Kia was busy with the premiere of the new crossover SUV. Seltos is a fresh addition to the growing lineup. Not only that the Korean company is expanding the portfolio with a larger unit, but they also bring other types of SUVs. Still, there is a room for improving the existing models that made Kia so popular. After the arrival of Seltos, and Telluride some while ago, it is time for the update of the 2021 Kia Sportage.
The fourth generation of the compact crossover arrived in 2015. The company is going to redesign it for 2021. We can find some details about the new vehicle in previous releases of Seltos and Telluride. These two models will tell us more about the new design language than the spy photos with heavily covered prototypes.
The major change for the new vehicle will be a hybrid engine. We expect from Kia this move as well. Sportage’s rivals are already offering such configurations. The hybrid system would boost the interest in this model and we will definitely see the sales reaching a six-digit value for the first time in the US market.
2021 Kia Sportage Specs
Let’s check out the standard offer for the 2021 Kia Sportage. Buyers on the major market in the world will see a couple of four-cylinder units under the hood of the new crossover. These are old but reliable powerplants, so there is no reason to replace them yet. Well, one of these will probably serve as the base for a hybrid setup. But, we will check out these rumors later.
The base setup includes a 2.4-liter naturally-aspirated drivetrain with a capability to produce 181 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque. This is the output we expect from a compact model. The new Sportage is going to be lighter, which is going to boost the fuel economy. Currently, the vehicle returns 23/30 mpg with the front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive blows the gas mileage on the highway, dropping the rating to 25 mpg. Fixing this should be a priority for the engineers.
The situation is the same if you pick the 2021 Kia Sportage Turbo. In this case, a 2.0-liter engine produces more power (240 hp and 260 lb-ft). If you choose an FWD model, the mileage is 21/26 mpg, while AWD makes it 20/23. In both cases, the power router is a six-speed automatic gearbox. We can hear rumors that Kia is developing the new case. But, the details are still unknown. Towing capacity of the new 2021 Sportage remains at 2,000 pounds.
2021 Kia Sportage Hybrid
Let’s go back to the major upgrade for the upcoming 2021 Kia Sportage. The crossover must get such a drivetrain if it wants to stay competitive. The best-selling Japanese models are offering hybrid configurations and that is one of the reasons why Toyota, Honda, and Nissan achieve 400k sales per annum. The new Sportage could combine the base 2.4-liter unit with an electric battery for the best outputs. We believe this combo will offer at least 200 hp, while the fuel economy is going to jump to 30 mpg combined. It is hard to believe that Kia can challenge 40+ mpg by class leaders.
After five years the fourth generation of the Sportage crossover is going through a redesign. The upcoming model will borrow some styling solutions from its new siblings, Seltos and Telluride. We believe that front fascia will take the most changes. The facelift will introduce a narrower grille. Headlights will be more angular.
Kia Sportage vs Kia Seltos
Compared to the new Seltos, Sportage comes with less cargo space (63 to 60 cu.ft.). The new version could gain some length and catch up with the cheaper version of the crossover. Well, Sportage costs $2,000 more, offers extra power, but the Seltos is the one with the better interior layout. Also, the Sportage comes with less space beneath the body. So, if you plan to go off-road, its new sibling could be a better solution thanks to the extra 0.5 in of ground clearance.
As said, leaders in the compact crossover class achieve 400.000+ sales per year. These are the Honda CR-V and Toyota Rav4. Also, their hybrid versions return 42 mpg. Nissan Rogue is just behind this couple, as well as the Ford Escape, which is entering a new generation. At the same price, you will also find Hyundai Tucson or Subaru Outback. If you want to spice it up a bit, then Lexus NX, Mercedes-Benz GLC, or Audi Q5 are excellent choices.
2021 Kia Sportage Prices
The redesign is not going to change the base MSRP of the 2021 Kia Sportage. The entry-level model will cost $25,000. The company will definitely keep EX trim, as one of the best offers in the market. The top of the class version is SX with a turbo engine, but its price goes above $33,000. The hybrid version should be at the same level as the EX, around $28,000.