Kia Reveals What The Next-Gen Sportage Will Look Like

The upcoming Sportage debuts a striking-looking exterior and a thoroughly updated interior. 

Kia has recently officially unveiled what the next-gen Sportage will look like, and it really isn’t as polarising (read: bad) as what the renders made it out to be. Though it is still perhaps one of the most striking-looking SUVs to be launched in recent time, and that says a lot considering what BMW and its sister marque Hyundai have debut during this period too. 

Now much of the heavy lifting for that striking look is probably done by the upcoming Sportage’s bold new front end. Touted by Kia to be a ‘thought-provoking design statement’, the nose of this next-gen South Korean SUV is dominated by a double-tiered front grille that features a solid macho-looking trim piece up top and is contrasted by an intricate web-like pattern down below. 

This full-width front grille on the new Sportage however is not the most striking of aesthetic elements up front, as that honour has to go instead to its boomerang-shaped DRLs which draw the eye towards the diamond-shaped LED headlights on the extreme ends of this upcoming SUV’s face. Other notable design details worth mentioning at the end includes the new KIA logo sitting proudly on the swoopy bonnet, in addition to the pronounced and somewhat sporty-looking bumper with twin LED fog lights inset on either side. 

Continuing down the side meanwhile, the blobby silhouette of its predecessor has since been replaced by a tauter and sharper side profile on this upcoming iteration. Something that is further accentuated by the addition of a chrome belt-line which kicks up towards the rear and eventually meeting its D-pillar trim piece, not to mention the availability for the first time in the Sportage of a contrasting black roof. 

Speaking of the roof, the upcoming Sportage also gains a more sloping roof line than the outgoing model, as well as a cheeky rear tailgate spoiler for which Kia claims ‘further adds to the sporting pedigree of the car’. As for what lies further down from the spoiler, the design highlights round the rear of this new SUV includes the EV6-esque full-width LED tail light signature, and a large black ‘lower graphic bumper casing’ with an integrated faux-metal skid plate that serves to slim its rump significantly. 

And on the topic of the bumpers, Kia has also announced the debut of a more macho-looking Sportage X-Line that gains revised bumpers, black accents in place of chrome and a curved roof rack. Customers who opt for this variant will be able to choose between signature sage green or black upholstery to complement the bold quilting and black metal wood that will be exclusive to this trim level. 

Standard on all upcoming Sportages however will be a radically redesigned interior that is dominated by the single curved display for the digital instrument cluster and central infotainment touchscreen. A far more upscale affair than what came before, this new Kia SUV also features three-dimensional air vents flanking that large screen, slim shell front seats with integrated hangers on the headrests, along with a new centre console which houses an array of soft-touch switches and the shift-by-wire rotary transmission dial.


In terms of what transmission it is controlling however still remains a mystery at the moment, as is much of the rest of the powertrain details regarding this Sportage really. Further information on this front though should soon be made available, seeing that its full reveal is set for July. 

PRESS RELEASE: Kia Corporation has today revealed the official images of the stunning all-new Sportage, an SUV that has been carefully crafted to inspire customers with its interior and exterior design.

The exterior challenges design norms and moves the Sportage identity into the next generation, while paying homage to its rich heritage. Tense and crisp lines ripple along the refined body, amplifying dramatic styling tensions. At the same time, clean but muscular surfaces join forces with intricate graphics to give the SUV a dynamic and assertive road presence. On the inside, a space has been created that is truly state-of-the-art, fusing high-tech sensibilities into contemporary style.

“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-oriented 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.”

Revealed earlier this year to great acclaim from the design community, Kia’s new design philosophy – Opposites United – is at the core of the all-new Sportage, influencing every aspect of its appearance and character. The principles of Opposites United will influence all future Kia designs, giving them the same basic DNA. The thought-provoking and daring philosophy strengthens the connection between design and Kia’s new brand direction, ‘Movement that inspires’.

