THE next generation of Kia's top-selling Sportage SUV is to have its premiere at the German motor show in Munich and the new car should be on the road early next year.
Designed specifically for European tastes, the newcome will be built at Kia's factory in Slovakia where previous iterations of the model have been produced.
It will feature a plug-in powertrain in its line up with all versions - including a diesel - coming with the option of hybrid engines.
Bigger than the current model - Kia's best selling model in the UK - the new Sportage has a 591 litre boot and that's an increase of some 100 litres. Maximum cargo space is now 1,780 litres.
With radical front end styling incorporating ‘boomerang' shaped LED daylight running lights separating the grille from the headlights, the new Sportage is the best looking to date.
Advanced features include an automatic cruise control system linked to the navigation system to read the road ahead and a new all-terrain mode for off-road driving.
There are also several driver safety features including a system to help prevent collisions when turning at junctions and electronic suspension which Kia says has improved ride quality.
The new Sportage is longer, wider and has a bigger wheelbase than the car it replaces, making it the most spacious SUV of its type, according to Kia with a wheelbase of 2,680mm, a width of 1,865mm, length of 4,515mm and height of 1,645mm.
The European Sportage - Kia has developed a longer model for other markets - offers 996mm legroom for second-row passengers while headroom at the rear is 998mm.
The plug-in variant of the fifth generation Sportage uses Kia's 1.6-litre petrol engine and an electric motor to develop a combined 265ps.
The same engine will also be used on full hybrid models with an output of 230ps and on mild-hybrid variants developing either 150 or 180ps.
Also included in the launch line-up is a 1.6-litre diesel engine that is available with 115ps or 136ps power outputs.
Performance and economy details are still to be released as are prices but an increase from the current starting level to around £22,000 can be expected.
Inside, the Sportage has a 12.3-inch TFT touchscreen similar to that found in the new Sorento SUV which features over-the-air software and map updates.
The new Sportage will be on display at the German motor show until September 12