Kia is giving us a more detailed look at the next-generation Sportage, following up on the early renderings it released a couple weeks ago.
Set to make its formal debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month, the 2016 Kia Sportage will pick up on some of the cues we first saw in the form of the Niro Concept two years ago. The overall look offers a strong hint of where Kia’s global design chief Peter Schreyer will be taking the look of the brand in the years to come.
The biggest changes to the design of the fourth-generation Sportage can be seen in its face, notes Kia, “with the car’s headlamps no longer integrated with the grille for the new model, instead sweeping back along the outer edges of the more sharply-detailed (hood) and bolder wheel arches.”
(Hyundai Kia design chief Schreyer “addicted” to change. Click Here for more.)
The grille itself still follows the distinctive “tiger-nose” look that Schreyer and his team launched nearly a decade ago, but it is now lower and wider, Kia suggesting it results in “a more imposing appearance and a more stable-looking stance.”
From the side, the new Kia Sportage has a more sporty, raked profile, with a tapering roofline that flows into an integrated spoiler. The wraparound taillights, meanwhile, are linked by a chrome accent strip. Twin oval tailpipes pick up on the new crossover’s sportier design language.
While no interior shots were included in the new Kia news release, the maker has hinted that the new Sportage will get what it has called its “most refined, high-quality cabin yet.”
(For a close-up look at the radical Hyundai Vision-G concept, Click Here.)
A previously released interior rendering revealed the crossover-utility vehicle will feature an uncluttered but sophisticated layout, with new vents and what appears to be a large touchscreen display anchoring the center stack. That said, there are two large knobs, likely for volume and tuning. Some automakers have been backing away from the trend to put radio controls onscreen, recognizing that move has frustrated many buyers.
The renderings show that under the guidance of Schreyer Kia is pushing for more visual separation from its partner Hyundai brand. In recent years, it’s often been difficult to tell the two apart with some shared models. But Schreyer says one of his top priorities is to fully abandon badge engineering.
Upgrading the fourth-generation Kia Sportage is in keeping with the overall direction the Korean company has been taking. And it’s proved quite effective, Kia now one of the fastest-growing brands in the U.S. automotive market. That said, company officials also note that the brand still has challenges ahead if it hopes to get on the shopping lists of many loyal Japanese vehicle buyers.
Kia, like Hyundai, is putting an emphasis on “value.” It doesn’t want to be seen as the bargain-price brand anymore. Instead, it is trying to use styling as a key differentiator.
(Hyundai offers hint of next-generation Elantra. Click Here to check it out.)
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