2016 Kia Sportage Spied, Looks Like a Bigger KX3 With Sorento DNA

2016 Kia Sportage 17 photos
Photo: SB-Medien
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The Nissan Qashqai may be the most popular sport utility vehicle in Europe, but the ultra competitive J-segment is full of offerings, one of the most popular being the Kia Sportage. What started life in Korea in 1993 steadily became one of the sweethearts of the CUV/compact crossover segment, but times they’re a-changin’ and a new gen is looming on the horizon.
By April 2016, the outgoing SL-gen Sportage will be a 5-year-old model. 5 years for a dog translates to a whopping 37 years for humans. Why this comparo? Well, South Korea indulges in Gaegogi or dog meat consumption in plain English. Sorry folks, that just ain’t right. All in all, the third generation Sportage is getting a tad old after half a decade of production.

This is where we cue the fellows featured in the spy photo gallery below. Our team of carparazzi caught some of the first 2016 Kia Sportage mules out in the wild during cold weather testing in Northern Europe. Curiously enough, our photographers told us these prototypes were benchmarked against an example of the Volkswagen Tiguan and a unit of the Ford Kuga. What does that actually translate to by 2016?

Yup, engineers want to make the fourth generation Sportage better than ever before...

...although it’s rather impossible to go head to head with the likes of the Volkwagen-branded compact crossover vehicle. We don’t know who was inspired enough to write “No BMW! Audi Q5” on the rear camo of a Kia test mule, but that’s funny as hell! Speaking of the rear end, it’s easy to see those are ritzy LED-accented taillights.

Looking at these cars from their side profiles, it’s as easy to see as before that the 2016 Kia Sportage is boasting with a tad more ground clearance and big rear passenger doors, which may be a tell-tale sign interior accommodation and comfort were utmost important details in the automaker’s agenda. As for the front of the CUV, those headlights are inspired by the China-spec KX3 small crossover, while the radiator grille is positioned way higher than before.

All in all, the 2016 Kia Sportage shapes up to be a real improvement, boasting with KX3/Sorento cues and the latest revamp of the Tiger-Nose 3D grille. In terms of powertarin options, a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission is certain to arrive for both GDI petrol and turbo diesel engines. If you’re interested in the choices you’ll be offered with, the oil burning front claims a 1.6-liter CRDi with probably 136 HP and the R-Engine diesel with 190 HP, while the gasoline-fed lineup may comprised of a 1.2 T-GDI (132 hp), a 1.6-liter with at least 170 HP and a 2.0 T-GDI with a meaty 245 horsepower for more demanding buyers.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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