2021 Kia Sportage: first pictures of all-new SUV

Published: 08 June 2021

► 2021 Kia Sportage SUV, expected by winter 2021
► New platform, new look, new tech
► Visually lower, longer and bolder

Kia's all-new Sportage SUV has been revealed, and it's a dramatic departure from the softly-styled, almost 'cute' small crossover currently on sale. Set to arrive in Autumn 2021, the first pictures aren't necessarily what we'll get in the UK - but the basics are there.

Although it's not confirmed as such, it's almost certainly based on the GMP platform, which in other Kias (and Hyundais) has brought with it not only dynamic and refinement improvements; there's a significant increase in the quality of the interiors as well.

2021 Kia Sportage styling

Continuing with the theme of 'united opposites' that Kia first mentioned with the EV6, the Sportage's global design aims to resolve the conflicting desires of car buyers' hearts and consciences, with both aggressive and gentle elements blending together. It's not quite as successful as the EV6, but the details may change for the UK; the bold, boomerang-shaped DRLs dividing the grille and sides of the car are particularly unusual.

2021 Kia Sportage grille and lights

If you look closely, you'll see elements of the 'tiger nose' grille shape remain, though it's becoming more of a hint than a traditional grille. Unlike its sister car, the Hyundai Tuscson, the all-new Sportage - expected to be on sale before 2022 - has more flowing shapes, and it's the first generation to feature a two-tone design with bulk-reducing black roof.

Not that it needs much bulk reducing; in these images, it's the closest the Sportage has come to being a real family crossover, more like a high-riding small estate car than a softened 4x4. The rising window line towards the D-pillar and angular tail lights are particularly effective in giving the Sportage a longer, sleeker appearance.

2021 Kia Sportage styling, profile

Dimensions are yet to be revealed, of course, but it looks like it will be longer than the current generation of Sportage.

New Kia Sportage engines

At this stage, Kia's yet to reveal what will be powering the new Sportage, but we'd expect it to follow the selection on offer in the Hyundai Tucson, with petrol options in both mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid, and the option of all-wheel drive remaining available with the majority being front-wheel drive.

Best hybrid cars and plug-ins

We're not sure if there will continure be a diesel option, however, as diesel sales are falling. If there is it will probably be a development of the current mild-hybrid diesel. UK specifications are expected to be announced in September 2021, and we'll bring those details as soon as we have them.

Kia Sportage interiors - a soft touch

One area in which Kia has leapt ahead is interior quality and ambiance. The angular, airy architecture seen in the new Sorento and in parts, in the EV6 returns for the new Sportage, and light, constrasting colours meet new materials for a tactile experience.

2021 Kia Sportage interior

Infotainment evolves along the same lines as the EV6, with a large, curved touch screen and greater use of touch sensitive controls throughout, though enough physical buttons remain for the user interface to remain familiar.

Conveience features include new hangers for coats and bags integrated into the rear of the front seats, while luxuruous touches are offered on the Sportage X-Line.

2021 Kia Sportage X-Line styling, profile

A first for the Sportage, this premium model includes the option of unique sage green interior shades with 'black metal wood trim' - we're not sure either, but suspect it comes from the guitars of Scandinavian rock legends.

X-Line will also include curved roof rails and different bumpers, further marking out the luxury specification.

2021 Kia Sportage rear view

Check out our Kia reviews

By Richard Kilpatrick

Technology writer and photographer since the early '90s, now car-obsessed, too