Made to Wow: The all-new fourth-generation KIA Sportage
- New design and advanced technologies for fourth generation of KIA’s bestselling compact SUV
- Modern layout and greater refinement for the new high quality cabin
- Greater passenger comfort with more space and less noise
- The safest Sportage yet, with a stronger body and new active safety tech
- New convenience features include wireless smartphone charging
Having made its global debut at the Frankfurt International Motor Show in September 2015, the all-new KIA Sportage builds comprehensively on the success of the outgoing model, offering an innovative and sophisticated package to buyers in an increasingly competitive compact SUV market.
The completely redesigned interior features high quality materials and design integrity, as well as great practicality and a range of technologies to improve comfort, convenience, connectivity and safety. A range of new and updated engines and transmissions results in enhanced efficiency and performance, while ride, handling and refinement are all improved.
The KIA Sportage has played a key role in driving KIA Motors’ sustained growth and success around the world in recent years, with more than 1,6 million of the third-generation model sold worldwide between 2010 and 2015. Leading the way in terms of its refinement, innovation, distinctive design and high quality material, the new Sportage will help KIA reinforce its position among the market leaders in an increasingly hard-fought and crowded segment.
For the first time, all fourth-generation Sportage models sold in South Africa are built at KIA’s manufacturing facility in Žilina, Slovakia.
“The Sportage is a car of ‘firsts’ for the KIA brand,” says David Sieff, Marketing Director of KIA Motors South Africa. “It was one of the first KIA models to receive multiple global design awards, and one of the first KIA models to revolutionise its segment, a feat that was thought impossible for a Korean brand up until the launch of the third generation model in 2010. The all-new, fourth-generation Sportage carries that award-winning legacy forward with significant improvements in tactile quality, overall refinement, and driver enjoyment.”
Wow on the outside : Bold new design for KIA Sportage
The fourth-generation KIA Sportage features a bold new look, with the vehicle’s designers creating a sense of sporty and powerful energy from every angle. The design of the new Sportage has been led by KIA’s European design studio in Frankfurt, Germany, with input from the brand’s Namyang, Korea and Irvine, California design centres. The all-new Sportage creates visual harmony out of the tension and contrast between its sharp, defined feature lines and smooth surfacing.
The attractive ‘face’ of the Sportage features the biggest change to the car’s design over the outgoing model, with KIA’s hallmark ‘tiger-nose’ grille and the car’s headlamps separated for the new model. The headlamps are now positioned higher, sweeping back along the outer edges of the sharply-detailed bonnet. A lower, wider grille – enlarged to support greater engine cooling – adds more volume to the lower half of the Sportage’s face. The result is a more imposing appearance and a more stable-looking stance, despite the new model retaining the same 1,855 mm width as its predecessor. GT Line models develop the exterior look further, featuring new ‘ice-cube’ LED fog lamps and aluminium-effect skid plates.
The all-new Sportage maintains its highly-recognisable profile, with a 30 mm longer wheelbase (now 2 670 mm), 40 mm greater overall vehicle length (to 4 480 mm) and longer, more aerodynamic rear spoiler resulting in a more swept-back shape. From the highest point of the roof (1 635 mm – unchanged over the outgoing model), the Sportage’s silhouette gently tapers towards the rear of the car, while bolder wheel arches, sharp feature lines, and smooth surfacing endow the Sportage with a more dynamic look. The overall effect is inspired by the defined musculature of a sprinter driving out of the starting blocks. Longer front overhangs (up by 20 mm) and shorter rear overhangs (reduced by 10 mm) add to the car’s more raked profile.
At the rear, the new Sportage features more horizontal forms and clearly defined features lines, with smooth bodywork on the tailgate, emphasizing the car’s width and giving the compact SUV a more stable appearance. Inspired by the 2013 KIA Provo concept, slim combination lamps running along a horizontal parallel are joined together by a strip that runs the width of the rear, while the turn signals and reversing lights are separate, located lower down to add more visual weight to the lower half. The KIA Sportage GT Line also features dual exhaust mufflers and metal-effect rear underbody diffuser for a sportier appearance.
The attractive new design also makes this the most aerodynamic Sportage to date, with drag reduced from 0.35 to 0.33 Cd – a result of the re-profiled undercover and newly-designed bumper.
The all-new Sportage is available with a choice of 16-, 17- or 19-inch aluminium alloy wheel designs, depending on the model grade, while the GT Line specification comes with a unique 19-inch wheel design as standard.
