Getting started with the new Kia Sportage

2016 Kia Sportage Platinum front 3/4.

The new generation of Kia Sportage, aims to do just as well as the one it replaces .

A major success for the South Korean brand, Kia Sportage alone accounted for 25% of Kia Motors sales in the Old Continent in 2014, ie 97,000 units. The renewal of this key model in the Kia range is, therefore, an important step in the conquest of the manufacturer in a segment where competition, hard, is constantly renewed.

This new Sportage keeps the silhouette so specific of the old. In addition, it extends its width (1.855mm) and its height (1.635mm) but extends 40mm (4.480mm) and sees its wheelbase lengthened by 30mm for better livability. The designers have somewhat “advanced” the body by lengthening the front overhang of 20mm and narrowing that of the rear 10mm.

The new Kia Sportage: A destabilizing and seductive design

The first major and noticeable change on this new Sportage is naturally its revised design from the ground up. And if the first sight of the Sportage is destabilizing since it breaks with the standards of the moment, it ends up seducing when we see it more thoroughly with its robust and dynamic appearance with its taut lines that can be appreciated at the level of passages wheels and ribs of the hood.

2016 Kia Sportage Platinum rear 3/4 driving
2016 Kia Sportage Platinum rear 3/4 driving

From the old Sportage, this new keeps the name, the template, the combined reversing lights and rear fog lights and a very discreet nod to the front optical blocks. The lateral line is however preserved, in particular, the visual signature of the glazed surface, as well as the design, has been revised from top to bottom to lay this new version.

Here, the front of the Kia Sportage renews the grille “Tiger Noise” which is the identity of the Kia but in larger dimensions. And the most important point on the front of the Kia Sportage is this element of style that it inaugurates, for the first time on a production vehicle of the brand, namely a clear separation between the lights and the grille which are not more on the same horizontal line, the lights are now in the high position and the grille well below, like what is done at … Porsche and Ferrari.

The rear of this new Sportage is more refined. The horizontal lines are dominant and the surfaces softer. He is inspired by the Provo Concept of which he takes again the silhouette of the fires. As on the concept, the lights are connected to each other by a horizontal line, raised by a chrome rod.

The interior design of the optical handsets will also be part of the identity of this new Sportage. The indicators are always arranged in the lower part, at the level of the shield, this is almost the only reminder of the old version, with the interior design of the front lights.

The new Kia Sportage brings back in its luggage a new finish called GT Line, initiated on the Cee’d restylée, which offers the own stylistic attributes, both front, and rear. Thus, the bow is distinguished from standard versions by a grille with the specific design, fog lights with four LEDs and Kia nicknamed “ice-cube” (ice cubes) and an aluminum underbody protection plate, instead of conventional fog lights, circular, underlined by two edges in chrome. The stern, for its part, adopts a dual exhaust outlet and a false-diffuser way metal.

The new Kia Sportage: A clearly improved interior

The other major change in the new Sportage comes from its interior. Its Interior while giving an impression of modernity and quality with a driver-oriented dashboard. It’s interior marked by the omnipresence of vertical lines. The quality of materials improves with foamed plastic on the top but hard on the lower part of the board and on the storm doors, all without denoting the rest, while the adjustment is well made.

2016 Kia Sportage Platinum interior grey two-tone.
2016 Kia Sportage Platinum interior grey two-tone.

Another feature of the interior is the separation of the center console into two areas. That two areas are display area at the top and area controls below. Between analog instrumentation, the large display area of the onboard computer is housed. Completed by the center screen above the console and available in 7 or 8 inches diagonally.

The profusion of buttons grouped in the lower part of the central console, control buttons, assembled in several horizontal rows.  Pushing to leave the road eyes to know what you support the owners will end up s’ get used to it. But which nevertheless fall under the hand without having to contort or to incline the bust. An advantage due to the console turned 10 ° towards the driver.

The Korean offers three interior moods. The first in black (this atmosphere was chosen by Kia Algeria for our market). Second in black and gray bi-tone or black. And last in beige bi-tone (not very flattering to the taste of your servant). The console will remain black whatever the mood. The GT Line finish offers a few differences such as this lower flat finish steering wheel with inserts in lacquered black and aluminum pedals. In the continuity of the console, the central tunnel hosts, depending on the transmission, either a manual brake or an electric brake, the latter freeing up a few more storage spaces such as cupholders.

