Kia Europe has revealed its version of the all-new Sportage SUV, ahead of a public debut at the first IAA Mobility show in Munich next week.

    It’s the first time in the nameplate’s 28-year history a European-specific version has been offered, with a shorter wheelbase, unique design, and more electrified powertrains than the model headed to Australia very soon.

    Most of the core upgrades for the new generation are carried over from the long-wheelbase model bound for Australia, North America, and Korea: a distinctive new design inside and out, the latest driver assistance and safety technologies, hybridisation, and increased passenger and luggage space.

    Like the Hyundai Tucson, which also offers a unique specification for Europe, the Sportage has moved to Hyundai and Kia’s new N3 large vehicle architecture which underpins the likes of the Kia Sorento and Carnival, as well as the Hyundai Santa Fe and Staria.

    The new European Sportage measures 4515mm long, 1865mm wide and 1645mm tall, with a 2680mm wheelbase. By comparison, the Australian model stretches 4660mm long (+145mm), 1865mm wide and 1660mm tall, with a 2755mm (+75mm) wheelbase.

    Kia says the new Sportage offers more interior and boot space than before, with 996mm of legroom and 998mm of headroom in European specification. Australia’s model is even larger at 1050mm of legroom (+54mm) and 1000mm headroom (+2mm).

    In European specification, the new model offers 80mm more legroom and 7mm more headroom than the outgoing version. The boot measures 591L (VDA) in the European model – Kia Australia hasn’t confirmed boot capacity for the local-spec Sportage just yet.

    Another key difference between Australian and European models will be the powertrain, with the model bound for Europe to offer mild-hybrid (MHEV), hybrid (HEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variants.

    It’s the first time we’ve heard official details of the Sportage’s plug-in hybrid drivetrain, which essentially mirrors the specifications of the PHEV system soon to be available locally in the larger Sorento.

    The company’s familiar 1.6-litre ‘T-GDi’ turbo petrol engine is teamed with a 66.9kW electric motor and 13.8kWh battery pack, for a total system output of 265PS (195kW). The petrol engine develops 180PS (132kW) on its own.

    In HEV form, the Sportage combines a 132kW 1.6-litre turbo petrol with an electric motor and battery pack, but the former develops 44.2kW in this specification and the lithium-ion battery is smaller at 1.49kWh.

    System output for the Sportage Hybrid is 230PS, or 169kW. Kia Australia has all but confirmed this drivetrain is bound for local showrooms sometime in 2022.

    Mild-hybrid technology will be offered with versions of the 1.6 T-GDi petrol motor (110kW or 132kW) as well as a 1.6-litre turbo diesel (100kW). Both will be offered with six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch transmissions, though the oiler’s manual option uses Kia’s clutch-by-wire technology.

    The diesel will also be available in a lower-spec 115PS (84kW) tune sans mild-hybrid. All European Sportage models will come equipped with idle stop/start technology.

    Beyond the oily bits, the Euro-spec Sportage will offer Matrix LED headlights, Highway Driving Assist which combines the adaptive cruise and lane-centring functions for semi-autonomous highway driving, navigation-based adaptive cruise control that can predictively reduce speed for corners, Kia’s Blind Spot View Monitor camera system as well as Remote Smart Parking Assist.

    Also new is the availability of a contrasting black roof, as illustrated by the vehicle shown in the images. The sporty GT-Line body styling and interior treatment also appears to be unique, as the Korean model hasn’t been shown with a similar package.

    Stay tuned to CarExpert for an Australian-focused Kia Sportage announcement tomorrow.

    Click the images for the full gallery

    MORE: Everything Kia Sportage

    James Wong

    James Wong is the Production Editor at CarExpert based in Melbourne, Australia. With experience on both media and manufacturer sides of the industry, James has a specialty for product knowledge which stems from a life-long obsession with cars. James is a Monash University journalism graduate, an avid tennis player, and the proud charity ambassador for Drive Against Depression – an organisation that supports mental wellness through the freedom of driving and the love of cars. He's also the proud father of Freddy, a 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI .

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