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New Kia Sportage is Coming! And We Compare the New vs. Current!

The all-new fifth-generation Kia Sportage is coming! Sharing the platform and the technology with the all-new Hyundai Tucson, it promises to be another winner from Kia! But how does it compare to the outgoing model?


Kia Sportage is one of the more popular compact SUVs in the market. Receiving high marks for style and sportiness, Sportage is positioned between the midsize Sorento and smaller Seltos in Kia’s SUV lineup. It’s in a fiercely competitive segment, competing with formidable competitors such as Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV-4, and the platform sharing Hyundai Tucson.

New or old, all Kia come with one of the longest warranty in the industry with a Limited warranty that covers five years or 60,000 miles and a Powertrain warranty that covers 10 years or 100,000 miles.

The Sportage is known for handsome interior and generous passenger space, and sporty and entertaining driving characteristics. All Kia’s are also well known for a host of standard driver assists and infotainment features.

The current generation Sportage was first released in 2016 as the 4th generation model. And as it was the case since the 2nd generation model, Sportage is co-developed with its corporate sibling Hyundai Tucson. Now in its 6th year since the introduction, the 2021 model year will be the current models last year, clearing the way for the all-new Kia Sportage that’s on its way. The expected launch of the all-new 5th generation 2022 Sportage is April of 2021, but with the COVID pandemic, the release date for North America could be additional 4-6 months, meaning that it will be at least 3rd Quarter 2021 before you can get your hands on the very first units. So, you might be wondering if it’s worth the wait if you can wait that long at all.

As of Spring 2021, Kia is offering some amazing promotions on the 2021 Sportage, which would make the decision even tougher. So, how different will the all-new 5th generation Kia Sportage be compared to the outgoing model?

In its 5th-Generation, the Sportage is One of the Most Iconic Kia


The all-new model year 2022 Kia Sportage will also be based on the already launched all-new Hyundai Tucson, which stole the hearts of people all over the world with its ground-breaking exterior design language called Sensuous Sportiness, and futuristic interior. The all-new Sportage is also expected to be phenomenal in terms of the exterior design as seen by this design prediction by, which is known to be a near-perfect representation of the actual production car. The Sportage was always the sportier vehicle compared to Tucson, and Kia tried very hard to keep the tradition going in the exterior design, by giving it a very futuristic front-end with a unique LED lighting signature incorporated into the trademark tiger-nose grille. But as unique as it is, the polarizing front-end of the new Sportage could be seen as a love-it-or-hate-it proposition for some buyers. The rest of the new Sportage is a very agreeable, straightforward design with smoothly flowing body lines accentuated by voluptuous fenders. The rear-end is toned down with a simple minimalistic look, similar to that of Kia Stinger, especially compared to the front-end.

Interestingly, the all-new Sportage will be produced in 2-wheelbase lengths, with the longer wheelbase expected to be a 7-passenger model, but that’s probably reserved only for certain markets such as China, India, and Brazil. The rest of the world would have to settle for the standard-length Sportage that would be lighter and sportier to drive.

2021 Kia Sportage Nightfall Edition

All in all, the new Sportage’s design is a big departure from the current design, which was regarded as handsome by many. We would say that it is really a matter of your preference when it comes to the exterior. Also, unique for the 2021 model, the nightfall edition, which was made popular by its bigger brother Kia Palisade nightfall edition, is certifiably cool, and almost makes it worthwhile to stay with the current model.


The interior of the current Kia Sportage is still a very great place to be. Surrounded by handsome design and quality materials, it still feels fresh even after 6 years in production. However, areas like the infotainment screen and the instrumentation cluster are where the outgoing Sportage is showing its age, as the brand-new Sportage is expected to feature a huge 10.25-inch infotainment screen and an equally big LCD instrument gauge cluster. The current model only has an 8-inch infotainment screen and analog instrument cluster. However, that’s not to say that the current infotainment system is an inferior system. The 2021 Sportage still is one of the class-leading systems that feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, in crisp, bright LCD with great touch response. FYI, the new Sportage’s 10.25-inch screen can be utilized in a split-screen mode for more versatility.

The new Sportage also now includes Digital Key, a feature that allows customers to use their smartphones as keys, and "car to home" feature that give drivers the ability to link up their smart home appliances to their vehicle, so they can do things such as turn on their home air conditioner before they return home, from the vehicle.