Even more Wow on the inside : greater refinement for the new high quality cabin
The Sportage boasts an all-new interior, representing one of the most significant improvements over the third-generation car. The focus for the design team behind the new interior was to create a cabin which offered a wide, driver-oriented dashboard, with a simple, modern design. The interior blends metalwork with soft-touch materials and clearly defined horizontal lines, portraying a high level of mechanical precision.
The Sportage’s all-new cabin boasts a high standard of material quality, with a far greater proportion of soft-touch materials and the use of cloth, leather and stitching creating a more luxurious ambience (model dependent). The result is an interior that majors on refinement and modern sophistication, with greater soundproofing measures adopted to significantly reduce the intrusion of exterior noise.
Where the cabin of the outgoing Sportage is focused around a clearly-defined central console, with a vertical design, the new model features horizontal lines to emphasize the width of the interior more effectively and generate a greater impression of space and sportiness.
The confident lateral design of the dashboard divides it into two clear zones – ‘display’ and ‘control’. The ‘display’ zone is focused purely on delivering information to occupants in the clearest way possible via the driver’s instrument binnacle and the entertainment and HMI (human-machine interface) system in the centre of the dashboard.
Below a clear line running the length of the dashboard is the ‘control’ zone, with the central console cascading downwards and tilted 10 degrees towards the driver. The new, uncluttered dashboard offers drivers a highly ergonomic layout with the ‘control’ zone’s functions designed to be clearly visible when on the move.
The division between the interior’s two zones also lends itself to single or two-tone color schemes. All Sportage models come as standard with a classic black interior, but for the first time, customers who purchase the GT Line model can specify either a Dark and Light Grey or Black and Canyon Beige two-tone interior (the Black and Canyon Beige two-tone interior is also available as an option on SX models). The console is finished in black, for a classy, stylish appearance, regardless of the interior colours chosen. Buyers specifying the new GT Line can enjoy a cabin with a slightly sportier feel, with a D-shaped leather steering wheel, high quality piano black fascia and aluminium alloy pedals.
Greater space and improved passenger comfort
The fourth-generation model is set to be the most practical Sportage yet thanks to increased exterior and interior dimensions, with the vehicle’s development teams realising greater space and comfort for all passengers.
The most significant change to the Sportage’s dimensions is a 30 mm growth in its wheelbase, to 2 670 mm, helping to liberate greater space in the cabin. The whole vehicle is 40 mm longer (4 480 mm total length), with the front overhang expanding to 910 mm (+20 mm) and the rear overhang shrinking slightly to 900 mm (-10 mm). The latest model remains the same height (1 635 mm) and width (1 855 mm) as the outgoing Sportage.
Passenger space is increased, with headroom rising to 997 mm (+5 mm) and 993 mm (+16 mm) for front and rear passengers respectively, while maximum legroom has expanded to 1 129 mm (+ 19 mm) and 970 mm (+7 mm). With passengers able to enjoy extra space, development teams have delivered on a promise to improve comfort even more.
In the front, drivers not only enjoy more legroom, but the seats have been redesigned. Stiffer seat frames, with greater use of high tensile steel, and redesigned springs and pads – for front and rear – cut the level of vibration in the seats, while reducing seat weight by 2.5 kg and improving durability. In addition, special care was taken when choosing the foam for seats, with different densities chosen for different areas of the seat in order to maximize occupant comfort.
In the rear, a 40 mm lower interior floor – without sacrificing exterior ground clearance – and 30 mm higher rear bench hip point mean second-row passengers benefit from a more natural and comfortable seating posture and improved under-thigh support.
The Sportage’s reclining rear seats now offer 7 steps – from 23 to 37 degrees, with the reclining lever relocated from the upper seat-back to the lower side of the seat to make it easier for rear passengers to get truly comfortable. Due to the reclining lever’s new position, seats can be adjusted easily while the doors closed and while the vehicle is moving.
For all models, visibility is improved out of the front and rear. Forward visibility is aided by a lowered A-pillar base, while the A-pillar itself has been made thinner. Side mirrors sit slightly lower on the door without impairing the driver’s rear view – this is further aided by the new thinner C-pillars (62 mm thinner compared to the third-generation Sportage) and taller rear glass (+30 mm). Not only do these changes help visibility, they add a greater feeling of air and space to the cabin – enhanced by the 104 mm-longer panoramic sunroof opening, depending on the model specified (now 490 mm).
The new body’s larger dimensions mean cargo space in the fourth-generation Sportage has expanded from 465 litres to 503 litres (VDA; expanded from 740 litres to 868 litres SAE). Despite the new Sportage being no wider than the outgoing model, by re-engineering the rear section of the body the luggage area is 35 mm wider, while the upper edge of the boot lip is lowered so the lift-over height for heavy items is just 732 mm (down 47 mm).
