Kia Sportage – the evolution of the urban SUV February 3rd, 2016
With the steady increase in SUV sales over the last five years, the number of SUVs sold is expected to overtake the number of sedans in the near future. This growth in the SUV market is highly associated with the increasing consumer demand for multi-functional vehicles that provide transport through both rough roads and intricate city traffic. Furthermore, the evolving sophistication of today’s SUVs provides comfort, functionality and flexibility and they are emerging as a popular choice among global consumers
The Sportage stands strongly as one of the most popular models in the segment and has been a major driver behind the growth and success of Kia Motors. As we gear up for the launch of the promising next-generation Sportage, Kia BUZZ invites you to find out more about the conception, development and evolution of Kia’s game-changing compact SUV!
First Generation Sportage (1993-2002)
The first generation Sportage was released in overseas markets in 1993 following its world debut at the 1991 Tokyo Motor Show. Kia Motors generated strong global interest with its new urban SUV concept – an approachable SUV model suitable for driving in an urban environment. The 1993 Sportage represented Kia’s successful first foray into the SUV market and enjoyed popularity until it reached the end of production in 2002.
Second Generation Sportage (2004-2010)
Continuing the legacy of the compact urban SUV, the second generation Sportage returned to the market in 2004. The refreshed design, powerful performance and affordable pricing of the 2004 Sportage appealed to wide range of customers, particular those of a younger driving demographic. In addition, the model gained recognition for its technical excellence, being known as the most fuel efficient SUV in South Korea at the time and receiving the highest safety rating available. Similar to the previous generation model, the second generation Sportage continued to undergo modifications that contributed to the model’s laudable performance and aesthetics.
Third Generation Sportage (2010-2015)
The enhanced third generation Sportage appeared in 2010, boasting significant changes from the previous models. Defying conventional designs with a uniquely dynamic and sporty look, the Sportage gained recognition for its progressive design, sweeping accolades such as the prestigious Good Design Award and the iF Design Award. Because the Sportage was widely praised for excellence in design, one of the challenging aspects of developing the all-new Sportage was reinventing this successful model for next-generation audiences.
The all-new Sportage: Building upon the best
Building upon its predecessors, the all-new fourth-generation Sportage once again takes the urban SUV concept to the next level. With an aim of providing attractive aesthetics and enhanced driving experience, the all-new Sportage features a revamped design and a host of technological upgrades that boost the model’s safety, control and performance.
The development of the next-generation Sportage began with an in-depth analysis of market trends to best suit the needs of consumers, and Kia did not fail to address the areas where previous Sportage models fell short. The thoughtful design, innovative packaging, premium materials, powerful engine and state-of-the art technology all translate into a stunning modern masterpiece that that is the fourth generation Sportage.
This extensively developed compact SUV, along with the Optima, Kia’s prized midsize sedan, once again took home this year’s iF design award, receiving praise for overall design quality, innovation, environmental impact and safety.
With handsome improvements in design and functionality, the all-new Sportage is expected to once again accelerate Kia’s market progress and open a brand new chapter in the company’s history of pioneering the compact urban SUV segment. The anticipation and excitement for the fourth generation Sportage is expectedly high and we cannot wait for the world to enjoy the dynamic contemporary sophistication of our all-new compact SUV!