2021 Kia Sportage Interior

The new Sportage also comes with the Multi Air Mode technology. It diffuses the air through indirect and direct air vent so the air blows more gently but the overall wind volume remains the same. And the three-zone climate control lets you set different temperature zones for the driver, front and back seat passengers.

The safety and driver-assist features of both new and old Sportages are impressive and include Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist with Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist, Advanced Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go.

However, the new Sportage adds a Safe Exit assist that warns the rear passenger upon approaching rear traffic, and the latest version of Smart Park Park Assist, which you can now remotely control with a remote.

At the end of the day, however, despite all the new technology for most people, the deal-breaker maybe such simple things as ambient lighting, fold and dive rear seats, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, which was not available in the outgoing model but the new Sportage will receive..


The 2022 Kia Sportage will be offered with three new or updated powertrain configurations, including gasoline, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid versions. The internal-combustion model comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine which puts out 178 horsepower and 182 lb-ft of torque and is paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. On the hybrid side, a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with a 44.2-kilowatt electric motor and a 1.49-kilowatt-hour battery pack for a total output of 229 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque is available.

The hybrid is expected to be 30% more fuel-efficient than the base gas engine, and it's estimated to have a range of over 500 miles.

1.6 Liter Turbo Hybrid Engine for the New Sportage

Then there's the plug-in-hybrid model, which uses the same 1.6-liter turbo engine but has a more powerful 66.9-kW electric motor and a larger 13.8-kWh battery pack to produce a total of 261-hp. It also comes standard with an all-wheel-drive and uses the same six-speed auto as the regular hybrid. The plug-in hybrid models will have an electric range of around 28 miles and a 2-hour recharge time using a Level 2 charger. The fuel economy is expected to be around 70 mpg.

While optional on the base model, both hybrid models come with all-wheel drive as standard.

On the other hand, the current 2021 Sportage comes with a 181-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 175 lb-ft of torque mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, which is essentially the same engine as the new Sportage’s 2.5-liter engine. However, the new engine now features Smartstream technology that offers more torque for smoothness and better fuel economy. The fuel economy increases from 25 mpg to 28 mpg city with the new engine.

The current Sportage’s 2-point-4-liter engine offers adequate power for daily use but for the performance enthusiast, there is the top-of-the-line SX Turbo trim, which boasts a 240-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 260 lb-ft of Torque.

The All-New Hyundai Tucson N-line

Although it’s not certain as of yet, whether the new Sportage will also receive the 300-hp 2.5-liter turbo engine that is rumored to power the high-performance Tucson N-line, for its new top of the line SX Turbo or maybe even a possible GT trim, there is something that’s reserved only for the upcoming Sportage.

Known as e-Sportage, the pure electric version is planned for the upcoming Sportage to be positioned above the e-Niro, which has been a very good seller for Kia. Not too much about the e-Sportage is known at this moment but we suspect that it will share the technology from the newest Hyundai group electric vehicles that feature a range of up to 310 miles or 500 km with a recharge time of less than 20 minutes.

As for the drivetrain considerations, if hybrid or electric power is something that you need, it is recommended that you wait for the arrival of the new Sportage. Otherwise, the current Sportage that features essentially the same engine and power would be just fine.

In summary, if you are not sensitive about being seen in a previous generation car, the current 2021 Kia Sportage would be a sufficient car for many years to come. It’s still a very stylish and high-featured car filled with the latest technology, albeit might not be the state of the art as the newest Sportage. But with the new technology comes the risk of unreliability, and living with the true and proven car that had been one of the top choices in the segment for many years might be just what the doctor ordered.

However, if hybrid or electric power is an important consideration, the only choice would be to wait a bit longer for the newest Sportage with hybrid or electric power.

New or old, all Kia come with one of the longest warranty in the industry with a Limited warranty that covers five years or 60,000 miles and a Powertrain warranty that covers 10 years or 100,000 miles.

The current Sportage sells for $25,265 for the base LX model to $34,925 for the top-of-the-range 240-horsepower SX Turbo model. Expect a 5-10% price hike for the all-new 2022 model, and don’t forget to talk to your dealer about the deals that they can get you on the outgoing Sportage above and beyond the nationally advertised discounts for the deal that you can’t pass up.



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