The Kia Sportage is another compact-sized crossover one can pick if finds the highly popular Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Hyundai Tucson or Mazda CX-5 inadequate for some reason. The Sportage is distinctively styled and available with the turbocharged powertrain. The comfortable and high-quality interior is also its strong side and the model also comes with the strong infotainment system and modern safety technologies. On the other hand, thirsty powertrains and modest cargo capacity are detected as the model’s weak points.
The Sportage initialized the fourth generation for the 2017 model year and was recently refreshed for the 2020 version. With the subtle exterior upgrades, revised interior and equipment the current Sportage is up-to-date and there won’t be significant upgrades for the next model year. Some reports suggest that 2021 Kia Sportage might introduce the hybrid powertrain which already debuted on the Old Continent but Kia hasn’t yet commented whether this option will come in the US and what form. We expect this version at some point but without the diesel unit in the mix.
2021 Kia Sportage: Design
After the recent refresh, the Sportage has an up-to-date styling and Kia won’t intervene on model’s appearance until the next redesign. The 2021 Kia Sportage will bring new color options while other aspects will remain the same.
The recent mid-cycle update brought usual upgrades including a new grille, redesigned headlights and taillights, new bumpers and exhaust tip. The headlight style is derived from that of the Stinger hatch and model has also sleek “tiger nose” grille. Kia also added the skid plate for the recent refresh which makes its appearance more rugged. The model also offers the attractive 17-, 18- and 19-inch wheels.
The interior of the Sportage was under the revision for the 2020 model year and the next version won’t bring notable upgrades. The recent update brought a new steering wheel, restyled air vents and a standard 8-inch touchscreen with Apple Car Play and Android Auto. The model also gained additional safety systems for the 2020 version and all models will come with automatic emergency braking, active lane control, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-departure warnings. The blind-spot monitoring will also be available but as an option.
The base Sportage will come on the 17-inch wheels and with driver information display, adjustable driver’s seat, Kia UVO infotainment platform, six speakers, mentioned safety equipment and more.
The next in the range S trim will add roof rails, fog lights, 18-inch wheels, simulated leather upholstery and more. The EX will use an upgraded upholstery, unique 18-inch wheels, a hands-free tailgate, etc. There will also be options such as a sunroof, leather upholstery, wireless charging, Harman Kardon sound system, navigation, ventilated seats, etc.
The range-topping SX Turbo trim will install 19-inch wheels, larger brakes, a sport-tuned suspension, dual exhaust setup, etc.
2021 Kia Sportage: Powertrains
Powering the 2021 Kia Sportage will be familiar engine options. The model will come with standard front-wheel drive while the all-wheel drive will be optional on all versions.
A naturally aspirated 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine will work in the combination with standard six-speed automatic transmission producing 181 hp and torque of 175 pound-feet. With this engine under the hood and front-wheel drive, the Sportage will return 23 mpg city and 30 highways. The result with the all-wheel drive will be 22 mpg city and 26 highways.
Buyers will be able to upgrade to a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine again combined with a 6-speed automatic. This engine delivers 240 hp and torque of 260 pound-feet. The fuel economy will, in this case, be around 20 mpg city and 28 highways with the front-wheel drive. The power on all wheels combined with the turbocharged unit will down the fuel economy to 19/24 mpg city/highway.
As for the hybrid version, Kia presented already EcoDYnamics+ hybrid system for the European market. This system combines a diesel engine and 48-Volt electric motor. However, Kia hasn’t yet confirmed the hybrid version for the US. We expect the hybridized Sportage at some point in the US but with gasoline engine instead of the diesel unit.
2021 Kia Sportage: Release, Price
The 2021 Kia Sportage will go market in the mid-2020. There shouldn’t be radical price corrections. The model should again start from about $24, 000.