The all-new Sportage has greater fuel capacity than the third-generation model, with the fuel tank increasing from 58 litres to 62, cutting the number of fuel pump visits that owners of the new car will have to make throughout the lifetime of the vehicle (particularly when combined with all-round improvements to fuel economy).
A Wow serenity : all-round improvements to noise, vibration and harshness
Key to the comfort of occupants in the new Sportage are the efforts made by KIA engineers to cut noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). Significant changes over the outgoing model render the Sportage one of the most refined cars in its class, with less cabin noise than many other rivals in the C-SUV segment.
At idle, the new Sportage records just 37 decibels when equipped with a petrol engine (1 dB lower than the outgoing model) and 44 decibels for diesel models (down from 46 dB) as a result of extensive extra dashboard insulation.
Road noise is further reduced with the adoption of new bushings in the rear suspension to isolate road noise at source, and more sound-absorbent materials throughout the Sportage’s wheel arches. Wind noise is also reduced as a result of thicker front windshield glass, a new dual lip seal for the panoramic sunroof and additional soundproofing in the doors.
A range of improvements cuts vibrations throughout the car, making the Sportage’s cabin one of the most refined and relaxing among rivals. This has been achieved with all-round improvements to body stiffness, particularly through the floor of the vehicle, as well as the introduction of larger, more absorbent mounts for the transmission, and improved seat design. Stiffer alloy wheels also reduce the level of vibration intruding on the interior.
Always Wow safety thanks to a stronger body and a wealth of active safety systems
Safety, as always, is a top priority for KIA, and the all-new KIA Sportage builds on the brand’s reputation for offering the highest standards in occupant crash safety. The fourth-generation of KIA’s best-seller has been engineered to meet the toughest and most demanding crash safety tests, thanks to an even stronger bodyshell, a wide array of passive safety equipment and the latest active safety technologies. The all-new Sportage scored a maximum possible five-star safety rating in the Euro NCAP crash performance tests.
The structure of the new Sportage is significantly stronger, thanks in large part to the extensive use of advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) to improve joint stiffness and introduce more effective impact load paths throughout the body. By dramatically strengthening the core structure of the new Sportage, torsional rigidity has been improved by 39% from one generation to the next.
The third-generation Sportage was made up of 18% AHSS, compared to 51% for the body of the new model. The increased use of advanced hot-stamped steel further improves the integrity of the body. The stronger steel has been used in particular to reinforce the A-, B- and C-pillars, side sills, roof structures and wheel arches.
A total of six airbags are standard, further improving passive safety for occupants, with airbags for driver and front passenger, first row side airbags, and first and second row curtain airbags. ISOFIX child-seat tether and anchor points are fitted as standard to the second row of seats, to safely secure younger passengers.
Pedestrian safety is further improved with a lower leading edge on the bonnet and a larger impact absorption area, which has been revised with greater use of highly-absorbent safety foam and synthetic rubber, further helping to protect pedestrians in the event of a collision.
The new Sportage performed strongly in the Euro NCAP’s important Safety Assist category, which analyses the latest driver assistance technologies and their effectiveness in avoiding accidents and mitigating injuries. KIA’s Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) system helps ensure stability under braking and cornering through careful management of the vehicle’s Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and electric motor-driven power steering. Both systems come into play as soon as the Sportage’s many sensors detect a loss of traction, helping the driver to remain safely in control of the vehicle.
Buyers of the new Sportage GT Line will also benefit from Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Lane Change Assist (LCA), which monitors cars up to 70 metres behind the Sportage and provides the driver with a visual warning in the door mirror when another car enters the blind spot. Should the driver switch on the vehicle’s indicator and proceed to leave his lane, an audible warning will sound to alert the driver to the vehicle in its blind spot.
Smoother, more refined ride and greater handling agility for a Wow driver experience
Throughout the development programme for the all-new Sportage, engineers have aimed to build upon the ride comfort, stability and handling responses offered to drivers by the outgoing car. The new model achieves improvements in all of these areas, and will be the best-handling Sportage yet.
The fully-independent front suspension carries over the format of the outgoing model, but features a range of modifications to make the best use of the new bodyshell. The new setup achieves a leap forward in ride quality, while also delivering sharper handling. Modifications include revised bushing mount positions for greater stability and more natural responses to changing road surfaces, as well as stiffer wheel bearings and bushings resulting in more direct handling and greater stability in all conditions. The steering gearbox is also mounted further forward on the axle for smoother steering inputs.
