|Photos by Ulysses Ang and Kia Press|
Initially offered solely with a diesel engine, the all-new Sportage is powered by a Euro-4 emissions compliant R 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine boasting 185 horsepower at 4,000 rpm and 402 Nm of torque at 2,750 rpm. Mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission (with paddle shifters on the GT Line), it rockets this compact crossover to 100 km/h in just 8.9 seconds.
Handling duty is assigned to the all-around independent suspension (MacPherson Struts in front, Multi-links at the back) with the GT Line getting the added benefit of high-performance dampers. Bigger brakes all around (305 mm versus 300 mm in front, 302 mm versus 262 mm) also equate to surefooted stopping power. The Sportage’s shoe size has also grown to handle all the power with the EX models receiving 225/55R18’s while the GT Line receiving 245/45R19’s.
Recognized worldwide for its cutting-edge design (it has received the prestigious 2016 Red Dot Award for product design), the all-new Sportage is described as: sporty, energetic, and dramatic. Taking its inspiration from fighter jets, it has the newest interpretation of the corporate tiger-nose grille. For the first time ever, the headlights and grille elements have been separated creating a wider, more imposing appearance despite similar widths as the outgoing model. Sporting a low 0.33 co-efficient of drag, the sleek Sportage is designed with high aerodynamic efficiency in mind.
Joining the EX model range is the new GT Line that adds even more design flair. Apart from the larger alloy wheels, the Sportage GT Line gets a unique grille, aluminum skid plate, ice-cube LED front fog lamps, LED daytime running lights, more chrome garnishing, metal-effect rear underbody, and dual exhaust tips.
Inside, the emphasis is to deliver a more driver-centric cockpit with a higher percentage of soft-touch materials. The focus is a clearly-defined center console with a new vertical design that emphasizes width giving an impression of space and sportiness. The 2016 Sportage also boasts of more legroom thanks to a longer wheelbase while the redesigned cabin makes for improved head and shoulder room. The rear seats in particular features increased reclining ability pitching as much as 37 degrees compared to the outgoing model’s 28. The luggage room is also bigger: 503 liters versus 465 liters.
Like its unique exterior treatment, the Sportage GT Line gets unique differentiators inside like the D-shaped leather steering wheel, high-quality piano black fascia, aluminum alloy pedals, and a panoramic sunroof. The GT Line also gets powered seats for both the driver and passenger.
In terms of safety, dual SRS airbags, antilock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, and rear parking sensors are standard. The GT Line adds 4 more airbags (total 6), electronic stability control will hill descent and hill hold assist functions, and an engine immobilizer system.
The all-new Kia Sportage is available in three variants: the EX 2WD (P 1,445,000), EX AWD (P 1,595,000), and GT-Line AWD (P 1,795,000) and in six colors: Fiery Red, Mercury Blue, Patina Gold, Cherry Black, Sparkling Silver, and Snow White. Like all Kia models, it’s covered by a 5-year/160,000-kilometer bumper-to-bumper warranty backed up with a 24/7 free roadside assistance service.