The Australian launch of the all-new 2022 Kia Sportage has been delayed slightly until November, but the brand’s local arm has confirmed very strong pre-sales interest.
General Manager for Product Planning, Roland Rivero, told CarExpert the company is expecting initial stock to arrive in “early November”.
Petrol and diesel variants have already been detailed. However Kia remains unable to confirm timing for the anticipated hybrid model in Australia – a rival to the top-selling Toyota RAV4.
“The business case for the new Sportage Hybrid is still being studied. At this stage we cannot confirm its development for Australia,” Mr Rivero said.
The new-generation Sportage is still grabbing the attention of many potential buyers, according to the brand’s local marketing head Dean Norbiato.
“Interest in the new Sportage from Aussie consumers has been strong and on par, if not greater, than its little brother, the Seltos,” Mr Norbiato told CarExpert.
Last month, Kia Australia released initial details of the ‘NQ5’ Sportage line-up, which will include four trim levels, three powertrain options, as well as enhanced equipment levels across the board.
Pricing is still to be announced, though LED headlights will be standard from the base level, as will a ‘basic’ all-digital instrument cluster with 4.2-inch multifunction LCD display. You can get a preview of the different displays available here.
A front-centre airbag, AEB with pedestrian/cyclist detection and junction assist, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic assist, adaptive cruise control and Lane Follow Assist across the range mean the new Sportage should meet the latest crash-test criteria, and offer semi-autonomous driving capability right from the base level.
All models bar the top-spec GT-Line will be offered with a base 2.0-litre four-cylinder naturally-aspirated petrol with 115kW (+1kW) and 192Nm. This powertrain is front-wheel drive only.
The S and SX will offer this engine with a standard six-speed manual or optional six-speed auto, with the latter standard on the SX+.
Next is the 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo – new to the local Sportage line-up – with outputs of 132kW and 265Nm. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and all-wheel drive are standard with this powertrain.
The 1.6 T-GDi AWD running gear will be optional on the SX+ and standard on the GT-Line flagship.
Finally, the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel with all-wheel drive has been updated for 2022 in line with the related Hyundai Tucson, meaning outputs of 137kW (+1kW) and 416Nm (+16Nm). An eight-speed auto is standard with this engine, which will be offered across all trim levels.
All powertrains have aligned with the latest ‘Smartstream’ specs available in the Tucson, meaning they should all offer increased performance with improved efficiency compared to previous iterations.
We’re also expecting the 169kW/350Nm 1.6-litre turbocharged hybrid to join the range in 2022, though as mentioned earlier no official announcement has been made yet.
For the full initial specifications breakdown, read more here.
Kia Australia has indicated an Australian media launch should take place in mid-November, so stay tuned for further details and a first drive review around then.
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