For the rear suspension – also fully-independent, including the adoption of dual lower-arm multi-link suspension for two-wheel and all-wheel drive models – the new Sportage receives a stiffer cross member to cut road noise and vibrations from intruding into the cabin. Specially-tuned dampers have a longer rebound stroke to eliminate smaller vibrations from poor road surfaces, while the rear subframe is now mounted on isolated bushings to further improve the NVH performance of the suspension. Finally, slight changes to the suspension geometry, as well as stiffer wheel bearings and lateral bushings, quell understeer and allow for more direct handling.
These suspension upgrades, combined with the 30 mm growth in the Sportage’s wheelbase over the outgoing model, provide the all-new model with far superior damping over poor road surfaces, while offering drivers more driving fun through improved handling responses and reduced understeer.
GT Line models receive their own unique suspension characteristics, tuned to endow the Sportage with sharper, more athletic handling and a slightly firmer ride, crucially without compromising comfort.
The electric motor-driven power steering system for the fourth-generation Sportage has been upgraded over the system in the previous model, with quicker steering responses and greater steering feel, particularly around the centre. The application of a new sliding damper to the reduction gear module effectively reduces friction in the steering system, allowing the Sportage to benefit from more immediate responses and adding to the level of feel for the driver. The new Sportage sits among the most agile cars in the C-SUV segment, without compromising the ride comfort and stability that consumers expect from a vehicle of this type.
The all-new Sportage boasts greater braking performance compared to the third-generation model, with redesigned calipers and new brake pad return springs reducing braking drag. Combined with larger brake discs, the Sportage offers better stopping power than ever before – in the new model, front disc brakes have expanded from 300 to 305 mm in diameter, while the rear brakes have grown from 262 to 302 mm.
The electronic parking brake in the all-new Sportage has also been upgraded and now switches on automatically when the engine is switched off.
As before, the Sportage continues to be offered with a choice of front- and all-wheel drive, with the revisions to suspension and steering, and a selection of electronic driver aids, providing stable handling and high levels of grip in all conditions.
Features to keep you Wow-ed.
The all-new Sportage features a range of advanced on-board technologies to improve the ownership experience for buyers.
A first for any car in the C-SUV segment, the new Sportage will be available with a new wireless charger for mobile devices, as KIA looks to meet the increasing demand for new convenience technologies from car buyers. Located at the base of the central instrument stack, the wireless charger enables users to charge their smart phones without a wire connection, for a cleaner appearance. With ‘foreign object detection’, the 5W charging system activates when a compatible device is placed on the pad, and warns car security-conscious owners when they’ve left a phone on the charger when they leave the vehicle. The system displays the phone’s charging condition on the instrument cluster, and features a safety system to prevent overheating while in use. The wireless charger is available exclusively on GT Line models. Any handset that supports wireless charging is compatible with the system.
The Sportage also features two USB charging points, one in the front and one in the rear, to allow all occupants to charge their mobile devices while on the move.
High specification models in the Sportage range are also equipped with a 7-inch colour touchscreen with integrated satellite navigation as standard. These models also feature a rear-view parking camera, with dynamic parking lines displayed on the larger screen to assist when reversing into or out of a parking space.
KIA’s Smart Power Tailgate, which opens the tailgate automatically when the key is ‘sensed’ in close proximity to the tailgate, is also standard on higher specification models, and a Smart Welcome function, which turns on interior and door handle lamps and unfolds the door mirrors once the smart key fob is located within 1,3 to 1,7 metres of the door handle adds extra convenience. All of the aforementioned features are model dependent.
Upgraded petrol and diesel engines, simplified range
When developing the new Sportage, a major focus for engineers was balancing the need for greater efficiency with the level of driving performance that buyers would expect from the new vehicle’s various petrol and diesel power units. The fourth-generation model carries over some of the engines found in the current vehicle, and most benefit from a broad range of modifications to improve fuel efficiency, NVH and power delivery. Additionally, the Sportage range has been expanded yet simplified, offering different engine and specification level combinations in order to give customers greater choice.
At the entry point of the range is the Sportage Ignite, powered by KIA’s familiar 2.0-litre ‘Nu’ MPI engine, producing 114 kW at 6 200 r/min and 192 Nm torque at 4 000 r/min. While the engine is carried over from the third-generation Sportage, it has been significantly revised to improve efficiency, including the addition of advanced continuous variable valve timing (CVVT) and a new variable induction system, carefully balancing the intake of petrol and air into the combustion chamber for optimal efficiency. A low-friction oil seal and variable oil pump system reduce mechanical friction to reduce pumping and frictional losses, while an improved engine cooling system and optimised injectors reduce the level of emissions from the engine. The engine’s die-cast aluminum block has also been lightened over the previous iteration of the engine. The Sportage Ignite is offered as a front-wheel drive model only, with a six-speed manual transmission.
