THE Kia Sportage is a car that, although it has been around since the mid-90s, has evolved at high speed in recent years.
The new 2022 Sportage I drove this week is the fifth generation of this best-selling compact SUV.
Of course, this new version is light years away from the original, for example, it was once sold as a three-door SUV or convertible.
But as you’d expect from Kia these days, the latest Sportage is packed full of new 21st century technology. There are petrol, diesel, mild hybrid, full hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions.
There’s also a mind-boggling choice of 18 different versions of this car, all ‘fully equipped’.
I can vouch for that in the Kia Sportage 1.6 GT-Line S (£40,255 on the road) that I drove. The GT-Line S is the “crown” of the new Sportage range
This is a car that will suit many as it has just about everything you need for a satisfying family driving life.
Since 2006, more than two million of this car have been produced in Slovenia, which made it possible to meet the demand for this car from European customers. The Sportage is the best-selling Kia in the UK and Europe.
There are five model categories – 2, GT-Line, 3, 4 and GT-Line S, all designed specifically for the European market.
Why has it proven so popular? I think, as I said, first and foremost because of its size. The new Sportage is truly a size that fits all.
So this dedicated European version has greater luggage capacity, headroom and legroom compared to the outgoing model, with impressive legroom for second-row passengers.
The all-new fifth-generation Sportage debuts a high-tech Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) variant and a gasoline-powered Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle (MHEV) powertrain. The latest petrol and diesel internal combustion engines are also available.
The diesel engine can also be paired with mild-hybrid technology, further reducing emissions and improving overall fuel economy.
GT-Line specification brings a dynamic appearance, including 19-inch alloy wheels, LED front fog lamps and rear combination lamps, rear privacy glass, gloss black grille, side sills and moldings wheel arch bodywork.
GT-Line models feature a 12.3-inch touchscreen with navigation system and a 4.2-inch instrument panel, plush suede and leather upholstery, lumbar support for the driver, a D-shaped sport leather steering wheel with perforated inserts and the GT-Line logo.
There’s also a black headliner, sport pedals, an aluminum pattern finish on the center fascia and door trim, and an engine start/stop button with smart entry system.
Finally, a seven-year subscription to Kia Connect (formerly UVO Connect) is included free of charge.
Crowning the all-new Sportage range is the GT-Line S variant, combining the sportier silhouette of the GT-Line Edition with equipment levels in line with
grade 4. This includes a gloss black grille, side sills and wheel arch mouldings, body colored door and radiator upper garnishes and a chrome front and rear skid plate.
Uniquely, the GT-Line S model has the option of a black two-tone roof, accentuating the car’s sporting profile and highlighting the dynamic C-pillar. In addition, front occupants benefit from standard 10-way electrically adjustable front seats for the driver and 8-way, with ventilation and a smart power tailgate.
With the Sportage’s smart key in the driver’s pocket as they approach the rear of the vehicle, the system recognizes the key and automatically opens the tailgate, allowing convenient access to the trunk.
Kia’s new Terrain Mode feature is fitted to the Sportage for the first time and is standard on all AWD hybrid and plug-in hybrid models.
The new Sportage is a car that will continue to evolve with the times: it is already well prepared for whatever the future of the automotive world has in store for us.