The new Kia Sportage will début at the Paris Motor Show and might also be displayed at the Auto Africa Expo in October. But even if it isn’t at the SA show, the model will be launched on the South African market in the near future, a Kia spokesman says.

The new Kia Sportage will début at the Paris Motor Show and might also be displayed at the Auto Africa Expo in October. But even if it isn’t at the SA show, the model will be launched on the South African market in the near future, a Kia spokesman says.


Its predecessor was available in South Africa until recently, and according to Kia SA spokesman Justin Levy, the new Sportage could be displayed at the bi-annual motor show at Nasrec this year.


“We would like to exhibit the Sportage at Auto Africa because the range will definitely be introduced in South Africa. However, it depends whether we would be able to secure a right-hand drive demonstration model from our Korean headquarters,” Levy said.


“But irrespective of whether the Sportage will make the Auto Africa lineup, the model will be introduced in South Africa at a yet-to-be confirmed date… probably early next year,” he added.


The new model is being touted as an SUV with the handling and functionality of a MPV. Compared with its class competitors such as the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V, the Sportage has a longer wheelbase and larger exterior width and height dimensions.


It is also said to outclass the competition in terms of interior dimensions, with more leg room, second row seating headroom, and total interior volume.


Kia says the five-seater, which features automatic all-wheel drive, will have much of the technical sophistication of the Sorento, though of course it is smaller.


Yong-Hwan Kim, senior executive vice-president and chief operating officer of Kia Motors, said: “The Sportage is a perfect match for Kia’s new brand identity and will reinforce our SUV range alongside the Kia Sorento.”


Powertrains on offer include 2,0-litre and 2,7-litre V6 petrol engines as well as a 2,0-litre diesel engine mated to a manual or four-speed automatic transmission. The flagship edition is fitted with a V6 that is claimed to produce 130 kW at 6 000 r/min and will only be available with an automatic transmission.


Functionally, the Sportage offers spare tyre placement under the cargo area floor, a convenient split hatch and an ergonomically designed centre facia. The interior offers MPV-like load versatility. The design includes includes a front passenger seat that folds completely flat. The rear seats are split 60:40 and can also be folded away to provide additional cargo space.


Safety features include ABS, traction control and front, side and curtain airbags. Electronic stability control will be available as an option, a report said.