Moving up in the range, KIA is offering an EX specification, front wheel drive model powered by a significantly improved version of KIA’s durable and popular 2.0-litre ‘R’ turbodiesel engine, which produces 130 kW of power at 4 000 r/min and 400 Nm of torque between 1 750 and 2 750 r/min. Compared to its predecessor found in the third-generation Sportage, the engine benefits from a 5 kg lighter engine block, updated battery management system, continuously variable displacement oil pump – which senses and modifies oil pressure in real-time – and a new oil filter module.
Lower combustion temperatures in the 2.0-litre ‘R’ engine have reduced NOx emissions to meet increasingly strict global emissions standards, aided by a relatively low compression ratio, a new exhaust gas recirculation cooler system, a new lean NOx trap and a diesel particulate filter. A lower-inertia turbine wheel in the turbocharger and electronically-controlled wastegate actuator result in more efficient turbocharging than the ‘R’ engine found in the outgoing Sportage, while stiffer valve springs and high-pressure 2000 bar fuel pump injection allow closer control of combustion within the engine cylinders. Mechanical friction is also reduced, further cutting engine noise and improving efficiency, with a new nano-diamond piston coating.
The Sportage 2.0 CRDI EX is only available as a front-wheel drive model, and mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
Builiding on the high specification and refinement levels of the Sportage EX, two additional SX models are up next. Most notably, both SX models gain all-wheel drive capability, in addition to a number of other features, and are available with a choice between diesel and petrol power, the former being the same 130 kW, 400 Nm 2.0-litre ‘R’ turbodiesel engine.
New to the Sportage range is the 2.4 GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) SX AWD model. While KIA’s familiar ‘Theta’ engine is not new, it is the first time it has been utilized in the Sportage range, which means it has also undergone a series of modifications to improve performance and fuel efficiency, with fine-tuning to its CVVT system and higher-pressure injectors, as well as the adoption of a variable induction system to more carefully manage the intake of air. The 2,4-litre engine produces 135 kw of power at 6 000 r/min and peak torque of 237 Nm at 4 000 r/min. Both SX models are paired with a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission and Dynamax on-demand all-wheel drive, and feature the 7-inch colour touchscreen with integrated satellite navigation as standard.
At the top of the line-up is the all-new Sportage 1.6 T-GDi GT Line, which features a number of exclusive interior and exterior design features, such as unique machine finished alloy wheels, quad LED ‘ice cube’ front fog lights, silver metal skid plates front and rear, as well as two-tone interior options. More importantly, the Sportage GT Line features a sportier, more responsive, and more dynamic engine and transmission pairing for increased driver enjoyment. It is powered by an even further refined version of KIA’s 1.6 turbocharged GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) engine, which develops 130 kW of power at 5 500 r/min, and 265 Nm of torque between 1 500 and 4 500 r/min. This engine is mated to KIA’s new seven-speed DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) for smooth, quick gearchanges, leading to quicker acceleration, as well as improved fuel consumption.
A Wow value proposition
“Despite challenging market conditions and, at time, volatile currency fluctuations, we have worked hard to keep the all-new Sportage priced competitively,” says Gary Scott, Deputy MD and Director of Sales for KIA Motors South Africa. “With a simplified range that offers the high levels of standard specification KIA is known for, a raft of innovations, a design that again moves the goalposts in this segment, as well our extensive, unlimited mileage warranty as standard, the new Sportage range consolidates our position as a value leader.”
Sportage 2.0 Ignite R369 995
Sportage 2.0 CRDi EX R487 995
Sportage 2.4 GDI SX AWD R557 995
Sportage 2.0 CRDi SX AWD R567 995
Sportage 1.6 T-GDI GT-LINE AWD R599 995
Two-tone Black and Canyon Beige upholstery is available as a no-cost option on SX AWD and GT Line models, while GT Line models are also available with a two-tone Black and Light Grey interior as a no-cost option. A panoramic sunroof is available as a R12 500 option on SX AWD models, and is standard on the range-topping GT Line model.
All Sportage models ship as standard with KIA’s innovative 5-year / Unlimited km warranty, 5-year / Unlimited km Roadside Assistance as well as a 5-year / 90 000km Service Plan.
Learn more about the All-New Sportage at www.allnewsportage.co.za
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