Revealing the Punchline: Kia’s New Sportage

Why do they do this? Yes, everyone has duly reported the story and shown a photo of the new Sportage. But not us.

After five brief years, the current Sportage is leaving us: Kia UK
After five brief years, the current Sportage is leaving us: Kia UK

That’s the current Sportage you see there, courtesy of Kia’s UK website. And here is the 1994 car:

I don´t remember this car. The 1994 Kia Sportage:
I don’t remember this car. The 1994 Kia Sportage:

Those feasting on this story are CarAdvice, Autocar, CarsGuide, Paultan,  WhatCar, and even Steve Huntingford of the Telegraph. I will quote Steve here as I just can’t express it any better myself: “The evolutionary approach to the styling is understandable given how popular the current Sportage has been. It has racked up almost 1.7 million sales in the five years it’s been available and is responsible for 15 per cent of Kia’s business. Meanwhile, in the UK the figures are 85,000 and nearly 30 per cent.”

Oh, here’s the new version:

2016 Kia Sportage:
2016 Kia Sportage:

What puzzles me is the reasoning behind sending out this image two weeks before the car is to be shown at the Frankfurt motor show. Sure, there has been a small media storm and indeed the car is popular. Yet one can’t help wondering if a little deferred gratification might be in order. Imagine if we had waited a whole 14 days more before seeing this car. Would that have been an intolerable wait? Would people have died of hypertension? And who among Kia’s network of dealers is relishing trying to sell the current Sportage.

The shutlines are quite neat.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

7 thoughts on “Revealing the Punchline: Kia’s New Sportage”

  1. I remember the first Sportage, but I had forgotten the second generation. The current Sportage is good, and the next one will probably be more good and

    1. (and I’ll inadvertantly hit the reply button before I’m finished) eventually Sportage will become the new default for family softroader/crossover, if it isn’t already. Do people still buy the Toyota RAV4? Or is it just the ‘Compact SUV’ option at Avis?

  2. I too have not forgotten the first Sportage. It was one of the models that introduced Kia to Switzerland. And although it was not a very interesting car nor blessed with refined details, I appreciated it for its own approach to soft-roader proportions: quite low, long wheelbase and very short overhangs. By the way, this design was thoroughly ruined with the longer version that was later available (“Sportage Grand”), with another 30 cm added at the rear (I imagine the short version had a rather small boot).

  3. I’m not a fan of this genre in general, but the soon-to-be replaced version is surely better looking than the new one, This is the second time in recent months that Kia has disappointed me; the “concept” Optima was far, far better looking than the new production one just announced in European spec. Why do they do that, too? Stupid.

    1. It’s very ‘angry’ looking isn’t it? You’re a Tiger – grrrrr….

  4. I’m quite sure they’ve sent out the photos in advance, because someone leaked some of the official ones, I saw them on Carscoops a couple of days before the real thing surfaced.

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