Trendy equipment

In terms of safety, the Sportage inherits the latest generation of driver assistance systems.  Driver assistance systems including VSM and ESP, as well as automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and Lane Assist. It is also available with an adaptive high beam, automatic speed adjustment based on reading plates, blind spot detector, dynamic line reversing camera, electric tailgate, and directional lights. Info-entertainment is also in the air with a multimedia system materialized by a central screen (available in 7 or 8 inches), managed by the TomTom microsystem.

In addition to navigation and by country, it includes traffic information, radar alerts, local search for points of interest and weather forecasts. The map update and the rest of the features are free for seven years. Digital radio is also supported in several European markets. The audio package comes with six 160w speakers. Audiophiles will be able to opt for a set of eight speakers JBL 320 watts (endowment adopted by Kia Algeria for its offer).

The new Kia Sportage is also equipped with a charger for compatible wireless charging devices of 5W. It is located at the foot of the console and features automatic device detection. So he warns when you forget the phone when leaving the vehicle. Also, it displays the loading progress directly in the onboard computer. It is also equipped with an overheating protection system.

Improved habitability

Once installed it is a pleasant feeling of habitability that lives with this panoramic roof.  This panoramic roof opening generous dimensions (1.2m in length) but it’s not just a sensation. The extra 30mm of the wheelbase echoes inside, with a knee space that progresses both front and rear, while the roof guard also increases and comfort increases. back feels the right way.

The newly designed seats, which can be heated and ventilated at the front and rear, benefit from a new design and a high-strength steel structure. Those in the front benefit from more adjustment positions while at the rear, the inclination can vary from 23 ° to 37 ° with 17 intermediate positions, via a lever repositioned at the bottom.

The rear passengers, whose middle place is advised punctually, can now enjoy the air conditioning directly.  The air conditioning directly rear aerators having finally found their place behind the central tunnel. Finally, the trunk is more spacious, 503 liters (+ 38litres), the loading space higher and wider (+ 35mm) and the lower threshold (-47mm) allow easy loading of bulky objects.

The first reconnaissance with the new Sportage will be over a distance of 160 kilometers. A route dominating the highway and which will allow appreciating the comfort of the new generation of this South Korean SUV. The first impression, the visibility has been greatly improved, thus erasing one of the previous generation’s flaws with an A amount – the most problematic on the visibility of the current – which has been refined and its base lowered.

The side mirrors were also lowered, to free the field of vision. The latter being also improved thanks to a higher driving position. The first part of a test that looks more like a ride than a real test by the flatness of a course chosen to enhance the comfort of the Sportage that its technical skills and, my faith, we are not disappointed by the first part, far from it. Small flat, the sound of the 2.0 MPI 157 horsepower and 196Nm engine torque of our test model (yes yes, we got it and not the IDRC 178ch that will animate the Sportage in our market) and whose Invasive noise is almost palpable.

However, during the press conference preceding the start of testing of the new Kia Sportage. KMC officials announced an improved soundproofing. The third version had a very good general soundproofing. If not a little vibration of the diesel block which was an invading strand. We will wait for the test of the Algerian version and it is engine IDRC to be definitively fixed therefor.

The organizers were a pleasure to put everyone back in single file and respect the speed limits. This will not prevent us from noticing, on the first big and long climb at the exit of Fujeira, a rather clumsy MPI, combined with a box marking a noticeable latency, for a SUV weighing 1.6 tons, and it was necessary to pass in sequential and play the lever to revive the Sportage in a roar very present.

Kia Algeria has, in any case, the happy hand without this engine far from meeting expectations. It will nevertheless be quite effective at high speeds during the few minutes of “unauthorized” speeds, also reporting a well-balanced braking. A second part, of course, that will also go tickling the aisles, no passage in off-road was the program, unfortunately, to check the response of suspensions outside the nice bitumen. A little getaway that showed a good and safe behavior of the Sportage, even if its primary goal is not to go crazy off-road but rather to address without fear the roads in bad condition and some exits of tracks.


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