Good price and nice choice of powertrains are the main reason why Sportage sells well. On the other hand, US sales are far away from leaders in the compact crossover segment. That is why we expect big things from the 2021 KIA Sportage. After the larger Sorento, the Korean company is going to redesign its smaller brother.
The company is not unveiling details. The 2021 KIA Sportage concept is still a mystery and we cannot find test mules on the road. The COVID-19 pandemic spoiled plans and the crossover’s release date is delayed. Whatsoever, we will see it during 2021 for sure. Some mention that the debut could happen in Australia. Other noteworthy rumors we will mention in this review are hybrid drivetrain and trim levels. Let’s see what we have for now.
Fifth Generation is Near
The Sportage nameplate is on the market for a long time. For the first time, it was used for convertible and truck models between 1993-2005. The second generation established modern treads and the Sportage became a crossover. The vehicle shared the platform with Hyundai Tucson. This partnership results with similar options we can find on two models even nowadays. The third generation introduced advanced systems in 2010, while the fourth series of the crossover is currently available. So, every five years the small SUV is going through serious changes. Since it misses it in 2020, we believe the 2021 KIA Sportage will bring the fifth generation.
The vehicle needs a big update. The company brought a small facelift for the current edition. This is not enough to continue the growth of the brand, especially in the segment where there is the most buyers. For example, Toyota Rav4 and Honda CR-V reached 300k sales per annum a long time ago. The fifth generation should make the crossover more interesting, although Sportage achieved the best-selling result in the US ever with 90,000 sales in 2019. At the same time, it found 110k new homes in Europe.
LATEST UPDATE: The redesign, with the hybrid model, is delayed. We expect to see it with the 2022 Sportage. Read more HERE.
2021 KIA Sportage Release Date: Time and Place
According to leaking sources from Kia, chiefs want to explore new markets and focus on existing countries where its name is not so popular. One of them is Australia. Well, there are fans, but the Korean manufacturer can do it better. At least CEOs think so. Because of that, the premiere of the all-new 2021 KIA Sportage could happen in the land of kangaroos. We are taking this info with a reserve. Europe is the best-selling region, while the main market is the US. So, there are a few reasons why the 2021 Sportage could debut elsewhere.
The carmaker will bring the crossover as soon as possible. Enthusiasts believe it will arrive as the 2021 YM. On the other hand, we cannot see any proof of changes on the vehicle – no official statement, nor spy photos. So, the 2021 KIA Sportage might be a concept of the vehicle which will arrive later next year, possibly as the model for 2022 season.
2021 KIA Sportage Hybrid Concept
A 1.7-liter diesel engine is going to be dropped from the lineup, making the way for the new version. A mild-hybrid system is replacing it. Engineers are combining a more efficient 1.6-liter diesel unit with a mild-hybrid configuration. Still, this 48-volt enhancement is not going to make such setup eligible to show up in the US. Still, the battery pack will improve the outputs to 135 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque. A seven-speed auto transmission will send power to front wheels. Acceleration won’t be as impressive as the fuel economy.
The 2021 KIA Sportage will also keep existing drivetrains. A 2.4-liter petrol unit is standard with 180 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. These outputs are more suitable for the compact crossover segment. Plus, the Sportage returns exceptional fuel economy, up to 30 mpg on highways. The upcoming edition should be lighter, and of course, more efficient.
If you want more power, there is a turbo-four engine with 240 ponies under the hood. The fuel economy is paying the price of extra power. The offer is not so attractive when you select an all-wheel drive. In this case, the 2021 KIA Sportage is not going to be able to do better than 20/25 mpg. The towing capacity of the crossover equipped with this engine is 2,000 pounds.
Which Model Will Be the Best?
The 2021 KIA Sportage will be available in four trim levels in the US. The carmaker is not bringing the GT-Line to the US market. However, it remains the top version for the UK, Europe, and many other countries. The offer in North America starts with the LX package. The redesign will bump the MSRP, but Kia will try to keep it under $25,000. The difference between the next version, S, and the 2021 KIA Sportage EX is only $1,000, so we recommend going after a richer package that will bring unique details, 18-inch wheels, and an intelligent power liftgate. With the turbo engine, the price of the SX model will be close to $35,000 after the update.