New car debrief: Kia Sportage, CAR+ October 2015

Published: 16 September 2015

► Four-generation Sportage
► We bring you the specs
► Prettier inside with new engine 

1) Is it a Porsche, is it a plane?

No, obviously not. But the fourth-generation Kia Sportage does have a hint of Cayenne about it, and the designer waffle references ‘the smooth and sharp shapes found on iconic modern fighter jets’. Er, right. Whatever you think of that, it is quite a step on for the model that already accounts for 27% of Kia’s European sales.

2) Turbo power

A stronger, safer structure, Euro-tuned chassis and improved NVH are amongst the engineering highlights. Plus a new 175bhp 1.6 turbo petrol and a seven-speed dual-clutch auto for the first time. 2.0 diesels get more efficient.

3) Prettier on the inside

30mm longer wheelbase and 40mm lower rear floor boost passenger room, while a new dashboard design emphasises horizontal lines and clarity. The rear seats recline in 17 steps, the front seats are available with power adjustment, and soft-touch materials are rife. Thinner pillars and taller glass increase visibility throughout.  

4) Tooled up

Safety kit includes autonomous braking, lane assist and road sign reading camera. Wireless phone charging and button-free ‘smart power tailgate’ also feature. On sale early 2016, new Sportage comes with front- or four-wheel drive.

By CJ Hubbard

Former CAR magazine associate editor, road tester, organiser, extremely variable average wheel count

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