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New Kia Sportage makes public debut at Munich show

The first European-specific Kia Sportage SUV has made its European debut at the Munich motor show ahead of its local launch later this year

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The fifth generation of the Kia Sportage has made its European debut at the Munich motor show, the Korean brand confirming that plug-in hybrid and pure hybrid powertrains will be available for the SUV.

The Sportage is sharing the limelight with Kia’s new EV6, also making its European debut, in a pod-like stand specially built outside in Munich’s Odeonsplatz.

The new Sportage is the first version of Kia’s highly popular SUV built specifically for the European market.

Its styling shows a strong family resemblance to the EV6, with a dominant full-face version of the signature ‘Tiger Nose’ grille and sharply pointed headlamps. The side profile is also distinctly different to older Sportage models without the windows in the rear screen pillars.

Plug-in hybrid models will pair a 1.6-litre petrol engine with a 13.8kWh electric motor, offering a combined output rated at 265hp. Electric-only range is expected to be close to 35 miles.

Petrol versions will be powered by a new 1.6-litre engine in either 150hp or 180hp output levels, both with mild hybrid technology to improve performance and economy. Two diesel variants are also available; a 1.6-litre engine with outputs of either 115hp or 136hp.

Kia apparently does not intend to offer a full-electric Sportage to avoid taking sales from the new EV6, which is a bespoke electric crossover model.

The interior of the Sportage is also inspired by the EV6, the front dominated by a pair of 12-inch touchscreens. It also features ‘multi-mode’ buttons which change their function according to which aspect of the car they are controlling.

The new Sportage will be available to order in the UK before the end of 2021 with the first cars expected to hit our roads early next year.

Kia Munich motor show
Munich’s new way of doing motor shows saw the Kia stand out in the street.

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.