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New Kia Sportage includes first-ever plug-in hybrid

Kia’s new Europe-only Sportage has been revealed, including first-ever plug-in hybrid and hybrid variants.

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It’s the fifth generation of the family SUV and the first time that a European-specific model of the Sportage has launched, focused on both practicality and a dynamic new design.

Due early 2022 and developed on a new architecture, the European model is smaller than the new long-wheelbase global version unveiled in July, but actually slightly longer and wider than the outgoing model. This results in big increases in luggage capacity, headroom and legroom. Legroom for second-row passengers is said to best in class while luggage capacity is up to 591 litres and 1,780 litres in total.

Engine line-up includes both plug-hybrid and hybrid versions for the first time, as well as diesels and petrols, and the Sportage has been conceived from the start to ensure both PHEV and HEV models deliver the same practicality as the rest of the line-up.

The PHEV Sportage features Kia’s new 180hp 1.6-litre T-GDI petrol engine, paired up with a 91hp electric motor, giving total output of 265hp. The motor is powered by a 13.8kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack. Full spec details including electric-only range are still to be announced.

The same petrol engine is used for the hybrid, which also features a smaller 60hp motor and a 1.49kWh lithium-ion polymer battery. Total power output is 230hp.

The new 1.6 T-GDI engine is also available in the new Sportage line-up with a mild hybrid (MHEV) system and 150hp or 180hp power outputs.

Diesel options take the form of a 1.6-litre clean diesel engine with either 115hp or 136hp outputs – the latter includes mild hybrid tech.

Transmissions include a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (7DCT) or six-speed manual for the petrol. Diesels get either the 7DCT or a six-speed intelligent manual transmission (iMT).

Other new debuts for the Sportage include a new-generation Electronic Controlled Suspension (ECS), which enhances ride through continuous damping control in real-time. The Sportage also premieres a new Terrain Mode developed for conditions such as snow, mud and sand.

The interior is focused around an integrated curved display, which includes a 12.3-inch touchscreen and integrated controller, and an ergonomic centre console.

Onboard tech also includes connectivity software that enables users to connect with the vehicle remotely via the Kia Connect smartphone app, plus a smartphone charging bay with 15W wireless charging. Drivers can also opt for a Harman Kardon premium sound system while a new GT-Line model will provide more sporty and dynamic design.

Full specification and pricing details will be announced closer to launch.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.

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