Opposites United is formed of five pillars: Joy for Reason, Power to Progress, Technology for Life, Tension for Serenity and Bold for Nature. The last pillar – Bold for Nature – has profoundly influenced the design creation of the all-new Sportage, embodying the natural world and creating a design identity that takes a daring, emotional, modern but organic form.

The all-new Sportage is the result of a collaborative effort between Kia’s main global design network in Korea, Germany, the US, and China.

New benchmarks for exterior SUV design

The front of the all-new Sportage creates an instant impact and thought-provoking design statement with a detailed-orientated black grille graphic stretching across the width of the face. Like an intricate web, the technical graphic pulls together the main frontal features of the all-new Sportage, crafting an imposing front volume. The elongated grille links Kia’s modern signature Tiger Nose grille – that acts as the visual focal point of the car – to the distinctive futuristic-styled boomerang-shaped DRLs (daytime running lamps), which in turn create solid boundary lines for the striking head lamps. Such intricate and technical design complexity of the front facia is delicately balanced by the simplicity of the main surfaces at the front, including the pronounced bumper.

The side profile of the all-new Sportage stays true to its sports utility DNA, with taut lines cutting across pure, clean but refined body surfaces that seamlessly blends the contrasting volumes together. Representing a first for the Sportage range, a black roof – a different color paint option to the vehicle’s body – is now available with the new model, helping to accentuate the sporting profile and highlight the architecturally dynamic C-pillar that encompasses a deconstructed look. The addition of a chrome beltline kicks up onto the rear of the all-new Sportage and into the D-pillar, creating harmonious lines with the rear spoiler that further adds to the sporting pedigree of the car.

At the rear, the all-new Sportage maintains its strong road presence with its powerful broad shoulders, allowing the SUV to personify strength and stability. The muscular swooping fastback flows into the rear lamps, which have been crafted to give the impression that they cut into the body with fine precision, forming the outline of the rear lamp graphic and the main section of the tailgate. The razor rear lamps are connected by a slim horizontal design, giving the all-new Sportage a stunningly wide impression from the back.

Completing the design journey, a large lower graphic bumper casing at the rear uses the same philosophy as the frontal technical black grille, connecting the all-new Sportage’s rear design elements and resulting in lightness in both appearance and touch.

State-of-the-art interior

The interior of the all-new Sportage plays with boldness in character, offering intuitive and innovative in technology, to create a driver-orientated space that is truly state-of-the-art.

A sculpted integrated curved display with a slim crush touchscreen pad and finely detailed air vents forms the nucleus of the all-new Sportage’s spectacular cabin. The arresting curved display sweeps across the front of the Sportage, giving the cockpit great width and depth. Like the air passing through it, the three-dimensional air vents flow within the integrated curved display, reinforcing the Sportage’s contemporary and exquisitely slim cockpit feel.

The high-tech touchscreen pad along with the advanced integrated controller act as the nerve center for driver and passenger connectivity, functionality and usability needs. Both systems have been created to be easy-to-use, highly intuitive and soft to touch.

Optimally positioned for the driver and front passenger is an ergonomic center console that combines convenience with luxury. Finished with a high-end gloss, the console provides storage, operating system configuration, cupholders and soft-touch switches, the latter sitting on a raised profile alongside the shift-by-wire transmission dial.

The highest quality materials that are sumptuous to touch, dynamic and vibrant color options and additional energizing finishing techniques that includes chrome and pad print ensure that the interior of the all-new Sportage is a special place to spend time while on the move. The driver and front passenger seats combine high-tech with high comfort in sporting slim shell design.

Further enhancing passenger convenience, 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.

The all-new Sportage’s intelligent interior space is shrouded in a clever combination of practicality, functionality and versatility.

For the first time in the Sportage’s history, a bolder model has been specifically designed to convey a more confident, vigorous and versatile character. The all-new Sportage X-Line features a unique bumper, side sill and curved roof rack. On the inside, customers can choose between a signature sage green or black seating, as well as bold quilting and black metal wood to further bring to life the model’s confident persona.

Due for global market launch later this year, more information on the all-new Sportage will be made available in due course.

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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