A small garnish has been added to the sides of the rear spoiler which, though barely noticeable, is a useful aerodynamic addition.
Other subtle aerodynamic details include front curtains incorporated within the foglamp housings to channel turbulent air around and away from the front wheels, a front bumper lip, centre and rear under-floor covers and, on two-wheel-drive versions, an undercover at the rear of the engine bay.