Design & Technology / Product

Color me curious – The secrets behind the Kia Sportage colors June 30th, 2016


Kia Sportage, one of Kia’s longest running models, has been refined and perfected since the early nineties. Now in its fourth generation, the Sportage has emerged as one of the hottest compact SUVs on the market.




One of the many reasons for the popularity of the all-new Sportage is its stylish and dynamic design. Among many impressive features, the carefully selected colors and design accents emphasize the Sportage’s attractive urban image.



Members of the Kia Design Team pose with the all-new Sportage.

They are (from left) Jung-Bin Moon, Director of the Kia Exterior Design Department; Jung-Jin Lee, Senior Researcher of the Kia Color Team; and Chi-Young Kim, Senior Researcher of the Kia Interior Design Team.


Recently, Kia BUZZ had the opportunity to sit down with the Mr. Jung-Jin Lee, Senior Researcher of the Kia Color Team, to learn more about the color development for the Sportage. Read on to find out more about the intriguing process.


Q: What are some recent color trends in the automotive industry and, specifically, the compact SUV segment?

A: There is an increasing worldwide trend towards white shades such as solid white and pearl white. Black is second, followed, in order, by silver, grey, red, blue and beige. Overall, neutral colors account for 76% of the current auto market.



Kia Sportage in ‘Snow White Pearl


In terms of the CUV and compact SUV segment, it is predicted that neutral colors that blend well with both urban and natural surroundings will continue to be popular in the immediate future. The growing preference for white as well as the emerging interest in brown and beige colors are also notable trends. Among bright chromatic colors, blue and red continue to be popular shades.


Q: In terms of color, what are the main differences from the previous generations of the Sportage?



Kia Sportage in ‘Sparkling Silver


A: We utilized pearl particles and colored aluminum pigments to express the sophistication and refined luxury of the Sportage’s exterior. Through countless design developments and quality assessments, we managed to apply a unified color scheme to different materials and metal textures of the vehicle.



The interior layout of the all-new fourth-generation Sportage


Only high quality materials were used for the interior for noticeable visual and tactile upgrades. We also applied stylish two-tone color combinations and utilized embossing and piping patterns to produce a unique and dynamic outdoor-style design.



The interior layout of the previous third-generation Sportage


The biggest difference from the previous generation Sportage is that we applied more soft materials and colors for a dramatic and detailed finish. We paid special attention to combining colors and materials harmoniously and seamlessly.

Q: What did the color selection process for the Sportage entail?

A: The initial process of exterior color selection began with regional trend research and selection of candidate colors that best fit the vehicle’s shape and body. From this initial step, final colors were selected through a strenuous process of careful assessment and elimination by management executives.



Leather materials selected for the Sportage interior boast a unique embossed design or stitching


Materials and colors for the interior were also selected through careful review as well as production of mock-up models. The final decision was made by taking into consideration the color, luster, shine and embossed design to minimize clashing between different materials. The interior materials of the Sportage were selected by paying special attention to their visual and tactile elements.



The interior of the Sportage features different textiles for interesting tactile variation


Q: What are the signature colors of the all-new Sportage?

A: For the fourth-generation Sportage, we worked to capture both urban sophistication and the sportiness of the outdoors.



‘Cherry Black’ and ‘Mercury Blue


The brightness and clarity of the ‘Cherry Black’ color were refined for a deeper and more luxurious finish while a young and refreshing ‘Mercury Blue’ color was born from by adding metallic red and blue pearl particles to a modern blue shade. These two colors were created and refined to accentuate the Sportage’s urban and stylish image.



‘Patina Gold’ and ‘Fiery Red


On the other hand, new colors such as ‘Patina Gold’ and ‘Fiery Red’ capture the natural and outdoorsy image of the compact SUV. For both shades, new colored aluminum pigments were added for more vividness and clarity.


Q. What are the main characteristics of the all-new Sportage’s interior color options?



‘Black One-tone’ interior color option


Interior colors also highlighted the dual image of the Sportage. The ‘Black One-tone’ shade express the urban and modern image of the SUV while the ‘Canyon Beige Two-tone’, ‘Grey Two-tone’ and ‘Brown Color Pack’ capture its athletic sportiness.



‘Canyon Beige Two-tone’ interior color option



‘Grey Two-tone’ interior color option



‘Brown Color Pack’ interior color option


In addition, the piping, stitching and embossing effects add rich and luxurious variations to the soft materials while semi-glossy chrome accents further contribute to the unified and harmonious metallic interior finish.



Stitching detail applied to the Sportage interior





Chrome accents within the Sportage interior give a luxurious look.


 Learn more about the evolution of the all-new Sportage

 Find out about the Kia Sportage Digital Campaign