When Kia introduced the original Sportage in North America in the early 1990s, the best thing it had going for it was a low-ball price. There was nothing particularly compelling about the way it looked or drove, though it was at least passable on both counts. When the Geneva Motor Show opens up next month, the third-generation Sportage will finally bring the compact crossover to the head of the class in appearance.
Looking like a 5/8-scale version of the recently introduced Sorento, the new Sportage incorporates the Peter Schreyer-penned Kia design language in an an aggressive looking package that should stand out among the Escapes, Rav4s and CR-Vs of the world. The new model is longer, lower and wider, but Kia hasn't released any other details yet.
We expect that the Sportage will have the same 2.4-liter inline-four found in the new Hyundai Tucson when it arrives Stateside this fall, although other markets will get a range of gas and diesel power options from which to choose. Full press release after the jump.
Bold, athletic and sporty all-new Sportage to make its world premiere in March 2010
Marking a shift in design direction for the popular SUV
(Seoul) February 3, 2010 – The all-new Kia Sportage crossover will mark a dramatic shift in design direction for the brand's popular SUV when it makes its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show on 2 March.
Embodying Kia's newfound visual dynamism, the new Sportage is a fresh, bold, athletic and sporty design that successfully blends the key features of an SUV – the commanding driving position and heightened sense of security and raised ground clearance – and envelopes them in a sleek and urban-friendly design with global appeal.
Longer, lower and wider than the previous generation model, the new Sportage will offer more space for people and cargo, with an improved ride quality thanks to a longer wheelbase.
The all-new Sportage crossover will be available at Kia dealerships later this year, with a range of highly competitive diesel and gasoline engines.
The world premiere of the new Sportage will take place on 2 March (8:45AM, CET) at the Kia Stand (No. 6441) in Hall 6 at the Geneva International Motor Show.