Kia, having teased us with a few shadowy pics last week, has shown off the new Sportage in full, and you'd better get ready for some dramatic visual changes.
Styling taken from the EV6
Out goes the slightly Mk1 Porsche Cayenne style of the current Sportage, and in comes a far more angular style, with a heavily pointed nose (hints of the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, anyone?) and a rear end clearly influenced by the new Kia EV6 electric fastback.
There is an LED daytime running light strip that starts at the top of the bumper and sweeps back over the line of the headlamps, in a distinct arrowhead shape, while at the back there's a distinctive D-pillar, and a slim LED light bar that runs across the tailgate between the brake lights.
Inside, once again, Kia has clearly taken inspiration from the new EV6, with a monolithic digital dashboard panel that contains electronic instruments and a huge central infotainment screen. There are separate heating and air conditioning controls, which mix physical buttons with touchscreen tech (Kia calls them 'soft touch' haptic controls), and slim, 'three-dimensional' air vents that act as bookends for the big screens.
In the centre, the main console is slathered with 'Piano Black' trim, and there's a rotary automatic gear selector, assuming you've picked a model with an auto 'box. Kia hasn't given any tech details for the new Sportage as yet, but being as it shares a platform with the Hyundai Tucson we can pretty safely infer that it will come with the same lineup of basic petrol and diesel models, a hybrid, and a range-topping plug-in hybrid with 237hp.
Equally, while not actually telling us how big the boot is, nor how much rear legroom there might be, Kia has alluded to the Sportage's practical nature, by pointing out that: "at the rear of the driver and front passenger seats are integrated hanger-type designs within the slim headrests, allowing clothing and handbags to be easily and conveniently hooked into place."
As well as the regular Sportage versions, for the first time, Kia is going to launch a style-oriented Sportage X-Line, which will have a unique bumper, side sill and curved roof rack. On the inside, customers will be able to choose between seats in a simple black colour scheme, or a signature sage green, as well as bold quilting and 'black metal wood' (no, us neither).
"Reinventing the Sportage gave our talented design teams a tremendous opportunity to do something new; to take inspiration from the recent brand relaunch and introduction of EV6 to inspire customers through modern and innovative SUV design. With the all-new Sportage, we didn't simply want to take one step forward but instead move on to a different level in the SUV class," commented Karim Habib, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Design Center. "When you see the all-new Sportage in person, with its sleek but powerfully dynamic stance, and when you sit inside the detailed-orientated cabin with its beautifully detailed interior and first-class materials, you'll see we have achieved those goals and set new benchmarks. In the all-new Sportage, we believe you can see the future of our brand and our products."