With a raging demand for compact crossovers, the Nürburgring Circuit in Germany gifted auto enthusiasts with a new spy shot to speculate over. Sources say, it is the 2018 KIA Sportage and will give its cousin, the Soul, a run for its money.
Why does it matter?
KIA had remodeled its third generation Sportage ultimately giving it a new facelift and engine specs. However, still, this new Sportage seems to be a bit of gamble for KIA taking into account its already existing Soul. However, the 2nd quarter of 2018 shall speak the truth when this compact crossover will get released.
In an attempt to differentiate it from the Soul, KIA is planning to introduce a couple of trims. A 1.6 L CRDi engine will serve the base model and provide a power output of 136 HP. Its upper trim will get a 2.0 L diesel variant which will churn out 190 – 200 HP of power coupled with 180 lb-ft of torque. However, speculations suggest that a twin turbo-charged engine giving out 240 HP of power can make its appearance as well.
This new powertrain will provide a minimal surge in EPA ratings which shall stand at 24 mpg in cities and 26 mpg on highways. Expect the 2018 Sportage to make its 0-60 mph run under 7 seconds and clock a top speed close to 135 mph.
The platform of KIA Sportage 2018
Quite ironically, the Soul shall donate its platform to this crossover cousin. However, irrespective of that, it is sure to get rid of Soul’s boxy figure. Spies claim that KIA will put the existing design of Sportage under the knife. A standard mesh grille will make its way to the front of this crossover which will also house an air intake.
Headlights will take an oval shape and will include a pair of LED projectors at each end. The fog lamps make a unique design and come in sets of four LEDs placed on the front bumper. 2018 KIA Sportage will opt for a sloping roof design with parallel roof rails adding to its crossover finish.
Another distinct feature is the 19-inch aluminum wheels which are fitted with all season tires. This results in a larger wheelbase in spite of using the same platform.
Is it worth waiting for?
KIA Sportage 2018 is unlikely to get any significant interior upgrades. Only modifications, if any, will be the inclusion of dual zone climate control, heated seats and steering wheel and the availability of Android Auto with Apple car play.
However, a longer wheelbase should provide a better cargo space. Rear foldable seats will provide a surge to its overall cargo space as well.
Competition and price
Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, and Nissan Rogue seem to be the direct competitors of this crossover. Also, its cousin, the KIA Soul shall lock horns with this vehicle as well. Predominantly known as a mid-range car, 2018 KIA Sportage will hit world markets with a price tag of around $35,000.