The Frankfurst motor show is not far away and there is certainly a lot of last minute testing going on for many manufacturers. Vauxhall have been caught testing 2 different versions of the new Astra and now the next generation Kia Sportage has been spotted undergoing testing at the famous Nurburgring in Germany. The new Sportage is expected to be heavily based on the KX3 concept car that was show off in China last year.
The market for good value SUVs is certainly a big one, Kia are clearly going to try and chase down the big lead Nissan have built with their ultra successful Qashqai with the Sportage. There is, however, a seemingly endless supply of people looking to move into the SUV market so there should be plenty of customers to go around. The popularity of the useful and safe feeling vehicles grows every year with more and more brands joining in, even Jaguar are throwing their hat into the ring with the F-Pace.
During testing manufacturers often like to disguise their vehicles to stop other brands stealing their ideas. The reality is that cars take years to develop and by the time a test car is on the road it is a safe bet they have the drop on any competitors taking and using their ideas. The practice goes on nonetheless and this means the press get very few clues about what the final car will actually look like. This is very much the case with the Sportage, with cloth covering the rear, and doors and confusing camouflage over the front wings the shape can only be guessed at. Industry experts are convinced it will be very close to the KX3 concept car in more ways than one.There certainly seems to be more of a boot overhang than the previous model which suggests more load space and experts are claiming it will be slightly smaller and narrower too.
As with the outside, various bit of cloth are used to cover up the dashboard and interior during testing but rumour has it the Sportage will see a completely new interior design. However, it wont be a major change, partly due to the success of the previous model. There is likely to be upgraded infotainment systems with the first chance to have DAB radio in a Kia on the cards.
Guess work and rumours are all that is on offer at this stage but it is likely to current engine range will be emulated but with a general overhaul. There is also talk of a turbo charged 3 cylinder petrol unit to match the growing movement to these engines and to keep up with the Qashqai and Renault Kadjar.
The current Sportage is widely considered to be great value and a very capable option for people looking at SUVs and Crossovers, this new version will be building on that reputation and the continually growing reputation of Kia as a whole.