2022 Kia Sportage debuts in Europe: first Euro-specific model with bespoke chassis tuning, shorter wheelbase

2022 Kia Sportage debuts in Europe: first Euro-specific model with bespoke chassis tuning, shorter wheelbase

The fifth-generation Kia Sportage has officially landed in Europe, but it’s a slightly different SUV compared to the global version. According to Kia, the Euro-specific Sportage is optimised specifically for the region, making it the first model to receive such a treatment in its 28-year history.

It’s underpinned by the same N3 platform from Hyundai Motor Group, but the 2,680-mm wheelbase is 75 mm shorter compared to its global counterpart. Overall length is down 145 mm to 4,515 mm, and it’s slightly shorter too at 1,645 mm (-15 mm). That makes it more or less the same size as the previous generation Sportage, but with a 10 mm longer wheelbase and 30 mm increase in overall length.

The stark difference in length necessitates an extensive rework to the side profile, bringing obvious revisions to rear doors and C-pillar design. The rearmost windows from the longer wheelbase variant have been completely removed, and are instead replaced with thicker sheet metal. Wheel sizes range from 17 to 19 inches, and the GT Line gets a contrasting black roof .

2022 Kia Sportage debuts in Europe: first Euro-specific model with bespoke chassis tuning, shorter wheelbase

The cockpit remains pretty much unchanged. It’s dominated by a huge curved display panel that’s comprised of two 12.3-inch LCD displays. The infotainment system supports over-the-air software updates, and is hooked up to an industry-leading Harman Kardon premium sound system.

As a result of the shorter wheelbase, rear legroom is down from 1,050 mm to 996 mm (-54 mm), and boot space reduced from 637 litres to 591 litres. The rear seatbacks have a 40:40:40 split configuration, providing 1,780 litres cargo space.

Kia Europe also claimed to implement bespoke regional tuning for the chassis, steering and ride comfort, although it didn’t lay out the specifics just yet. On the other hand, a range of petrol, diesel and hybrid powertrains have been confirmed, but let’s start with the 1.6 T-GDI plug-in hybrid option.

2022 Kia Sportage debuts in Europe: first Euro-specific model with bespoke chassis tuning, shorter wheelbase

The 1.6 litre petrol mill develops 180 PS on its own, but gets assisted with a 66.9 kW permanent magnet traction electric motor that offers a total system output of 265 PS. This is paired with a 13.8 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, capable of providing up to 45 km of pure electric range.

Other engines include a 1.6 T-GDI mild-hybrid with 230 PS, featuring a 44.2 kW electric motor and a 1.49 kWh LiPo battery. Also included is a 1.6L clean diesel mill with an output of 115 PS, or 136 PS for the MHEV variant. Gearbox options include a seven-speed DCT and six-speed intelligent manual transmission. Curiously, there’s no mention of an eight-speed auto, which the global version gets.

All European Sportage models are fitted with Kia’s Idle Stop-and-Go technology as standard. This ISG function works in tandem with the automaker’s ADAS technology, which scans the environment ahead to determine whether the ISG should be activated or not. This helps avoid unnecessary stop and start operations, Kia says.

2022 Kia Sportage debuts in Europe: first Euro-specific model with bespoke chassis tuning, shorter wheelbase

The new Terrain Mode is offered as well, allowing drivers to choose between snow, mud and sand mode. The usual comfort, eco and sport drive modes are also available. It’s unclear if the hybrid models get the new E-Handling system, but more premium variants will be equipped with adaptive suspension and electronically-controlled AWD system.

Kia says the Sportage is one of the safest vehicles in its class, with safety being a top priority during development. Its DriveWise suite of advanced driver assistance system offers Level 2 semi-autonomous driving, with features including Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control, Highway Driving Assist, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist System with Junction Turning, Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist, and Intelligent Speed Limit Assist.

GALLERY: 2022 Kia Sportage (standard wheelbase model)

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Matthew H Tong

An ardent believer that fun cars need not be fast and fast cars may not always be fun. Matt advocates the purity and simplicity of manually swapping cogs while coping in silence of its impending doom. Matt's not hot. Never hot.

 

Comments

  • Datuk on Sep 03, 2021 at 1:42 pm

    In Korea, the SUV is available with 6 variants and prices start from KRW 24.42 million (~RM 90,000). And it’s the Longer Kia Sportage, better.

    Let’s see if it can challenge Proton X70 sales. Berjaya boleh?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2
    • Roti john on Sep 03, 2021 at 5:09 pm

      Proton must learn from Kia and Hyundai about car design. For the past 30 years, Proton design always failed and Game Over. This is why Proton today are only capable of designing grille and logo.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4
      • Black is gold now on Sep 03, 2021 at 6:33 pm

        agree to certain models : genesis, carnival, telluride
        ‘must learn’ pointing toward all japanese (except Mazda) and Perodua too, either jv or sub the design to the best studio. to round it up, vehicle dynamic and refinement should be on the mission too.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3
        • royal john on Sep 03, 2021 at 8:02 pm

          Money not an issue for P2. Toyota send gt86 & yaris engineering team to teach all that to local engineers, learn the traits for a year. Costing may increase slightly but not too much. Silence the harsh critics first then on the fence sitters will follow….
          sampan handling, unrefine etc will be history

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
      • Now what on Sep 05, 2021 at 4:31 pm

        Now the ex designer busy showing off his mediocre design at mimos

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
      • No creativity on Dec 18, 2021 at 9:09 am

        Now the ex proton designer busy showing off his design at mimos.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • DonkeyKong on Sep 03, 2021 at 1:44 pm

    Kia and Hyundai are busy outdoing each other on who can produce the ugliest and messiest car designs

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 36
    • better than boring Honda or Toyota designs

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 2
    • st3wp1d on Sep 03, 2021 at 3:09 pm

      Cunn lah wei, sudah year 2021 lah, not pre-millenium dates. I bet u this design will be follow by big 3 after this

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2
    • Damon Lee on Sep 03, 2021 at 7:20 pm

      Dun forget Toyota in the mix

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
  • Dare to push the boundary on Sep 03, 2021 at 2:33 pm

    Hate the cosmic & daring front outlook at first like bmw design, then slowly turn into …..
    an analogy of a fat, bald singer with funky outfit singing catchy melodical tunes on youtube.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2
    • lithium on Sep 03, 2021 at 2:57 pm

      the front… the car need that many ventilation slots and holes?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1
  • Bieight on Sep 03, 2021 at 4:59 pm

    GG lah Honda crv

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  • X70 Buyer on Sep 03, 2021 at 5:09 pm

    Every other carmaker expands the size for each new model, here Kia shrinks the Sportage. Who would be stupid enough to pay more for less car?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 11
  • Chilly Chan on Sep 03, 2021 at 9:30 pm

    Kia cars makes Honda cars look like Ah-Pek-mobile.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1
  • stick on Sep 03, 2021 at 10:23 pm

    the front is a mess

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7
  • Sport suspension ? Only noise rattling and knocking in the road ! Why stupid producers offer sport tall SUV with small engine, when people looking for comfort and tall seat to easy take onboard. And why dont offer long version in EU when there short version has competetive like ( Arona, Ateca, V40, 3008, 5008)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
 

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